A little history...
About 8 years ago, when I was a full-time youth pastor at Creekside EV Free Church in Merced, CA, Bob Niemond and his wife Laura moved to Merced to start a college ministry at Merced College and UC Merced. They came to our church to do a presentation about their ministry, hoping to find some other like-minded people to join them. It turns out that Janelle and I were what they were looking for. Within a few weeks we were having them over to our home regularly for dinner and what I later learned was 'discipleship.' Bob discipled me. He loved me well. He taught me how to multiply my life into others by discipling them. Discipleship, I learned, is all about love and truth. It is loving someone, connecting them to God's Word, and then equipping them to do the same for others. Discipleship necessarily includes equipping others to do the same.
Discipleship is what Jesus did for the twelve. He loved them. He taught them. He did life with them. He equipped them. He did ministry with them. And then he sent them to go and do the same for others.
My college years at UC Santa Barbara were a time of significant spiritual growth. I read the New Testament for the first time on my own. My heart was afresh with passion for Jesus. It was during my college years that I turned my life over to Jesus (a number of times) saying, "Lord, I'll obey you and follow you with my life... wherever it may lead."
I recognize, then, that college years are extremely important for most young people. They are at a time in their lives when they are making key life decisions. They are choosing whom (and if) to marry; they are choosing their career; and they are often choosing the type of lifestyle they are going to live for the rest of their lives.
Historically, most spiritual renewal and missions movements can be traced back to college or college-aged students.
What can I, Steve York, do to most fruitfully fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations? How can I reach the 2.6 billion unreached (those who have no access to the Gospel) of the world? My answer: To multiply disciples on college campuses.
As I ministered with Bob and Laura and some other good friends on campus at Merced College and UC Merced, I began to see that Jesus was on to something when he told us to make disciples. Jesus could have done a whole lot of different things with his time on earth. But he chose to devote a significant amount of his energy and time in 12 men. I have learned and experienced that this is the wisest approach to living my life if I want to make an impact for the Gospel on my world.
Bod taught me how to make disciples on college campuses. It is so simple.
As I discipled college students and saw them effectively discipling others themselves, I started to realize: THIS is abundant life! And those I discipled realized the same thing as they experienced God using them to share the Gospel and disciple others. I saw so much wonderful fruit that I started to think, "Why isn't everyone doing this?!"
And I came to realize that so many aren't doing it simply because they don't know how. It occurred to me that there are numerous college campuses where there are students longing for the abundant life of knowing Jesus and living for him (by making disciples), but they just don't know how. And there is nobody discipling them and teaching them how to make disciples.
"Campus Crusade for Christ staff have told students seeking ministry training and help on their campuses that we don't have the ability to do it - we just don't have the people."
- Roger Hershey
There are so many college campuses (especially community colleges) where there is simply nobody reaching these students. Nobody is sharing the Gospel on campus. Believing students are not being discipled and equipped to make disciples. And there are even churches nearby (even next door!) that WANT to reach the campus with the Gospel, but they just don't know how.
Over a period of a few years, the Lord made it crystal clear to me that my life calling is to show them how. My life calling is to make disciples who make disciples. My life calling is to equip churches and believers to make disciples on college campuses.
My life calling is to fulfill the Great Commission by multiplying disciples on college campuses.
Thank you for your partnership with us in this fruitful work! We could not do it without folks like you.
The purpose of this All Nations Blog is to give regular updates so that people like you can know how to pray for us and for this ministry that the Lord has called us to.
May God bless you!
The Yorks are passionate about bringing the Gospel to the nations - especially the unreached of the world (those who have no access to the Gospel). They are convinced that the greatest impact they can have in reaching the unreached is by multiplying disciples on college campuses and equipping churches to be missional disciple-makers.