InterVarsity’s 2030 Calling was the piano we were trying to lift to the second floor back in April. Graduate Faculty Ministries staff meet annually in Mundelein, IL on the campus of St. Mary of the Woods. I love the place by the way. This year I managed a brief photo shoot while on a coffee break (statues and interesting architecture everywhere). Our Regional Leadership Team stays over an extra day at Mundelein to work on regional business. This year’s work? You guessed it – Piano-lifting.
Fortunately no one experienced a hernia – though admittedly we feel the gravity of what we’re trying to do. Really? Every Corner. Every Campus. Catalyzing movements of students and faculty who follow Jesus. What does that look like? Our RLT (Regional Leadership Team) has identified four areas of focus over the coming several years.
- Planting new work
- Adding diversity as we attract new staff
- Growing in best practice evangelism
- Increasing Ministry Partnership
Our team would like to see new work at new campuses. As well as some new work on known campuses. You can take that however you like. A campus that currently has InterVarsity’s ministry happening may be a school like the University of Nebraska, Omaha. There are two undergrad fellowships that I know of, but no graduate groups. UNO would be a new campus for GFM – but not entirely new for InterVarsity. At Creighton, however, our PT/OT/Pharm group means GFM isn’t new to the campus. That’s how Every Corner, of Every Campus calls us forward. Are there new corners among other graduate programs at Creighton? Absolutely. Let’s pray. Let’s find them.
The South-Central Region is a pretty big critter. GFM is particularly a good fit for R1 Institutions but smaller schools can also be strategic. There are a total of 57 R1 and R2 schools in our 17 state behemoth. GFM has a presence on 30+ of those campuses. How do we begin to reach the 2030 Calling goal of every corner of every campus. Our Regional Leadership Team has prayerfully arrived at goals like these:
- 22 new missional faculty communities
- 33 new graduate student communities on new campuses
- 7 new GFM chapters on existing campuses
I’ll get to the next three areas in the posts that follow. Pray for our Region and for my Area – the Central Team. We see encouraging potential in places like Webster University (an emerging faculty group), K-State (the inklings of a group in the College of Veterinary Medicine) Drake University (a faculty group? maybe the stirrings of an OT group) and the University of Nebraska (Lincoln, UNO, UNMC all with vast untapped potential). There’s absolutely no way we can do it without adding to our staff team. That’s where I’ll have to leave it for now.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying. Thanks for your partnership!