Students Meet Jesus Through Friends and Studying Scripture

What is Jesus really like? What did he say about…?

This generation of young people did not grow up in a Bible-reading culture, and they are looking for answers to their many questions about faith. According to the Hemorrhaging Faith report, 60 per cent of those disengaged with faith would consider studying the Bible if a friend asked them. When young people spend time studying scripture, they come to know who Jesus is and what it means to follow him with their whole lives.

Take a look at Alexis’ story. He met Jesus during a week-long intensive study of the Gospel of Mark. “You could understand him abstractly as a concept and leave it at that,” he says. “I’m lucky enough that this isn’t the turn my life took.”

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Alexis was first invited to an Inter-Varsity event by his friend, Louisa.

Take a look at J*’s story. She had many questions about faith and God, and her parents didn’t like the idea of her becoming a Christian. But with the support of her friends and time studying scripture, she decided to follow Jesus.

Read the stories of Alexis and *J , who met Jesus for the first time through studying scripture with friends.

“Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of Mark – Friends lay foundations of faith for university student” – Alexis Chicoine

“A Skeptic Meets Jesus – An International student embraces the faith she sees in her friends” – J*

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What should I do with my life?

Kingdom Calling

By Susanna Muntz, Central Field Director for Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship and the Director of Kingdom Calling

It’s like learning to play the guitar. Some people learn to play one song and memorize it, but that’s the only song they will ever play. But other people learn chords and can play many more songs; they know how to improvise with the tools they have.

From December 27 to 31 this year, students from across Canada will gather in Toronto to learn how to use their skills, aptitudes and education for the sake of God’s Kingdom.  They’ll be attending an annual conference called  Kingdom Calling designed specifically by Inter-Varsity to help third and fourth year students and recent graduates discern what God would have them do with their lives.

The goal of Kingdom Calling is to inspire students to stake their lives on the fact that God is true and to imagine what it would be like to live faithfully in radical communities. Participants will hear stories about people who make lots of money but tithe much of it to the urban poor. They’ll meet people who have moved into diverse neighbourhoods and formed cross-cultural relationships for the sake of the gospel. They’ll learn from people who have re-imagined their lives to the extent they’ve left home and family for a whole new country and culture.

Kingdom Calling instructs and guides participants in the process of discernment. The end of university or college is a critical time in students’ lives — they are making big decisions that will affect their life’s trajectory. Kingdom Calling gives them space to reflect on how they have heard from God in the past, and helps them think biblically about discerning God’s will for the future.

Participants will consider specific invitations at this conference as they spend time in conversation with people who are serving God in diverse ways in the marketplace, neighbourhoods, local church and around the world.

The conference gives space for imagining, or as I like to call it, “imagine-planning”. As participants imagine what their life might look like, they will start to think of plans to make and the community they need around them for discernment and prayer.

Inter-Varsity staff are committed to helping students learn how to hear from God. We want to help them feel confident in the skills that God has given them; to be free and creative in whatever context they find themselves after they leave university.

Inter-Varsity is committed to launching leaders who practice discernment, live fruitful lives and value life in community. It’s not so much about getting the one right answer about what to do after graduation, but about creating space to pay attention to the path of faithfulness.

It’s like learning to play the guitar. The more chords you learn, the more songs you can play.

For more information about Kingdom Calling or to register for the conference, visit http://www.ivcf.ca/KingdomCalling

Faith Comes Alive At Camp For The Young & The Young At Heart

How did your faith come alive? What was your turning point?

Life-changing events have the potential to turn a young person’s life towards or away from faith. According to the Hemorrhaging Faith report, 50% of committed Christian young adults who went to camp said their faith came alive there. When young people experience God’s love through his people and learn to love and serve others, their faith comes alive.

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Judy Kennedy (centre) with Arden Circle Square Ranch Director Dwayne Matson and his wife, Cindy, who serves as Office Administrator.

Take a look at Judy’s story. Summer camp was highly significant to Judy when she was a child. Along with growing in faith, she made lifelong friendships and developed skills that would later shape her vocation as a teacher and high school principal. 

Take a look at Joshua’s story. When people invested in him through Inter-Varsity’s camp and campus ministries, his outlook on life changed. “I wouldn’t still be a Christian today if it wasn’t for camp and campus ministry,” he says. “I would certainly say that my involvement in these places has saved my life.”

Take a look at Alanna’s story. She met a few at-risk youth when she was a cabin leader and heard God’s invitation to work with others like them. 
 
Read the stories of Judy, Joshua, and Alanna, whose life-changing experiences at camp fuel their lives of faith and service:

“Discipleship Through Community – Friends and mentors help a young leader step into risk” – Joshua Simmonds.

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Joshua Simmonds (far right) has spent many summers working as staff at Ontario Pioneer Camp.

“Finding Vocation In The Wilderness – Young camp leader discovers a love for troubled teens” – Alanna Watton. 

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Alanna Watton began to discover her vocation at Alberta Pioneer Camp.