It’s been 12 years since I first stepped foot on campus at Wilfrid Laurier University as a first year student. I remember it like it was yesterday…a new city, a new campus, new people, and in many ways a new way of life. As a Christian, one of the first things I looked for in my first semester of university was a church like Trinity Bible Chapel. I looked for a church with verse-by-verse preaching straight out of the Bible that had a passion for making disciples and a desire to reach university students like myself. Unfortunately, in my first year of university, Trinity Bible Chapel did not exist. Fast forward to my third year at Laurier, I heard that a church had launched in this area that prioritized verse-by-verse preaching and had a strong desire to live out the Great Commission and reach students. This was 2009. About a year later in April 2010, when my roommate got his first car, we decided to drive together to this new church to check it out. I still vividly remember my first Sunday at church. I was greeted by warm, friendly people. My soul was moved by the time of worship. And then Pastor Jacob got up and began to unapologetically preach God’s Word with boldness and power. Several minutes into the sermon I knew that I had found my new church home. And I’ve been a part of this church ever since.
My prayer for you is that you too would likewise find a home here at Trinity Bible Chapel. And so for the rest of this post I want to (1) share with you why we as a church invest in the lives of university students and then (2) I want to share with you why you should consider investing in the life of our church.
3 reasons why we invest in the lives of students
1) As we invest in students, we can shape the minds of tomorrow’s leaders.
University and College students are the leaders of tomorrow. Many of them will become parents, lawyers, doctors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, engineers, politicians, business leaders, trades workers, and some will go in to full-time ministry. Thus, we firmly believe that as we pour in to students, as we teach them God’s Word, and as we seek to give them a robust biblical worldview, we in turn can have a ripple effect for the gospel throughout our nation as they go on to influence others in law, business, healthcare, education, tech, ministry, and in the home. By investing in university students, we have a unique opportunity to shape the minds of tomorrow’s leaders for the sake of the gospel.
2) As we invest in students, we can grow our church in depth and breadth.
Our ministry to the university students has been one of the most significant sources of growth for our church. Time and time again we have seen students get involved in our church as students and then decide to settle in the area once they graduate because they want to continue to be a part of the church community. We have small group leaders and youth leaders and even church staff that at one time attended our church as students. More importantly, not only does our ministry to students lead to growth in numbers, it also helps our church grow spiritually. Students have a lot to offer the church. They bring different perspectives, have unique abilities, and play a part in the sharpening of others. Every small group leader I’ve talked to that has had students in their small group is always so thankful for their students because of the positive effect that they have on the spiritual growth of the group. Moreover, we have students that serve in our church in the kids and youth ministries, in the setup ministry, and on the worship team. Our university students significantly contribute to the spiritual growth and unity of our church.
3) As we invest in students, we can bring the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Some of the students that have been a part of our church have gone on international missions trips. There are several students from our church overseas right now on missions. Furthermore, we’ve seen international students go back to their home country after they graduate, now able to teach others what we have taught them. And so by reaching students here in the Waterloo Region, we by God’s grace are able to have an impact for the gospel all over the world…to the ends of the earth.
So that’s why we’re serious about ministering to university students. As we invest in them, we can shape the minds of tomorrow’s leaders, we can grow our church in depth and breadth, and we can bring the gospel to the ends of the earth.
3 reasons why you should invest in the life of our church
1) We unapologetically preach the truth of God’s Word in the midst of an increasingly secularized and relativistic culture.
This is something that I hungered for when I was in university. I was tired of lukewarm Christianity. I was tired of ministries and churches that watered-down God’s Word so as to try and make it more attractive to people. And to be honest, most of the Christian friends I had in university were in the same boat as me. We were looking for a church that would give us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! As persecution and hatred toward Christianity increases in our culture, Christians that want to have one foot in the world and one foot in the church will be forced to decide whether they side with Christ or side with the world. There’s no middle ground. The more hostile our world becomes toward Christians, the more difficult it will become to be a nominal Christian that wants some of God’s Word but not all of it. At Trinity, I can promise you that you’re going to get all of God’s Word. You’re going to hear verse-by-verse preaching each and every Sunday. We’re going to preach all of God’s Word to you regardless of what it says because God’s Word is what we need most. All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable (2 Timothy 3:16) and we are to long for it like newborn babies long for milk (1 Peter 2:2). That’s why at Trinity you are going to hear the truth of God’s Word preached with boldness week after week after week.
2) We empower students to serve and equip them to share their faith.
Students are gifted by God in many different areas and we want to give them the opportunity to use their gifts to serve in the church. As I already mentioned, we’ve had students that serve in our kids ministry, on our worship team, in our a/v ministry, as ushers and greeters, on our setup team, etc. There are many opportunities for students to serve. Additionally, we are very intentional about training people in how to share their faith. We have a team evangelism ministry that is out on the streets of Kitchener or Waterloo every Friday night and this ministry is intentional about equipping people to share the gospel with others. We regularly have training workshops designed to train people in apologetics and evangelism as well as a YouTube channel with training videos and videos of real-world gospel conversations.
3) We offer students a biblical community that more accurately represents God’s kingdom than any campus ministry ever could.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there is an important place for campus ministries (like P2C or CCF for example). I believe that God can use them to advance his kingdom and grow students in significant ways. You should even consider joining one and getting involved if you’re able to. But make no mistake: a campus ministry is not a New Testament church. Do not make the mistake of thinking that because you’re involved in a campus ministry, you do not need to be involved in a local church. The New Testament does not know of any Christian that is not connected to a local church. Unlike a campus fellowship, Trinity Bible Chapel offers you a community of believers that has cross-generational ministry. It’s a community of believers that is governed by a board of godly elders. It’s a community of believers that upholds sound doctrine and church discipline. It’s a community of believers that regularly participates in the Lord’s Supper together and celebrates the gift of new life in Christ through baptism. It’s a community of believers that has men, women, and children from different ethnic backgrounds. And it’s a community of believers that unites together in the gospel of Jesus Christ for the purpose of making disciples.
The mission that Christ gave us before he ascended to heaven is this, “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” That is our mission as a church. We’re here to make disciples of all nations. And we believe that reaching university students is an integral part to fulfilling that mission. So we’re serious about investing in the lives of university students.
My hope and prayer is that you would consider committing to and investing in the life of our church to the glory of God.
For more information on our bus ministry to WLU, UW, and UoG students, visit bustochurch.ca