Archive for April, 2013

The evangelization of the natioThe movement is coming to University of Florida once again! ns in our generation is dependent on the campus ministries. That may seem like a bold statement at first glance but tomorrow’s future leaders reside on college campuses. At one time there was a revolution on campuses around the nation to preach Christ all around the world. In the sixties and the seventies men and women stood behind a cause and truth was clear. This revolution began in Gainsville at the University of Florida! Many of our former fellowship’s top leaders were converted at UF including our own Kip McKean. Today truth has become subjective and many students are confused on what their purpose for living is. A kind of depression has swept the nation with the failures in the economy, failures in their heroes, and failures in their own families. Many are graduating finding that their degree barely gets them the life they dreamed. School shootings are at an all-time high. Atheism is on the rise, homosexuality is now normal, and the Bible is at best good fictional literature at worse a tool for “fundamental conservatives” to control people. The “Christian” groups on campus are predominately filled with students who grew up in their respective denominations. Statistics show that in the upcoming years these groups will cease to exist. False doctrine is common place in most “Christian” clubs on campus. There are pagan, gay, and occult clubs on campus yet starting a Christian club becomes very challenging. Many have become discouraged and felt that the college scene is no longer open to the gospel. Even amongst true disciples of Jesus there is a general feeling that we will convert students but it will be minimal at best. My proposal in this book is that this is simply just not true and that in fact students are more open to the gospel then they have ever been, in fact they are desperately crying out for it.

It is time for us to change our perspective on the current trends on our campuses. Acceptance and tolerance need to become positive words for us as disciples because they will now be more accepting of the truth! The perversion we see on our campuses is a cry out for love that only God can fill since God is love. Atheism needs to be seen through the eyes of love as people who have been deeply wounded by religion. God initiates a revolution dependent on his people’s faith. Satan has painted an illusion that today’s generation isn’t as open to the message as previous generations. This illusion has caused us to not have as much faith as our “fathers in the faith” had and the result “…According to your faith let it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29b). Less souls are saved because of our faith. What if we could change our perspective to see the hunger and thirst for God that is being shown in ways that repel us? To look with eyes of love as Jesus did the prostitutes and tax collectors. To see not the illusion, not the shadows, or the types, but the reality.

These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Colossians 2:17

In the Old Testament truth was only seen in its shadows. If I look at someone’s shadow I can kind of make out the figure and take guesses at who it may be but only upon seeing the person will I know who they are. The apostle Paul teaches the church in Colossae that it had been focused on making judgments off of festivals, regulations of the Old Testament law, what they ate etc. He had to remind them that these were just shadows but reality is found in Christ. Through the lens of Christ, the truth, we can now see the real meaning behind the Old Testament rites. It is time for us to stop looking at the shadows we see as un-openness on campus and to look at them through Christ who is reality. Jesus is the word (John 1:14) and only his word is truth (John 17:17). Students today are looking to the shadows of drugs, sex, the occult, philosophy, family, and so much more to fill the ache of their soul but only in Christ Jesus comes true life and life to the full (John 10:10). Jesus came into a time very similar to the one we face today. The Roman Empire was very diverse carrying with it the old Greek superstitions ideas with a new interest in philosophy and a cry for religion that left them empty (Acts 17). Jewish religion of the time of Jesus was dead and divided. Reality came crashing into this environment causing a radical revolution. Jesus saw through the shadows and preached the truth.

T.E. Lawrence has a quote that says, All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” Jesus was a dangerous dreamer because he dreamed of a world that would be evangelized. His dream changed the hearts of men. Jesus was dangerous because he put his dream into the hearts of 12 others, who put their hearts into 72 others, who put their dream into the hearts of 120 others who put that dream into the world (Colossians 1:23). Church, are we passionate about bringing reality to the world in our generation? Then we will be equally passionate about campus ministry. How much time have you devoted in your congregation to building the campus ministry? Do you have the dream of Jesus? The “Reality” mind-set is radical, because Christ was radical!

The campus ministry is the center stage for the world’s future politicians, CEO’s, doctors, professors, and the window of opportunity to change the world is on campus. On the college campus in many cases is the most internationally diverse setting. Working as a campus minister at Arizona State University, one of the nation’s largest four-year universities boasting in over 60,000 students, I realized you could literally evangelize the planet from that one college campus! UCF where I currently minister is right up there with ASU. Most incoming students are trying to figure out how they will make their mark in this world and there is no other way to make true impact except through Jesus Christ! It is for these reasons that campus ministry is vital to reaching the world.

This mission team to Gainsville is for those who want to stand in the gap to see world-wide impact come from this college-town once again! In Ezekiel 22 the prophet is charged to deal with the sin of his day. Jerusalem was guilty of bloodshed and the priests did violence to God’s law not distinguishing between the holy and the common (Ezekiel 22:26). The world’s hands are stained with the blood of Jesus for his murder by their sins (Isaiah 59:1-3). The prophet Ezekiel says:

“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.” Ezekiel 22:30-31

Brother or sister, will you stand in the gap for our college campuses? God’s wrath has been pronounced against the godlessness of this generation’s youth. It is time to get on our knees and pray global, earth shaking, revolutionary prayers! To take on God’s very own heart to destroy the illusions and shadows students have fallen for and passionately bring the truth of God’s word to our colleges. Transformation is about to take place. We won’t just convert a couple of people here or there but thousands upon thousands! The way people talk on campus will be transformed, the way people dress on campus will be transformed, the way people treat each other will be transformed as reality meets a hungry and thirsty generation of souls who will build God’s mighty army! What are you waiting for, let’s stand in the gap! Please pray about coming on this church planting that will provide tons of leaders for our movement around the world.

In Christ,

Mike Patterson

PS: Please consider donating to my wife and I as we currently are facing some needs to get ready for this mission to Gainsville, then on to Kingston Jamaica!