The campus service committee recently met near Los Angeles for our annual gathering that has become our vehicle to set the stage for campus work during the rest of the year. Upon the agenda was the review of campus plantings last year as well as those to be planted in 2016. We reviewed our objectives for Reach2016 and discussed plans for our campus conferences in 2017 and 2018. Updates were given regarding the One Year Challenge as well as the resurgence of the campus HOPE Youth Corps. We discussed at length the development of our nearly 200 full-time campus ministers. Finally, everyone discussed the incredible international efforts going on to raise up and plant campus ministries overseas.
The campus service is team is presently made up of U.S. and international representatives. Ten international brothers are partnering with the current U.S. committee to promote campus ministry, exchange idea’s and work together to one day form their own continental and national campus committees.
- Central America/Carib – Josue Ortega
- South America – John Hoyt
- Africa – Emmanuel Emeh
- Europe – Shawn Wooten
- Eurasia – Shawn Wooten
- India – Prem Jeba
- Southeast Asia – We Kyoeng
- China – Aaron Chow
- Australia – Forest Versele
- Asia Pacific – Ariel Lastrado
- Middle East – Moufid Tohme
In 2015 we were excited to invite a few new members to the committee. Brian Campbell, Perrie Keeve and Kyle Eastman all joined the committee this year. All three ministers are 30 or younger. That now makes half of the committee under 30.
The current U.S. members of the committee are as follows:
- Los Angeles – Stuart Mains
- Los Angeles – Steve Lounsbury
- College Station – Marty Wilkinson
- Seattle – Alex Whitaker
- Denver – Brian Campbell
- Columbia – Vince Hawkins
- Chicago – Chris Zillman
- Boston – Jesse Ghoman
- Columbia, S.C. – Perrie Keeve
- Atlanta – Tom Brown
- State College – Jamison Malcolm
- Gainesville – Kyle Eastman
The 2015 ICMC in the U.S. was entitled “Change the World.” There were also several other ICMCs outside the U.S. that adopted this theme. We had several missionaries (young and old) who addressed the campus ministry during this year’s keynote speeches. It was rousing for the students to see 25 year old ministers leading churches overseas and more grizzled ministers still passionate after decades spent on the mission field. In the U.S. the conferences took place in New Jersey (East) and Arizona (West). We had a total attendance of about 2800 which meant several hundred more disciples attended this year’s conferences over last year.
In 2014 we had about 3700 students in the U.S. campus ministries. Those ministries had about 1000 baptisms during the course of the year. In 2015 those numbers were nearly identical. In the last year our conversions were not enough to compensate for our rate of attrition (graduates and walkaways). The data that was annually provided to the committee pointed to two facts that we are going to try and exploit. Firstly, the regions that had a higher student to part-time intern ration grew more across the board. Therefore, we encouraged each full-time minister to employ whatever creativity was at their disposal to hire and raise up more part-time interns. Secondly, at our current size we know that unless every region grows at a rate of one conversion for every three members we likely will not grow. While every ministry must balance the energy put into both training and converting non-Christians we put it before everyone to shoot for that three to one ration and use this benchmark as their goal.
This was all conveyed at the ICMC during the State of the Campus annual address. In this we also reiterated that the function of the campus ministry was to grow as much as possible and to raise up leaders. All other endeavors can of course be worthy, but we aren’t fulfilling the our role in the body if we aren’t achieving these first two goals.
2015 campus ministry plantings
We are very excited about some of the newest campus ministries that were planted in 2015.
- University of Oklahoma
- University of Arkansas
- Appalachian State
- Washington State
- University of Oregon
- University of Alaska, Fairbanks
- Corpus Christi A&M
Plans are underway for more campus plantings in 2016 including Akron University in Ohio.
It has now become a tradition for our young campus ministers and evangelists (under 35 years old) to spend an extra day in fellowship and meetings after the ICMC. This year over 100 ministers stayed to participate in these gatherings. Considering this started as a group of just over 20 people a couple of years ago, this kind of participation is significant. During their gathering they spend time in d-groups discussing best practices and exchanging ideas and initiatives. The relationships being forged will be some of our most valuable currency for the future unity of all our churches.
We believe that the harvest is plentiful all over the world. Jesus has commissioned us as his disciples to bring in that harvest. The goal of the One Year Challenge (OYC) is to produce more workers in strategic harvest fields around the world – college towns with small campus ministries in the US and unreached cities with ICOC churches internationally.
With that stated goal, we have focused the requirements for OYC host churches to include mission teams (e.g. Norman OK), small churches in college towns (e.g. Nittany Valley Church at Penn State), and international churches with largely un-evangelized populations (e.g. cities in China, undisclosed locations).
The OYC is a helpful component for growing a church, but should not be viewed as a primary resource because of the limited time that a participant has with the host site. Instead, the OYC should be viewed as a benefit to the kingdom overall. Participants come in eager and faithful, but largely untrained. By the end of his or her year of service the participant has been invested in by the local evangelist and ministry leaders, fully trained in ministry, and ready to be sent back to their home church or move on to another harvest field. The OYC will help our movement train the next generation of leaders.
There are currently eight host sites in the US (State College PA, Norman OK, Auburn AL, Eugene/Corvallis OR, Pullman WA, Storrs CT, Lawrence KS, Charlottesville VA) and six international sites (China, Germany, Italy, Spain, Norway, Switzerland).
International training programs
Our domestic campus training programs in the U.S. have been going on and in force for awhile now. Almost every U.S. region has a training program to offer their students during the summer. Now, however, some of our campus ministries are sending their programs or starting new programs internationally. Such programs have already occurred in various cities in India, South America, Africa, Southeast Asia and Mexico. Next summer, some of the Texas churches will be sending students to Russia.
Europe has been a place of concentrated effort. Campus ministries are starting to pop up in some of the small existing churches all over Europe. Milan, Madrid and Berlin have almost 10 in their campus ministries now. Paris, which has had a a very fruitful year, is approaching 20. Furthermore, this year, we saw Steve Schnell, Mark Abril, and Anne Wang sent out to London. Presently, there is a campus ministry of 30 students with full-time campus ministers building the downtown London campus ministry.
All over the world, our churches have been placing a greater investment into our campus ministries. This summer we hope to present a more comprehensive report on all that is going on outside the U.S.
We have recently solidified a system of subcommittees for the service team. Almost every member serves on one subcommittee. The subcommittee needs to hold a meeting or conference call every quarter. Here are the following subcommittees and their chairmen.
- One Year Challenge: Jamison Malcolm and Brian Campbell
- Media: Kyle Eastman
- Statistics: Vince Hawkins
- Young Ministers and Evangelists: Stuart Mains and Jesse Ghoman
- Campus Locator: Perrie Keeves
- Training Programs: Steve Lounsbury
- Conference Event Planning: Marty Wilkinson and Alex Whitaker
The excitement and the thrill to change the world is so strong in our worldwide campus ministries. It is hard not to caught up in the optimism and idealism of our youth when seeing them during the conferences or watching their numerous videos online. We truly have a remarkable group of young men and women in our campus ministries.
It is our sincerest ambition to pay back every investment made into caring and training our youth ten-fold as they exit the campus stage and begin new adventures in our singles and marrieds ministries all over the world.