When I went to college, there were a lot of people who wanted to tell me about sex, drugs and rock and roll. Even more who wanted to "share" these experiences with me! Sadly, during my years at college, not one person told me about Jesus.
When Jesus gave the Great Commission to "go into the world and make disciples of all nations", what picture comes to mind? Do you picture boarding an airplane, learning a new language, or meeting a group of people nothing like you? What if there was a simple way to do the Great Commission right on campus with the people around you? What if instead of a flight itinerary you used your class schedule to plan your mission?
The University of Nevada is one of the largest untapped mission fields in northern Nevada and it presents an incredible opportunity for gospel impact:
Over the next decade, UNR's focus will be to become a “University Town”, not just a town with a university. This will also impact growth with the enrollment increasing from 18,000 to more than 30,000 students, each with a name, a face and a life. UNR will also look to increases its influence within the region in two ways:
1) expanding its footprint south of the Interstate as part of the revitalization of Reno
2) leveraging the 70% of UNR students who come from, and upon graduation return to, the great State of Nevada. 1
Globally: The University of Nevada hosts hundreds of international students from more than 70 countries. And, in many of these countries, the gospel, sharing, it, preaching it and living it, is illegal. What a great opportunity we have to invest in these students and watch them go home with a changed life and a life-changing message! They are already “trained” to reach people they know and culturally understand.
Spiritually: Research has shown that a vast majority (77%) of Christians make their profession of faith during the college years, and it has also shown that only 15% - and sadly, significantly less in Nevada - of current college aged individuals identify themselves as "Christians". At UNR, that means roughly 2,700 students would self identify as "Christians" but more than 15,300 don't.
Here is our opportunity. Here is our discipleship. Right now, more than 15,300 students don’t know the freedom available to them in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead, they are longing for purpose and spending money, time and energy looking for something, anything, to fill the God shaped hole in their heart. Like all of us, they need Jesus.
We’re not running up to the campus to plant the "Jesus Flag" and expect everyone to come flocking. Instead, we want to preach and herald the gospel in a place where it is mocked, ignored and largely unknown. We believe that Jesus ferociously loves the students and faculty of UNR. We choose to be on mission to share and proclaim this truth with them.
Over the last few years, Living Stones has prayed and planned about planting a gospel presence on UNR's campus. We’ve started more than 20 community groups, held large outreach events with 400+ attendees, and provided a shuttle for students to attend Sunday gatherings at our Reno church location. Through God's grace, we have seen hundreds of students baptized into the family of God.
Living Stones Churches are starting a gathering on UNR’s campus called “LS@theU”. We’ll meet on Thursday Nights at 7pm in the Jot Travis building (room 100). Living Stones Churches are in the city, for the city…and a major part of our city is the university! Here is how to get involved:
Pray - As with every endeavor to reach those who don’t yet know Jesus, there are a multitude of barriers. Pray for our leaders on campus and for opportunities for us to serve students and share with them.
Show Up - We start Thursday, January 30th at 7pm in the Jot Travis Building Room 100. Through God's grace, this room is strategically positioned in the middle of campus and in close proximity to all the dorms.
Volunteer - We need volunteers to help set up, greet, connect new students, etc. We’d love to have you as a part of our team. Everyone has something to offer.
Give - Consider partnering with us by supporting this financially. If you’re a UNR graduate, a parent of a student, or simply have the desire to see this generation reached with the gospel, go to: LSGive.com. If you designate the following:
Reno Church -> College Ministry
…then we promise to use every dime to make Jesus famous on campus.
Thank you for your commitment to Christ’s kingdom and joining us making disciples of all nations.