Names have been altered due to sensitivities.
“I believe the college campus is the most strategic mission field in the world,” says Brandon, who works in campus ministry at a major American university. “The campus is where presidents, entrepreneurs, leaders of industry, inventions, relationships, and movements begin.”
Brandon shares DNA’s mission to change not only hearts, but minds and cultures. He first heard DNA messages through a training by Darrow Miller. He was deeply impacted, which led him to take the full Coram Deo course.
Brandon sees the campus as a “micro-nation” hungry for change. He and his colleagues desire to see God’s kingdom expand on campus and to see His image bearers embrace all He has for them. They approach discipleship from a practical and relational standpoint.
Brandon started by listening–listening to God, to the students, to administrators, and to professionals looking to hire college graduates. He discerned the assets and the needs of this “micro-nation” and sought to meet them in tangible ways.
Rather than establishing a traditional campus ministry, Brandon and his colleagues reflected on something the university told them: that ultimately the school was failing at producing hirable graduates. After praying about how to address this, and identifying the skills and qualities graduates need to be successful in their careers, the team landed on three needs: leadership/influence, communication, and relationships. They began offering classes and resources in these topics, realizing these qualities also are helpful for spreading ideas like the gospel.
They also look to serve the many international students on campus. One way is to give each one a welcome basket. The baskets contain useful items, as well as recorded music produced by a friend. The songs are not overtly Christian, but they spread the message of the Kingdom. “I know of students who have given their lives to Christ because of this music,” says Brandon.
Of course not every student is ready to accept this message. Some want to find out more, some reject it altogether, and some believe that God’s message is applicable only to matters of the heart and irrelevant to most of life. That is why the quality of the music is so important.
“You sow the kingdom and give it a good foot-stomping tune, it is going to spread,” Brandon says. “You make it so easily accessible and catchable that everyone can do it. A good musical beat makes even the most rigid and uncoordinated people tap their feet. So, too, the message of the kingdom is something the receiver can jive with if it’s delivered in a way that best fits him or her. The fruit of that actually changes things for the better. We are seeing that here.”
“People coming to our classes are usually not Christians,” Brandon says. “But they want to be after they build relationships and realize that Christ has a comprehensive and “good” plan that includes every person, every profession, and the resources to spread His glory as the water covers the sea. The students they reach are learning how to conform the world around them into the world within them, to Christ and His Kingdom.”
He and his colleagues have given away four hundred bags of personal items and six hundred Bibles. Brandon has seen students light up when they receive their Bible. Young men and women who have never had a chance to read God’s word now have their own Bible.
Brandon sees his ministry as an extension of what DNA is doing.
“God has a plan for each element of every culture and what we are doing is the result of much impartation from DNA,” Brandon says. “It is discipling the culture, not just hearts.”
The work is hard, but they see some evidence the culture on campus is changing. Ministries formerly banned by the university from the campus because of their Christian message have been invited back. “We are seeing God work mightily throughout campus,” Brandon says. Instead of being influenced by the world, student leaders are influencing the world around them. God is truly moving.
Please pray for the students and professors you know on college campuses that God’s kingdom would come to and through them.