Creating Space in Campus
NSC gathering took place in the later part of an afternoon after the FES 61st Annual General Meeting (AGM), where student leaders from different CFs and campuses assembled to hear Dr Tan Lai Yong speak on ‘Out of the Box, Unconfined by Walls’. The speaker focused on Matthew 21:12-13 and he highlighted the importance of creating space in our campuses. Yet the heart must be motivated by compassion and exercised with creativity. Different CFs have different strengths and weaknesses, and we were once again exhorted to be familiar with the profile and context of our schools, classmates and CFers. Dr Tan Lai Yong also shared many ideas in the aspect of outreach, for instance making popiah for outreach events and potluck gathering in halls. His insights benefited many of us greatly.
At FES’ 61st AGM, I remembered Lisman shared that what kept him awake at night is the growing irrelevance of CFs (student ministries) in today’s context. His sharing resonated with me on a personal level. It seems students are less compelled to join a Christian CCA because they already have a comfortable Christian community in school and they do not want extra “Christian commitments”. As such, do new campus initiatives from churches render student ministries by parachurch organisations obsolete? I pondered.
Through Dr Tan Lai Yong’s sharing, I was reminded that we are not only called to create space for believers but non-believers as well, for ‘we are witnesses to the whole campus for Christ’ (the keyword here is campus). Also, there are things church ministries can do and cannot do (i.e. organising freshmen orientation camps), likewise for parachurch ministries. At the end of the day, with all my heart I believe that I would not have become who I am today without CF (and God). I am also convicted that FES and CFs will continue to create and be a safe space, as they move into their seventh decade to be faithful and relevant (not trendy and unfaithful).
SIM-UOL Business Management, Year 3