well, the first week of class is underway and our campus is buzzing.
and thus, chapter 1 is underway.
the Christian Campus House has, for several years, articulated three values we esteem. we’ve illustrated them in a number of ways. this year, we took those three values and made them easier to remember. during the course of this journey, we will always come back to God’s mission and how our values express that mission. here they are:
communion is more than just a wafer that dissolves on your tongue or a shot of grape juice. it’s a depth in our relationship with God; knowing Him and being known by Him. it’s looking less like ourselves and more like Jesus. nothing we do matters if we don’t know Him.
Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:22-23 NIV)
to develop a deeper relationship with God, we gather for a communion meal and for tuesday nite thing (tnt). our communitas groups and DNA groups are designed to express this value.
honestly, everything we are and do comes back to communion with God.
in the new testament, the small community of Jesus-followers changed their world. they did so by love, service, sharing their resources, doing life together, and living in a way that made the Kingdom very real.
and while community is a value, it’s not something we aim for. aiming for community is a lot like aiming to fall in love. it doesn’t work. i tend to think that authentic community is something that emerges from something greater. i’m sure i will expand on this thought at a later time, but the short version is: for community to emerge, you must have three entities in place — the Holy Spirit, a common mission, and a common struggle.
we long to make connections with folks who don’t know Jesus in the neighborhoods we find ourselves.
the campus neighborhood: this means engaging on campus and with what other organizations are doing. if the Japanses Anime Club on campus is doing a food drive, we want to do their food drive (as opposed to doing our own). we may not like Japanese Anime and we may not agree with the everything the Japanese Anime Club believes in, but we can agree that hungry people need food. plus, by doing their food drive, we get to build relationships with the members of the Japanese Anime Club, most of whom will never come to our CCH building.
the local neighborhood: our ministry center is located in between the campus and a local neighborhood full of young families. and we want to be good neighbors. so, we’ll shovel their snow and rake their leaves. we’ll host Parent’s Night Out. we’ll throw a block party for the kids. and we’ll go Christmas caroling.
the global neighborhood: every year we do an “h2o project,” where we give up all beverages except for water and then use the funds we would have spent on soda, coffee, and such to build clean water wells in haiti. and speaking of haiti, we have adopted an entire mountain region. we want to provide not only clean water, but education, healthcare, agriculture, irrigation, and the gospel. we’ll combine all of this with our annual spring break mission trips and other opportunities and, hopefully, express well the value of connection.