Tag Europe

Student Leaders and Their Potential Impact on Campus

StudentLife, the organization I am working with, believes that students can be positive influencers on their campuses. They can make a difference and impact others with the good news. What follows is some points related to the importance of student leaders for campus work and why students should consider becoming one. 

First, a student leader gives hands and feet to the Great Commission. 

You may have heard that Christians should go and make disciples of all nations, Mark 16:15 comes to mind. A student leader can partly help students give hands and feet to this commission. 

Christians sometimes know what they are supposed to do but don’t know exactly how to do it. Someone who came to StudentLife in Delft a few weeks ago said exactly this, “I know I have to share the good news with others but I don’t know how to do this.” 

Student leaders facilitate the moments to go and have conversations. They also arrange training on how to lead conversations and have follow-up meetings. 

Second, a student leader learns about spiritual leadership hands-on. 

There are different reasons why someone would not become a student leader: limited time, fear of the unknown (“what am I getting into now?”) failures, weaknesses, feelings of inadequacy (“I am not good enough, or not ready”) some doubts about faith, lack of courage, and the list can go on. What would you add to this list? Here some thoughts about the above reasons. 

Time is always a challenge. But how much time does it take to be a student leader? In StudentLife not more than 2 hours per week! Yes, you have to learn about time management and also stick with these two hours. We always can do more. But we have to learn to set limits and boundaries in our lives. 

It also has to do with priorities and values. What are the things that you are doing at the moment that you could either postpone or avoid doing for the next three months, or stop doing because they don’t help you become a better person? 

Furthermore, we all can feel a sense of inadequacy: we’re not ready, we’re not good enough, or we’re not able enough. The apostle Paul felt like this many times, such as in 2 Corinthians 3:5-6. Read and reflect on these verses. And Paul was not the only one to feel like this! Jeremiah as a young man felt overwhelmed with the idea of becoming a prophet for God, read and reflect on Jeremiah 1:4-10. Write your thoughts down and pray about your feelings of inadequacy. 

Third, you will learn what it means to depend on God and trust him to do his work

God is asking us to share the good news. He also expects us to be good leaders in our lives and our service for Him. But He also gives us the strength, wisdom, love, mercy, and power to do it. 

To join a StudentLife team and go for conversations with the purpose to help others think about the big questions of life is pleasing to God. To go a step further and become a student leader and lead a movement in your campus is also pleasing to God, good for others, and good for you. You will learn what it means to press on and not give up easily because God will sustain you. He will teach you the value of prayer in your life. A student leader once said, “Going for conversations is a training school/ground to share the good news and make disciples.” A training ground! And you can facilitate, you can make it happen with God’s enablement. 

Finally, some points about what a student leader does

  • A student leader organizes once a week, or biweekly, to go out for conversations on the campus. 
  • He arranges some training for the students. StudentLife staff or student leaders are available to give the training. 
  • He gives the signal in the WhatsApp group when they go for conversations and leads the time they meet for this purpose. 
  • He always has StudentLife staff in reach to help out. He is never alone! 

Would you prayerfully consider becoming a student leader? Feel free to contact me or one of my Studentlife colleagues. 

KV brochure A4 March 2019

 

Tags,

Can Science Explain Everything?

Reflections on the conversation

Some of my thoughts about this conversation, impressions I would say. Two opposing worldviews. “Can Science explain everything? Can we answer all questions using the scientific method?” This was a very interesting conversation between John Lennox and Peter Atkins.

Is faith in God reasonable?

Both speakers appreciate the scientific method. Both hold to a different worldview. John Lennox is a Christian theist and Peter Atkins believes in atheism. During the conversation, Peter Atkins mentioned a few times that to believe in God is not rational, it is immature. In fact, he went further than this. John Lennox thinks that to believe in God is rational and explained why.

The historicity of the person of Jesus questioned

Peter Atkins at some point even questioned the historicity of the person of Jesus. After John’s response, Peter admitted that he would support the historicity of Jesus at the level of about 80%. That was an interesting moment. Something that is well established historically was seriously questioned.

The origins of the universe and the best explanation

John thought that one strength of the Christian faith is its explanatory capacity and power. Peter thought that science if we would give enough time, would finally be able to explain things that we currently don’t understand very well. The debate focused at that moment on the question of the origins of the universe. Why is there something rather than nothing? There was agreement that the universe had a beginning. John thought that the scientific discoveries in the 1960s were confirming what the Bible was saying already for thousands of years.

Purpose and hope for this life and the life beyond the grave

Both speakers had opposing views about the ultimate purpose of life and life after the grave. Peter said that there is no afterlife, there is no evidence for it. He did say though that for some people faith in God and the hope for life after death may have a therapeutic purpose, it might help some people cope with difficulties.

John thought that there are good reasons to believe in God and the afterlife. He pointed to the historical evidence of the resurrection of Jesus. Peter thought that the explanation is that people were hallucinating. John responded that this was not possible, Jesus appeared many times to the disciples after his bodily resurrection. One time he even appeared at once to 500 people! We also see that people’s lives have changed because of an encounter they had with Jesus. This is enough evidence that points to the reality of God, purpose in life now, and real hope for the afterlife.

Justice for evil done

Furthermore, without the afterlife, justice will not be done for so much evil in the world. For Peter, there is no ultimate purpose. His purpose in life is to study, know and discover the beauty and glory of the universe now. This is it. There is nothing beyond this.

More was said and all can be watched at YouTube, see the link below. It was a meaningful, deep and challenging conversation. Very instructive.

Who is John Lennox and Peter Atkins?

Here some information from the website event: “John Lennox is an Emeritus Fellow of Philosophy of Science & Pure Mathematics at Green Templeton College, and Emeritus Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Oxford. John holds that the universe itself and the human rational capacity to study it are two of the great gifts of an intelligent Creator.

Peter Atkins is a Fellow at Lincoln College, and was a Professor of Physical Chemistry, at the University of Oxford until his retirement. Peter believes science is the only route to full understanding of the origin and workings of the universe, arguing against contamination of that understanding by the superstitions of religion.”

This event was live streamed on 31st January 2019

This event was live streamed on YouTube, here is the link

Tags,

Mission Weeks on Campus

Mission Weeks on Campus 

-Why run a mission week?

You can impact your University like never before. Contact Solomon for further information in The Netherlands. Here is the definite mission planning resource student unions use to plan their mission weeks on campus. It will answer questions of ‘why’ and ‘how’ run a mission week on your campus. 

Videos that help you prepare for your upcoming mission weeks or the ones you would like to attempt in your uni watch here

FEUER conference in Prague 2014

FEUER stands for Fellowship of Evangelists in the Universities of Europe.

About 100 student workers, many of them university evangelists, gathered together in order to get inspired and equipped to proclaim the good news in the university setting. Solomon went to the FEUER conference with two other IFES staff and one trainee. The staff plan to run two mission weeks in 2015, one in Groningen and one in Zwolle. Prayer is much appreciated for the preparation of these events.

University evangelist Michael Ots had this to say about the FEUER conference 2014 in Prague

During the FEUER conference we had John Lennox give a talk on ‘Has science buried God’ at the main lecture hall of the Faculty of Arts, Charles University. More than 600 students attended this meeting. In the photo below you can see the moment when the man at the right side upstairs just made an announcement that there is no more place to enter the room. About 200 students were turned away. It was a special moment to see this happen in Prague. The general director of IFES in Prague told us that he never before saw something like this. It is obvious that many people are interested to hear more about the theistic Christian world view. You can watch the lecture here

IMG_0068

Solomon giving a talk on What about suffering: Suffering. God. Humanism at ISS in The Hague

IMG_0420

FEUER stands for Fellowship of Evangelists in the Universities of EuRope

My IFES colleague Bram van Putten was also there. It was special to be with Bram as this was my last trip for IFES before I joined Agape NL

My IFES colleague Bram van Putten was also there. It was special to be with Bram as this was my last trip for IFES before I joined Agape NL

Tags,