Reaching the Secular University

Recently I’ve been wondering how seriously evangelical churches have been over the past generation in reaching the secular universities in the United States and the Western world in general. My concern is less about the parachurch organizations such as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Campus Crusade for Christ, but rather with evangelical churches, denominations and church leaders. I’m wondering if there has been a people blindness to the secular universities among some. Here are some questions that I would put to denominational leaders and pastors:

  • How many evangelical churches make the secular universities around them a regular focus in prayer?
  • How many evangelical churches seek to include secular universities as a focus in a church evangelistic program?
  • How many denominational leaders see cities, towns and regions with a secular university in their midst as a strategic place to plant new churches with a substantial emphasis on outreach to the university?
  • How many denominational leaders see the need for church redevelopment in small, ingrown churches which are in proximity to a secular university to include a substantial emphasis on outreach to the university?
  • How many evangelical churches, when seeking a location for new facilities, consider moving their facilities closer to a secular university as giving greater opportunities for ministry and outreach to the university community?
  • How many denominational leaders and pastors see a possibility for satellite churches and campuses adjacent to a secular university to provide outreach and ministry to the university?
  • How many evangelical churches treat the ‘college and career’ group as a simply another post high school youth group with pretty much the same format and curriculum?
  • How many evangelical churches in close proximity to a secular university see that something is missing if their congregation is primarily families who have no relation to the university?
  • How many evangelical churches in close proximity to a secular university have a staff member with a primary mission as leading outreach and ministry to the secular university?
  • How many pastors of evangelical churches in close proximity to a secular university know the leaders of the parachurch ministries such as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Campus Crusade for Christ, encourage them to attend and to be involved in local churches on Sundays, develop relationships with them, seek to minister to them, include them in the church fellowship and treat them as brothers and sisters to show love and support in prayer?
  • How many evangelical churches in close proximity to a secular university see outreach and ministry to the faculty and staff of the university as important as ministry to the students?
  • How many evangelical churches in close proximity to a secular university seek to sponsor and promote special outreach events with speakers on apologetics and relational issues and quality Christian artists include the secular university in their focus and promotion?

I’m certain that there are many churches, pastors and leaders who can point to efforts that they have made on outreach to the people in the secular university who are their close neighbors. Nevertheless, I do wonder if many pastors, leaders and churches have a significant blind spot in their vision for ministry and outreach if they do not see the secular university which is nearby.

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