What's Your Village?

Do you ever look at the campus and think to yourself, what would it take for every student on campus to get a chance to meet Jesus? 

At the University of Minnesota Duluth, we wanted to reach the whole campus, but there were only 48 of us in our InterVarsity chapter and the campus has 11,000 students.  Doing some quick math told us that each of us had to talk to 229 students. Wow.

In 2013, Doug, a national leader in InterVarsity, invited us to test out a new strategy for growing our chapter. He challenged us to invite anyone and everyone to be an apprentice which meant they would begin to learn about leadership in our chapter. He said they had to like Jesus and have a desire to grow in their leadership. In total, 33 people said yes to apprenticeship. Two of them weren’t even Christians.  One of them decided to follow Jesus during his apprenticeship.

At the first apprentice meeting we studied John 4. In the story, a woman meets Jesus and when she realizes who he is, she runs back to her village and invites them to come and see. We invited the students to make a list of the villages they lived in. A couple students lived in the theater department, another in the engineering department, another in the rock climbing club and still another thought about his dorm floor. Then they made a list of the people in those villages. Finally, we challenged them to pray for them and to invite the people in their village to come and see Jesus.

We went from 6 small groups to 17 small groups. Suddenly we had 89 students hanging around our InterVarsity chapter and we were beginning to see how we could reach the whole campus. By inviting everyone we knew to become an apprentice, inviting them to identify their village and empowering them to lead their friends to Jesus, we had a formula for reaching the whole campus. 

Our little group of 48 students who took the challenge has multiplied into 187 students. Today, not only do we have a vision for reaching the whole campus, we also have a strategy that has helped us get closer every semester since.

This kind of growth doesn’t have to be unique to our chapter. You can do this same kind of thing in your own village. What village are you part of that needs to see Jesus? Take time today to pray for your village and ask Jesus to show you how you can invite them to see him. 

Find out more about InterVarsity's work at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

About the Author
Area Director

Brian is a graduate of North Dakota State University with a degree in computer science. While in college, he was involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Upon graduation, he spent a year interning with InterVarsity in Bemidji, MN where he met his wife, Sandi.  He worked two years as campus staff for the InterVarsity chapter at the University of Minnesota Duluth before getting married in 2005 and moving back to Bemidji to work once again with the InterVarsity chapter at Bemidji State. In 2008, Brian became the Area Director for Northern Minnesota where he recruits and empowers staff to work with the students on colleges and universities all over the area. Brian and Sandi have two children and are avid baseball fans. Brian also enjoys programming, photography, and running.