Hello friends, in the past couple of weeks, I’ve posted several thoughts on youth and young adult ministries of the United Methodist Church in the Philippines. One of my posts that received attention is on campus ministry. That’s why I am posting here the model and concept paper that I have prepared over the past few months. If you want to implement this, please go ahead. Just give credit where credit is due. Thanks!
This is the Introduction of a 6-part Series.
Check out this Prezi for an overview of the model:
The campus is a ministry area that has not been intentionally entered by the United Methodist Church in the past decades. There are several campus ministries initiated by local churches, well-meaning individuals and the United Methodist Youth Fellowship in the past decade. Some of these campus ministries are still thriving, some are no longer operating, and still, a lot are struggling to survive.
But anecdotal evidences from several sectors of the church point to a growing number of youth and young adults who are leaving the UMC to flock to vibrant, emerging churches such as Victory Christian Fellowship, Christ Commission Fellowship, Doulos, and Destiny Church among others.
The United Methodist Church needs to go back to the campus, where John Wesley and his friends in the Holy Club really started from. We need to intentionally pursue a strategy to reach out to young people in the campuses.
Strengths of the UMC and Available Resources
This working paper presents a Campus Engagement model that can be implemented by the UMC in the Philippines. It rests on the following strengths of the UMC:
- The campus is a ripe harvest field where the UMC can engage young people—both those who came from the UMC and those who do not yet belong to the Christian faith.
- High School and College are important milestones in the development of young people. By engaging them where they are forming their identities and learning about themselves and the world around them.
- Although the UMYF initiated the SMACK project in 2006, Campus Ministry is the responsibility of the whole church and not just by the UMYF.
- Many young people have the passion to reach out to the members of their generation.
- The UMC needs to train FULL-TIME campus missionaries in order to penetrate the campuses. In addition to that, we may need to explore the possibility of establishing a ministry similar to “Campus Crusade for Christ” to fully engage the campus.
- Many United Methodists are supporting campus ministers working in parachurch organizations such as Campus Crusade for Christ, Navigators, and EveryNation Ministries. Therefore, if we present a compelling vision for reaching young people in the campuses, we can raise funds effectively.
- The UMC in the Philippines can partner with the Higher Education Ministries, Discipleship Ministries, UMCom and other church agencies for funding and other resource needs.