The Power of Community
Every year thousands of college and university students engage in Navigator fellowship meetings on campuses across the country. They participate in weekly Bible studies and learn leadership skills. What is it that attracts these students when, according to a 2013 study by the Barna Group, 43 percent of once-active Millennials drop out of regular church attendance between high school and the age of 30?
For many, it’s the powerful sense of community The Navigators offers.
A group of freshmen from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) recently described the role the Collegiate ministry plays in their lives as “a support system” and “a good grounding point.”
Matt was a freshmen who came from a strong Christian home; he had decided to stay connected with a Christian community during college. “I’ve always believed that God didn’t design us be alone,” Matt said. “For so many reasons, life is better with a group of like-minded believers. I’m super excited to be involved. It’s really cool to be a part of this family of Christian believers with The Navigators.”
For others, it’s their main source of fellowship. Jesse, another freshman commented, “There’s a lot of questionable activity going on [in college], so it’s nice to have people you can rely on, people you can trust and tell stuff to.”
Their comments were a great encouragement to Navigator campus director, Derrik DeWitt—himself a former UCCS student. “It was inspiring to hear them mention some of the things that impacted them,” he shared. “It’s exciting to be able to have them with us for three more years. It gives me hope for the future.”
A big part of students’ involvement centers around the Timothy Team (sometimes called “Joshua Team” on other campuses) where students learn valuable tools and skills to help them share their faith and prepare for leadership roles in their local Navigator group. Many students come to the group with little-to-no experience in sharing the Gospel or memorizing verses.
At UCCS, Derrik encourages the Timothy Team to memorize the first 12 verses of the Topical Memory System. But this year’s freshmen surprised him. “They came in with the first 12 verses already memorized and started the next 12,” he said.
The power of community provided by the Timothy Team encourages students to be bold in their faith. It’s just one reason that—for students involved in The Navigator ministry—things are better together.