RJ and I have been serving with the Navigators (an international, non-denominational Christian organization) at UCR for the past 5 years. Before that, I served with the Navigators at UCI post-college for 3 years as a single woman.
So why college ministry? Can’t you just serve in the church or something and work normal jobs?
I began my journey at UCI completely broken, insecure, and unsure of my identity in Jesus. I was looking for worth and identity in unhealthy romantic relationships. I had a severely damaged sense of worth and value. I was enslaved to anorexia, exercise bulimia, and binge eating. I struggled with materialism that eventually led to thousands of dollars in credit card debt. I battled vanity and deep insecurity. I struggled with sexual sin. I was severely depressed and anxious. I struggled with performance, comparison, and jealousy.
Throughout college, I struggled with nearly all of the strongholds that most women face in a lifetime.
And Jesus freed me from each and every single one of these strongholds, through His Word and through the Navigators.
And I have been flying with Him ever since.
Jesus did for me what 5 weeks in an inpatient hospital, 12 weeks in an intensive outpatient program, and another countless months of therapy never even came close to.
I don’t know how.
But I do know this: Jesus is the answer.
And I am fully convinced that Jesus is the answer for the broken men and women on college campuses today.
So convinced that I’d bet my career on it.
College is a pivotal time to solidify the faith of those who grew up in the church, and a rare opportunity and open window to be invited to share the gospel with those who didn’t. For the first time, these men and women are on their own, trying to figure out who they are and what they believe. For the first time, they are without the structure and protection of their parents or their church. For the first time, people who have never entered a church are open to spiritual discussions.
College is the time for Jesus to change the course of the lives of these men and women, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. And college is the time for healing, so these men and women can live in freedom for the next 60+ years of their lives.
That’s why college ministry.
What We Do
What don’t we do???
Okay fine, I’ll be more specific.
- We share Jesus with those who don’t know Him, those who don’t know Him well, and those who don’t know what all the hubbub is about Him.
- We help new and young Christians be established in the basics of how to walk with Jesus for life, AKA discipleship (i.e. how to have a quiet time, how to read the Bible, how to pray, how to share your faith, etc.)
- We help mature Christians learn how to help a younger Christian walk with Jesus for life, by coaching or modeling for them how to do so.
- We prepare Bible studies for small group discussions with both Christians and non-Christians.
- We are vision-casters, sharing God’s heart for the nations, from next door to everywhere, and heck, even going ourselves.
- We are event coordinators, planning and preparing large group nights, events, or activities, both on the campus but also on a larger scale basis.
- We are public speakers, and regularly (not so much me as of late) prepare messages for our large group night. We have also been invited to speak at retreats around the U.S., as well as prepare workshops for conferences.
- We are recruiters. We recruit potential donors to partner with our ministry, and we recruit students to the greater vision of our group.
- We are college “mom and dad,” sometimes needing to speak the hard truths with love.
- We are an older brother and sister in Jesus, who are just a little bit further along our walks. We get what they’re going through…but we’ll keep pushing them along, just ‘cuz we love them. :)
- We are a soup kitchen…for college kids. If you feed them…they will come. In masses. With their friends. And their friends’ friends.
- We counsel, both individually and relationship…illy. The latter has been a new development in the past two years. Apparently, it’s become widely known that if you are dating and meeting with RJ and I that at some point, I will flat out ask, “Are you guys having sex?” #sup #keepingitreal
- Apparently, we marry people now, too!
I’m sure there’s a lot more that we do on and off campus. But that’s all I got for now. I think it’s a pretty good list.
If you feel led to partner financially with our ministry with the Navigators, visit here for more details.