December 2018 / January 2019 - Vol. 101

Reach, Call,
                  Form, Send
Reach, Call, Form, and Send!
 building communities that awaken faith on campus and form life-long disciples of Jesus Christ

University Christian Outreach (UCO) and Saint Paul’s Outreach (SPO) have been working to evangelize university students for decades. Several years ago, SPO developed a process that clarifies the approach they had been taking to student evangelization. More recently, UCO has adopted this same process. Having a unified process has helped UCO and SPO to more successfully carry out their mission of building communities that awaken faith on campus and form life-long disciples of Jesus Christ. At the North American Men’s Leadership Conference held in Tempe, Arizona, this past April, Peter DeMarais of SPO (on the left) and Andrew Davignon of UCO (on the right) made a brief presentation on this unified process of reach, call, form, and send. Below is a synopsis of that presentation.

Andrew, Reach:

 I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.
(1 Corinthians 9:22)

Every college student is looking for relationships—believers and nonbelievers alike are looking for friends. We work to reach out to college students and build friendships with them, using those friendship to draw them to Christ. That bridge of friendship takes many forms, but it must be strong enough to bear the weight of truth. Our hope is that every member of SPO and UCO will be a missionary evangelist, building relationship and inviting people into evangelistic environments with a goal of bringing them to Jesus Christ.

Peter, Call:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. (Romans 1:16)

Once a relationship is established (a bank account of trust), we want to proclaim the Gospel. Sometimes this happens in one-on-one conversation, where a member invites their friend into a deeper relationship with the Lord, giving witness to God’s work in his or her life. Often this happens in small groups and Bible studies hosted by SPO and UCO members. The Bible studies walk a student through a set of conversations where we can bring them to the point of decision. Students also hear the call at evangelistic prayer meetings sponsored by the SPO or UCO Chapter. The call is most clearly communicated at the Fan into Flame Retreat (a weekend version of the Life in the Spirit Seminar) where, through the power of the Holy Spirit, students declare Jesus Christ as Lord of their life.

Andrew, Form:

I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (Ephesians 4:1)

Our formation is laser-focused on Jesus Christ. The purpose of formation is to train students to follow Jesus Christ and to live for Him throughout their lives as mature disciples. Formation happens in a community environment. It is a holistic pastoral process that consists of several elements: the formation courses, a small group that meets at least twice a month, a formation mentor, and, often, living in a Christian household. We see mission as essential to formation, so part of learning to be a disciple means learning to be on mission.

Peter, Send:

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. (Luke 10:2 )

Consistent through the whole formation process is an outward focus— a sending of lifelong missionary disciples into the work of evangelization. Our work is incomplete if we give students an amazing experience of discipleship and mission in college, but it doesn’t lead to lifelong missionary discipleship. We recruit members of SPO and UCO to participate in a mission year in one of our chapters. We work towards the goal that our members will connect to and build communities of missionary disciples throughout their lives.

Having this process clearly defined has transformed the ability to do mission on campus. It has helped us to refine and make clear what God has called us to be and to do on campuses throughout the region.

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