Is your ministry hoping to reach new communities and populations? Are you praying for opportunities to make strategic Kingdom impact?
God is doing some amazing things in and through Native college students and by taking time to do one simple thing, you can potentially open a door for new waves of ministry opportunities with a community that is often unreached and underserved.
Simple Act → Kingdom Impact
Just a few weeks ago, I called the Native American center at the University of Colorado-Denver to find out how many Native students were on that campus.
Finding a community where Native students can belong, where their culture is affirmed and where they can experience the beauty of following Jesus will not only transform the lives of the Native students on your campus, it will transform their communities.
In the course of our conversation I asked if she happened to know any Native students who were also Christian and mentioned that there was this conference for Native Christians coming up. She responded that there was a student working in her center right then who would be very interested in talking to me!
She then put me on the phone with the student, Alicia, who told me that she had been baptized last summer and was looking for a Christian community. I was able to connect her with a campus staff worker and just hours later she attended the InterVarsity large group on her campus.
All this happened just because I had an excuse to have a conversation and took an opportunity to ask a question! The simple act of a phone call helped connect a new native believer to a Christian community!
The upcoming Would Jesus Eat Frybred? Conference (WJEF) creates a unique opportunity for you to meet and build relationships with the Native students on your campus, and can be unlocked for you and your ministry with just one simple act (I’ll tell you what it is in just a moment.)
Why Native Students?The Kingdom Need and Opportunity
There may not be many Native students on your campus and there may be some challenges to finding them, but they are there and it is unlikely that there is another campus ministry that is reaching out to them. Chances are they are painfully homesick, bewildered with culture shock and overwhelmed by school. They are looking for a place to belong.
But also, just by the fact that they made it to college, they are exactly the kind of student we are looking for—future world changers. If they can stay in school and finish their degree, they will become leaders in their families and their communities. They can bring ingenuity, resources, and vision back to their reservations. If they fall in love with Jesus, they can also bring back His hope in the heart language of their people.
Finding a community where they can belong, where their culture is affirmed and where they can experience all the beauty of following Jesus will not only transform the lives of the Native students on your campus, it will transform their communities.
The One Simple Thing You Can Do
So here it is, the one thing you can do to reach the Native students on your campus:
Find the Native student center or multi-ethnic student center on your campus and ask if you can hang up a WJEF poster and leave some flyers.
That’s it. This one simple act can open the door for many other ministry opportunities:
- Use this excuse to drop by as an opportunity to learn more about the Native community on your campus.
- Bring a few other leaders and potential leaders with you and debrief afterwards
- Take time to pray for the staff and students you meet at the Native student center.
- You might also ask about what events are happening in that community. Maybe there is a shared meal you could join. Maybe they host a powwow and your fellowship could offer to do the clean up—one of the most needed, least desirable jobs at a powwow. Maybe there is a movie series where you can learn more about Native culture.
As you take this step of faith, put yourself in a place to be a learner, to serve and to build trust. You can download free high resolution versions of the WJEF flyers and poster here.
Will You Make Yourself Available?
Brennan Takayama, who works with Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students in Hilo, Hawaii, recently shared, "God wants to do something new and exciting among Native students! He does the work, and I just have to make myself available."
Again and again I have seen this prove true. When students and staff turn their hearts toward Native students, God brings Native students into their lives.
Maybe God will start something new on your campus . . . and in your heart.
For too long Native communities have been devastated and ignored—Will you be part of bringing hope, healing and restoration to those communities?