“Longing for revival, we catalyze movements that call every corner of every campus to follow Jesus.”
So, I’ve worked the InterVarsity Staff Booth more than once during the course of the 8 Urbanas I’ve attended. Every other ministry you can imagine comes to the convention, carves out a location, constructs a booth of some sort, packs it with branded merch, printed pieces and mans it with their best staff. Working a shift at a booth is non-stop conversation with students eager to explore options in missions.
This year was different for the InterVarsity booth. Instead of trying to find staff candidates, we decided to build our display around the theme of InterVarsity’s 2030 Calling (please hit the link and give it a glance if you haven’t yet). As students approach the display, a staff member engages them in conversation about their campus. “What part of your campus would you like to see God visit in a new way?” Rather than trolling for people interested in joining IV staff, we were looking for students with a heart for an unreached corner of their campus.
After a few minutes of buzzing about the vision, the staff member hands them a pen and directs them to the “Corner Board” where they can write the name of their corner and their campus. Next they’re invited to a 10 minute coaching session where a staff member helps them move from vision to a plan of action once they’re back on campus. They get a worksheet that helps them lay out a network map of the people God is moving them to reach. They work on a set of action steps and receive some discussion group materials. We can even do a crash-course on manuscript study with them. The idea is to start with vision and build toward equipping them for a bold but doable plan.
After three full afternoons of conversations our team has spoken with over 500 students! 500 students with a fledgling vision and a concrete ministry plan to reach out once they return to campus. It shouldn’t surprise me when I find a personal connection in the midst of all the seemingly random interaction. So far this week I’ve met up with several students from Illinois where I was formerly on staff with IV. I had a delightful encounter with a student named Hannah and the staff member who wound up coaching her.
“So what school to attend, Hannah?”
“Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois”
“No way, I was born in that town and grew up there. I supervised the IV work there for quite a number of years too.”
Hannah caught me up on the IV chapter as we were waiting in line to get an appointment with a coach. We talked about Millikin. We talked about Decatur. Yes, she knew the name of the professional sports team that originated as the Decatur Staleys. She told me about some renovations happening to the campus. We scanned Hannah’s nametag and took her to the coaching zone. To her surprize and mine, the coach next in line was her own staff member, Derekah Kingery.
Thanks for your prayers for students this week! Urbana wraps up tonight at midnight. I’ll try to get another post out to you before the day is over.
Since this is the last day of the calendar year, thought I’d also put the link here to my donations page. Many thanks to those who’ve been getting their year-end giving sent in!
Click here to be taken to Tim’s account on the InterVarsity Donations website.