Articles

4 MINUTE READ
The Power of Identity: Building Fruitful Disciples Who LastHave you ever made a list of your discipleship essentials? What are those key qualities and convictions that you see as non-negotiables to build into the lives of those you disciple? What’s on your shortlist? After 32 years of college ministry, I’m more convinced than ever that identity in Christ must be on my shortlist. From what I’ve seen, the secure laborer who has their confidence, significance, and worth rooted in who they are in Christ are typically more fruitful and last longer than those who don’t. The secure laborer is a stronger leader, better relationally, a
Ted Shimer, The Freedom Fight

June 21, 2023

image of train wheels on train tracks
3 MINUTE READ
How to Share the Gospel with Those Placing Faith in Good WorksHave you ever had a spiritual conversation with someone who thinks they are a Christian and thought, “They just need to know the grace Jesus has shown them”? We become weary after sharing the gospel with people, seeing them be amazed at the beauty and simplicity of salvation by grace through faith alone, only to be dumbfounded by their replies when given the opportunity to follow Jesus. They say, “Oh, I’ve accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was 10, and I’ve been baptized.” What do you do then? You can’t say, “You ain't no Christian! I ju
Tyler McMahan, Athletes in Action

May 26, 2023

cars parked with translucent crosses overlaying on top of the image
1 MINUTE READ
Unpark Your Prayer LifePrayer is a conversation with God. We talk to God, God talks to us. We listen to God, God listens to us. It’s a two-way street. Yet, sometimes it feels like a one-way street. Sometimes, we do all the talking and no listening. Sometimes, it feels like God isn’t listening. Sometimes, it feels like a dead end street and we just can’t even bring ourselves to talk or listen. When we experience prayer as a one-way or a dead end street, it should be a huge wake up call—like a warning light on the dashboard of the car. You know, the one that has been on for months. The one
By: Jason Bennett

May 03, 2023

fish swimming
2 MINUTE READ
Understanding the Challenge of Expressive Individualism: Part 2This is part 2. If you haven’t yet, read part 1 here. Collegiate leaders are like missionaries to the college campus, and one significant characteristic of college student culture is expressive individualism. In this two-part series, we’re examining what it is, the challenges it presents, the opportunities, and how we should respond as college ministry leaders. In part 1 we unpacked how expressive individualism forms identity by calling you to look inward, to follow your heart and be true to yourself. This presents significant challenges in ministry as it shapes students by a coun
Andrew Cimbala, DiscipleMakers

April 26, 2023

school of fish in the ocean
2 MINUTE READ
Understanding the Challenge of Expressive Individualism: Part 1Collegiate leaders are like missionaries to the college campus. All missionaries need to understand their target culture, translate the Bible into the vernacular language, avoid cultural taboos, and find creative ways to connect the gospel story to the good and broken parts of the culture’s beliefs.  Expressive individualism is a foundational aspect of college student culture in the Post-Christian world today. But most students don’t know it, and most collegiate leaders don’t either. It’s just the water we all swim in, and it’s hard to notice the water when
Andrew Cimbala, DiscipleMakers

April 12, 2023

yellow blue and orange vertical blurry lines and faded triangles
2 MINUTE READ
3 Reasons Why The Faith of the Next Generation is Worth EverythingSomething I experienced at a conference a few years back has stuck with me ever since. Maybe it’s because that was one of the last conferences I went to pre-pandemic. Maybe it stayed with me because of something more—a deeper reason. Either way, it was the closing talk and Andy Stanley got up and shared this closing question. He asked: “What is the faith of the next generation worth?” After a pause he said these three words. I can’t shake them. “It’s worth everything.”  I believe with every fiber of my being that the faith of the next gener
Josiah Kennealy, Chi Alpha

March 29, 2023

small spring blurred background with pale blue triangles patterned over the top
8 MINUTE READ
What’s Expressive Individualism Got to Do With It?Imagine trying to give directions to someone visiting the campus where you currently work. As you're on the phone you tell him to “turn right on 4th street,” and then “hop on I-55 North until you reach I-74.” As the conversation progresses your friend is getting more and more confused, and you are getting progressively frustrated. Eventually he exclaims, “I don’t see any of the streets you're talking about!” Finally you realize that you gave him directions from your current location, not the city he was living in. In order to give good directions, you
Chase Smith, Campus Outreach

March 01, 2023

Small purple flowers with a blurred mountain landscape in the background, plus a blue watermark overlay
6 MINUTE READ
Leverage of Spring Break for the KingdomHow much could one week catalyze your mission mobilization? In 1991, I happened upon a strategy that absolutely changed my thinking.  I led a team of college students and graduates from the University of Arizona and went to the University of Southern California to do evangelism over Spring Break. We were on Spring Break, but they weren’t, so the campus was full of students.  We spent the week serving, sharing the gospel and having a good time together. The camaraderie we built and the kingdom impact we had on that campus changed our lives. And ever since that Spring Break in
By: Brian Smith

February 15, 2023

6 MINUTE READ
Running FreeJosh’s spiritual decline started slowly. He wasn’t pursuing God like he once did. Quiet times, Bible study and church attendance, which had been a highlight of his week, began to slip. His heart wasn’t into it. His hunger for God and to know His word was waning. He once was passionate about sharing his faith and leading a Bible study with the freshmen on his dorm floor. He even became an R.A. because he wanted to labor for Jesus, but his hunger to serve the Lord was diminishing. Why?  Josh’s struggle was his porn habit, or maybe even an addiction. Regardless of what it really was, the sec
Ted Shimer, The Freedom Fight

February 01, 2023

floating light bulbs with question marks in them
1 MINUTE READ
100 Questions Away from GodA while back I was faced with this situation for the first time. It was one of the most memorable cups of coffee I’ve ever shared with a college student. Let’s call her Kelsey. She sat down across from me at a table outside, frazzled. She hadn’t slept much that week due to homework—not given to her by a university professor, but by me. One week prior to this, I challenged Kelsey with an assignment to write down all the questions she was wrestling with. And she did.   Now, avoiding small talk, she went straight to the point, unzipping her backpack to pull out
Tyler Ellis, English With Friends

December 21, 2022

2 MINUTE READ
Why the College Campus? Pt 5This is the final article of a five part series. Click here for Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four.
Clayton Bullion, Via

November 23, 2022

2 MINUTE READ
Why the College Campus? Pt 4This article is part four of a five part series. Click here for Part One, Part Two and Part Three.
Clayton Bullion, Via

November 16, 2022

2 MINUTE READ
Why the College Campus? Pt. 3This article is part three of a five part series. Click here for Part One and Part Two.
Clayton Bullion, Via

November 09, 2022

multiple rolled up maps
1 MINUTE READ
The Master Plan of Initiative EvangelismI’m a huge fan of The Master Plan of Evangelism. Can I get an amen? The principles in that book have shaped the way I go about doing ministry. However, a year ago one of my mentors challenged me to study the activities/principles of Jesus in Scripture. I was greatly edified, encouraged, and challenged by what I saw Jesus do repeatedly. I found additional principles that I saw Jesus practice, and noticed that I have seen some of the most effective evangelists utilize as well. While there has been much written on Jesus’ ministry principles and disciple-making and relational evangelism, I have se
Kevin Thorsell, Challenge

November 02, 2022

2 MINUTE READ
Why the College Campus? Pt 2.This article is part two of a five part series. You can find part one here.
Clayton Bullion, Via

November 02, 2022

3 MINUTE READ
Why the College Campus? Pt 1.Right now, there are just over 20 million college students in the U.S. If they were their own country, they would be the 60th largest country in the world. That is 6 million more people than all of New England and only four million less than the entire continent of Australia! Many of them are making pivotal decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. What are they going to be about? What is their career going to be?  Who are they going to marry? Most of them are making these decisions without Christ. They are setting the pace they are going to run for the rest of their lives without th
Clayton Bullion, Via

October 26, 2022

multiple books from above
2 MINUTE READ
How to Help Your Students Read BooksSome college staff leaders have observed a recent trend that students are less motivated to read books. Many students struggle to read, don’t have the time, or lament that they used to read when they were younger. Perhaps this is mainly an effect from screens and our reduced attention span. Whatever the causes of this trend against literacy, does it matter? Given the resistance of students and our own challenge in convincing them to read books… should we even bother helping students to read? Is this a lost cause, and therefore we should just text our students a three-minute video
Andrew Cimbala, DiscipleMakers

October 19, 2022

woman making pancakes
2 MINUTE READ
Pancakes With A PurposeSome time ago, a few of our students went down to UC Santa Barbara and came back raving about an outreach they saw called Jesus Burgers. Every Friday night they give away around 200 free hamburgers and minister to people in the name of Jesus. They wanted to do this at Stanford, so they went to the student activities office to see what kind of permission they would need. It turns out all the permissions: we would need a county food-service permit and a county-certified chef. The university wasn’t trying to stop the spread of the gospel, they just wanted to prevent the spread of salmonell
By: Glen Davis

October 05, 2022

man on a tightrope going towards a mountain
2 MINUTE READ
Carrying Ministry on a Tightrope Pt 2(This is part two of a two-part article. You can find the first one here.) As the title suggests, you can easily lose your balance while leading a ministry. If you ignore what the Lord is doing in you and in those you are ministering to, there is a danger not only for you but for those you lead. Paul mentions in Galatians we should not just live in the Spirit bearing the corresponding fruit from that connection (Gal 5:22,23), but also that we should “keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25). For those of us leading in ministry, carrying each of these “poles” on a tig
Delvin Pikes, Every Nation Campus

September 21, 2022

crowd at a university campus
2 MINUTE READ
10 Differences Between Greeks and Non-GreeksOver the years I have heard many campus ministries try to gain momentum doing ministry in the Greek community. Too often, many fail to gain traction because they miss a few basic differences between Greek students and non-Greek students. What works to reach other parts of campus won’t work if you are trying to reach Greeks. Thankfully, I have learned from many great Cru staff over the years who have helped me see these nuances. In addition, I have fine-tuned my approach and learned some things the hard way. As always, you will find exceptions to every rule, but from my experience, here a
Ben Seiler, Cru

August 31, 2022