LifeWay Students is honored to offer several options of transformational experiences for students. Fuge has traditionally been our solid and stable student ministry camp experience. We recently acquired Student Life and are very excited that they have joined the LifeWay family. While both Fuge and Student Life experiences are rooted in Scripture and designed to point students to Christ, they each have unique strengths, and we desire for them to remain distinct.
One difference, for example, is in the programming. While every camp offers students daily experiences in the Word with specific afternoon learning tracks and daily, focused Bible studies, there is an intentional difference. With Fuge, trained summer staff mentor students during their camp week, while Student Life encourages adult volunteers from each local church to pour into the lives of their own students..
To help students engage in missions, we have several experiences that are also distinct from one another. MFuge and Student Life provide opportunities for students to engage in entry-level mission projects within a camp atmosphere. Essentially the afternoons are spent in local mission projects such as children’s ministry through backyard Bible clubs, community ministry through recreation and sports, and service ministry through painting and yard work. World Changers has been a unique experience, designed to be more robust for students.
World Changers exists to put students on the front line of missions and challenge them with experiences and work that will take them out of their comfort zone. It will continue to be different in 2013 but with a new emphasis.
World Changers is focusing on “changing the world by changing the city.”
This phrase, “Change the city, change the world,” is much deeper than a new slogan. It is a strategy that we believe is close to the heart of God. We want to leverage more energy and resources on cities for at least two reasons:
Cities welcome cultures.
Cities are cultural epicenters where you are surrounded with the creativity of God’s crowning work of creation–humanity. Cities are as diverse as they are dense. As the Beastie Boys once rhymed in their song “Open Letter to NYC”:
Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten
From the Battery to the top of Manhattan
Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin
Black, White, New York you make it happen
Ministry in cities shines a spotlight on God’s intent to rescue people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. Galatians 3:8-9 teaches that the gospel was preached in advance to Abraham when he was told that all nations would be blessed through him. The gospel was preached to Abraham because God was foretelling that people from all nations would freely receive the righteousness of God, just as Abraham did. The full intent of the gospel is that people from every people group will be reconciled to God because of Jesus. In essence, cities are a dim shadow of eternity. We see in John’s vision of heaven that men purchased with the blood of Christ will be gathered from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation (Rev. 5:9).
Ministry in cities helps students embrace a clearer picture of the beautiful diversity of heaven. The nations of the world are coming to our cities, and this gives us an incredible opportunity to help students love the people groups they will enjoy being in heaven with for all eternity. The nations are coming to our cities, and we don’t believe this is by accident. God has a purpose.
A city mission strategy provides students with an opportunity to minister to people from different cultures and backgrounds. Developing students who have a heart for the nations must be important to student ministries. We believe that one of the best ways to aid students in that process is to expose them to culturally and socioeconomically diverse ministry opportunities. It is through challenging ministry opportunities like this that God begins to shape the heart of a student for a life of living on mission.
Cities form culture.
We live in a time when culture is increasingly reflective of man’s depravity. The youth of our country have an incredible opportunity to meet that culture with the transformative message of the gospel. Our cities are the breeding grounds of culture, and we envision culture being formed as the lives of people in a city are formed on the finished work of Jesus. It is a bold vision, and we long to help students play a small part in what God is doing in cities.
Are we saying that God does not value rural areas or the suburbs? Are we saying that those people are less important? Of course not! We are saying that even those of us who live outside of cities should love cities, just as those of us who don’t live among unreached people groups should be passionate for their salvation. The apostle Paul first went to cities because he knew that a focus on the city was a wise evangelistic strategy. He knew that cities impact the neighboring areas. He knew their influence was great.
With World Changers, we want to be part of what God is doing in cities. We want to be on the front lines engaging cities with the life-changing, culture-changing, world-changing power of the gospel. Students will be able to serve in strategic cities through construction, social needs ministry, and service projects. The exact work will vary between cities as we partner with local churches and church plants to discover and meet the individual needs of each city context. When a student ministry is involved with World Changers we want them to work hard, experience missions connected to a local church, and engage with the needs and culture of that specific city. We believe that God will use this to shape a student’s heart to take the Gospel to the nations, to the city, and to your city. Registration is trending well ahead of last year, so if you serve students and want to expose them to ministry in a city, click here for more information.