Back to School: Connect with Campus Christian Groups
If your children attend public school, campus Christian groups can be an enormous support to their faith. But don’t wait until September to get the appropriate contact information for groups at your kids’ schools! Find out which groups are active at the school or college where your student is attending and when they meet. Make contact with the leaders. It can take time to find out which groups are active on campus and the appropriate contact information. Every year, we hear stories from parents who say they waited to the last minute to connect with campus ministry leaders and had a difficultly getting timely information. Then the fall rush begins, and before they know it, their kids say they are too busy to attend. Many ministry leaders will have time to reach out during the summer months, but with the craziness of the fall, it becomes more difficult.
What we have seen again and again in our ministry is that students who are involved in campus Christian groups have a vastly higher chance of sticking with their faith. We would also add that many students need parental help in finding out information on Christian groups. Do not expect your student to be mature or motivated enough to research these organizations. Obviously, you know the dynamics of your relationship and how much you can gently prod. We know that parental pushing often backfires, but presenting information and encouragement is often needed.
Here is a list of some organizations you may want to check out in an effort to help your student find the right fit:
Child Evangelism Fellowship (Elementary School, www.cefonline.com)
Campus Crusade for Christ (now called CRU, College, www.cru.org)
American Heritage Girls (Girls Aged 5–18, www.americanheritagegirls.org)
Trail Life (Boys Aged 5–21, www.traillifeusa.com)
WyldLife (Middle School, organized by Young Life, www.younglife.org)
Young Life (High School, www.younglife.org)
Fellowship of Christian Athletes (Middle and High School, www.fca.org)
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (College, www.intervarsity.org)
There are roughly 65 million Bible-believing Christians in the United States — we can accomplish more together. Sometimes people let one bad experience with a particular person or organization along the way hinder their willingness to work with other Christians. Conflict is inevitable given our imperfect nature. We must be willing to forgive, learn, and reconcile. Keep in mind that we (and our children) will miss out if we don’t. Not only can there be great benefits for your children to connect with campus ministry groups, it can be a fulfilling ministry field for you. You may find in this season that this is just the kind of ministry you have been longing for. For example, we have had several experiences where parents and teachers have attended our seminars, heard about one of the groups listed above, and then pursued starting a group in their children’s school or the school where they teach. These ministry fields have been an enormous blessing for them. For more information on this topic, please get a hold of our book, Navigating Public Schools, and in particular check out the chapter titled, “Join the Armada.”