All across the country, students are returning to campus. Move-in days, orientations, and welcome weeks are in full swing. Campus minsters, staff, and student leaders are reaching out to both returning and new students through outreaches they have been planing all summer long. But what, exactly, is RUF’s philosophy of ministry?
Chris Garriot, University of Maryland’s campus minster, explains.
The bed rock of our ministry principles are proclaiming the truth of Scripture, Justification, and Sanctification.
Simply stated at RUF we seek to bring the Scriptures, God’s holy and inspired, inerrant word, into every facet of our ministry in large group preaching and teaching, small group Bible studies, and one on ones. When we are opening the Bible with students we know we are using the key powerful weapon that the Lord has given us to help students understand both God, themselves and the world. All of the Scriptures point to the Lord Jesus Christ as our only hope in life and death. Our desire and goal is to get the Scriptures in front of students and see the Lord work.
Justification is the heart of the gospel whereby we by faith know the perfect life and death of Jesus Christ has been given as a substitute for sinners. In this free grace of justification God pardons us from all of our sins and declares us righteous not on account of anything we have done but on the perfect sacrifice of the perfect Savior Jesus Christ.
Sanctification proceeds out of our justification whereby God through His Holy Spirit makes us holy and continues to progress us in holiness and this is all by faith as well. The primary vehicle for our growth in holiness is not by ourselves but in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s there that we are fed and built up and taught and enjoy fellowship and connection and growth and discipline and encouragement. I tell students RUF is for a few short years…but the church is eternal.
For college students I like to break these three principles down and show them how they answer the BIG QUESTIONS OF LIFE:
Scripture: What is truth? Where does my authority come from? Who do I listen to in life? What is ultimate in my life? Do I get my authority from myself, my family, my professors, my friends, the culture or God’s word?
Justification: How can I be right with God? What is my identity? My G.P.A.? My talents and gifts, my status or looks? Justification says we are now “in Christ” and He loves us just because we are His dearly loved children. There’s nothing that can separate us from His love. Where do I go with my guilt and shame? How can I be clean?
Sanctification: This is connected to our purpose. What am I to do with my life? Ultimately we are to glorify God and enjoy him forever. We have a great purpose to be a part of the mission of God to redeem and reconcile the world to Christ. What is God doing in me? He’s making your more and more holy. As you grow you see your sin more and more and Christ’s grace and love becomes bigger and more wonderful. Are you in community? Are you in a church because that’s the place where you will truly grow in holiness?
Please join us in praying for students as they return to campus. Pray for the minsters, staff, and student leaders as they seek to connect with students. Most of all, pray that God would continue to be glorified through the ministry of RUF!