We are the Church going to the campus with the message of Jesus Christ. As a ministry of the Presbyterian Church in America, RUF holds to the convictions of historic Christianity which motivate our hearts for God and love for the university. These convictions include the need for new life in Christ, the authority of the Scriptures, and the mission of the Church to reach and equip all people with the message of the gospel.
– RUF Mission Statement
This past week I had the honor and privilege of attending the Florida Statewide RUF meeting in Orlando, Florida. The opportunity to hear testimonies by our campus ministers concerning the work of the gospel was both encouraging and inspiring. One pastor after another shared stories of God’s grace and provision, ministry challenges and triumphs, and faithful family support. I was so glad to spend the day with these men and pray for them as they serve our university campuses.
I really believe that RUF has its sights set on the most unnoticed mission field: the university campus. Needless to say, our RUF pastors and interns need our support if they are to continue the good work God has given them.
RUF pastors are really local missionaries. Their mission to reach college students with the gospel must be supported by consistent prayer in our churches. Pastors should regularly lead their congregations in prayer for RUF. Some churches utilize teams that pray for the needs in a church. Perhaps including our RUF pastors on these prayer lists would be a good thing. And pray not only for our pastors, but also for their families, interns, the students under their care, and those students who have yet to connect. Pray for college administration and faculty that is supportive of such ministry.
2. Financial support.
Just like overseas missionaries, RUF pastors must raise financial support. They are supported, in part, by their Presbytery, but that’s a small fraction of what is required. Typically, the largest percentage of financial support comes from individual donors. Churches, particularly those in the PCA, should have a vested interest in RUF. In fact, I think every PCA church should extend some financial assistance above and beyond what the Presbytery grants.
3. Relationship with the local church.
RUF pastors are ordained teaching elders who have been examined and approved by their Presbytery to preach in our churches. Inviting an RUF pastor to provide a testimony is great, but inviting them to preach is even better. A thirty minute sermon provides far more opportunity to share what God is doing than a five minute testimony.
Likewise, many RUF pastors provide weekly lunches or dinners for their students. Churches can foster relationship by providing (and serving) these meals. Students love to see the local church take genuine interest in them.
It is also vital that the church youth pastor and RUF campus minister develop a relationship. This would ease transition for a graduating high school senior into RUF life.
4. RUF growth.
As great as it is to see RUF’s ministry on university campuses in Florida, some campuses remain untouched. There is a need to increase RUF throughout the country. Please pray that God would provide the means for RUF to further grow throughout the United States, and perhaps even to college campuses abroad. I guess in some respects I’m praying for an RUF movement in our midst.