Why reach college students?

by Jonathan Yarboro, BSCNC Collegiate Partnerships

In the video above, see Jeremy Dager of Mercy Hill Church explain how churches can capitalize on the potential of college students, bringing unmatched passion and potential.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

There are many reasons why churches don’t do collegiate ministry. Sometimes they feel like they can’t because they don’t have any college students at their church. Sometimes they feel like the return is not worth the investment of time or money. Sometimes they assume someone else is already doing it. All of these reasons beg the question, “Why should a church focus on reaching college students with the gospel?”

The answer, in my opinion, eclipses all the reasons not to.

Quite simply, we need to take the gospel to college students because the lostness on college campuses is vast. Our research reveals that on a campus of 6,000 students, approximately 5,400 don’t know Jesus. Haywood Community College (Asheville), Elon University (Burlington) and Fayetteville State University are all examples of campuses of this size. Just to put that into perspective, the population of many of North Carolina's most historic small towns like Edenton or Whiteville could fit on these campuses.

Vance-Granville Community College is positioned along the North Carolina-Virginia border with 4,300 students. These students are deciding who they are going to be, what career path they are going to take and how they are going to live their lives. They are open to spiritual conversations. According to research, there will never be another time in their lives when they are as receptive to the gospel.

So, what’s the problem?

No one is taking the gospel to them. While we offer excuses – some of them mentioned above – these students close this chapter of their lives when they are most spiritually open-minded and move one step closer to eternity separated from God.

As followers of Jesus who are charged with carrying out the Great Commission, we can’t continue to be OK with this. Churches need to take the gospel to college campuses because if they don’t, no one else will.

The size of the campus should not matter. How well-known a campus is should not matter. The age of the students should not matter. The programs of study offered or degrees sought should not matter. Why? Because it’s not about the school. It’s about every student having the opportunity to hear about Jesus. Every single one of those students matter to Jesus, and they should matter to us.

Maybe you’re not close to Vance-Granville Community College. That’s fine. There are about 99 other campuses in North Carolina with no one taking the gospel to them. We know it can be a daunting task, and that’s why the Collegiate Partnerships Team stands ready to help you. Visit our website at nocampusleft.org or contact us at (919) 459-5574 today about the campus nearest you. We can help you get started. Let’s impact lostness through disciple-making together.

Jonathan Yarboro serves as the team leader for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina's Collegiate Partnerships Team. If you would like to learn more about reaching college students in your area, register to attend our Reaching College Students Workshop today!