Imagine you’re a university student and have spent most of your day watching online lectures. Chances are, you aren’t going to want to turn on your screen to watch a bible talk during your possible screen-free lunch time!
That’s exactly what happened when the EU’s Public Meetings (in-person weekly bible talks) had to shift to an online format as COVID-19 restrictions hit Sydney University. This new and impersonal online format for Public Meetings led to a drastic drop in student attendance from Week 4 of semester, as, can be seen from the graph. But thanks be to God who gave wisdom and inspiration to the executive student team, who innovatively thought of incorporating Public Meetings with smaller and more personal faculty gatherings. The result was an attendance that mirrored pre-COVID19 time
To flood God’s church with Christians who are innovative ministry strategists is part of the EU Graduates Fund’s vision. More than ever this season of COVID-19 has highlighted the need and importance of being innovative in ministry. Although COVID-19 has required creative ways of doing gospel ministry, the gospel itself remains the same. The ministry of the Apostle Paul exemplifies innovative ministry that does not adapt the gospel message. In 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 Paul recounts how he has flexed his freedoms to “become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some”, doing this all “for the sake of the gospel”.
It is the gospel that is the driving force of innovation amongst EU students. Amidst not being able to do walk-up evangelism the Evangelism Team didn’t stop. Instead they were encouraged to develop their current relationships with non-Christian friends and family and to gather every week to pray for them and brainstorm new ways to share the gospel. We observed a similar trend during the EU’s online Annual Conference where many students invited their non-Christian friends and family to come to the conference and watch the main session bible talks with them. And so, against all expectation, not only did the registration numbers of both Christian and non-Christian students surpass the ones from previous years, but also there were many more that heard God’s word preached that we may never know about.
It has been a great encouragement to see students grow in ability to re-think what they do, by re-focusing on the gospel. It is our prayer that through these innovative ministry strategies, more and more people may come to the knowledge of Christ.
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