geezeronthequad: This Club Wants More Than Your Body
Fall on campus, the new term, brings out strange animals. The one place where we can see them all comes right off the bat at whatever they call the mass gathering of every campus organization at our place. It’s a high visibility blowout where everybody shops their group. No matter what it’s called, it translates out to “This Club Wants Your Body”. Four different things usually are at work here. One, it’s a great place to hang out and enjoy the campus atmosphere. Two, because of number one, a lot of people go there to check out the new guys/girls on campus. Three, we can pick up a lot of free stuff – notepads, pens, food and drink, cup cozies. If we score a mug, give ourselves five stars. It doesn’t really matter just so it’s free, right? And four, new students are trying to decode this new college experience while some upperclassmen may be looking to change some things up. And the new groups we attach ourselves to will help define and redefine us as persons. And just who are these people? Some are professional (Corduroy Taxidermists). Some are political (Republican Druids). Some are athletic (A Capella Ping Pong). Some are artsy (Descendants of the Monkey Gods Performing Arts Troup). Some are academic (Nerds for Cream Cheese Calculus). Some special interest (Atomic Chess Fiends). And some unexplainable (Fig Newton Line Dancing, Zen Yahtzee and, my favorite, The Zombie Quilt Guild. (I want one of their t-shirts!) Some of these are real and some I made up but we can’t tell, can we?
But I don’t want us to miss the wide variety of Christian groups on our campus. They might be more subdued than the groups listed above, maybe not, but they will be easier to figure out. In some stripe or flavor, they know Jesus Christ. And not just the Jesus living inside their head but the Guy Who claimed to be God, lived on earth and died to absorb all the penalty, punishment and scarring of our screw ups (what the Bible calls sin). He’s amazing and He would like to amaze us with what He can do in our life. And they will surround us with a network, a community, of people who are right where we are and who will love us while the whole gang of us stretches and gropes toward wholeness. And you might get a hot dog. Even as we read this, “This Club Wants Your Body” Day probably has come and gone but we still have a stack of flyers from groups that caught our eye and one of these Christian groups might be there. Even if they’re not, the Christian groups on our campus won’t go away. We’ll see their chalk on the sidewalk, more flyers on campus and dorm bulletin boards, giveaways in mailboxes, weird skits in the union or on the commons and booths at homecoming. Or maybe they’re just the people who smile and always speak as we stumble downstairs in a coma trying to navigate our way to that 8 AM class. Just who are they and why do they do that? One way to find out; they aren’t shy about where they can be found.
I say this especially to new and transfer students who already know Jesus Christ. Most campus ministry leaders know what it’s like to have a church contact them saying that one their own hits campus in the fall. Would they contact that student and invite them to their group? No campus leader I’ve known in thirty years of speaking on campuses would turn that down. A friend of mine got one of those calls, went to the dorm and knocked on the door. The student answered with one hand wrapped around a beer and the other around his new girl friend. The student leader spoke briefly, left a flyer and never saw the student in the group although more contacts were made. Later, the home pastor fired off a hot letter to the campus guy saying he’d talked to this student at Thanksgiving and the student said no one had contacted him. Strangely…some students don’t pack their faith off to college; they leave it in the drawer at home along with that Christian graduation book many don’t read. NOBODY WHO READS THIS BLOG WOULD DO THAT SO I SPEAK HYPOTHETICALLY.
If we already know and follow Jesus Christ, we will soon find out that we can’t make it alone on the college campus. As exciting as the college experience can be, it’s also tough in many ways. We need some help. In the Bible, Paul compares the church to the human body; each person is a unique and necessary part. Some prominent while others are unseen. No part can make it on its own. Body parts unattached to whole bodies go bad pretty quickly. We might be a toenail, a nose hair or one of the bones in the inner ear. Important, yes, but not by ourselves. We need to get into a campus Christian group and find a kidney! They have spleens, eyebrows, pinkie fingers…and a place for you because they need what we bring. And Jesus make it all breathe and live. Okay, they might not call themselves the Blue Cheese Rangers for Jesus but our soul will grow muscles and our lives will begin to smell like Jesus a little more. And, thankfully, not like blue cheese. Good hunting; the Lord already has our place saved and will move heaven and earth for us to find it.
If you think this might encourage a student or someone who loves them, then share, subscribe, Twitter and all that social media stuff. If you already subscribe, you might want to think about joining Geezer 1, the Facebook online clubhouse for geezeronthequad.com. It’s a mix of students, student ministry leaders, professors, administrators, artists, musicians, writers, composers, booksellers, broadcasters, theologians, business professionals, pastors, cultural thinkers and entrepreneurs as well as a few campus rats who think that Jesus Christ thinks that the university is a special place. Take a look. Just ask to join or send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the Facebook dog eats your homework, we will ask you to resubmit.
Please return your seat to the upright position and turn your infrared night vision goggles in to the attendant as you exit to the rear. See you next post at geezeronthequad.com.