New Jersey City University sits in a developing urban area in Jersey City. About 8,000 students currently attend what is mostly a commuter school. As our alma mater where I studied journalism and when we both felt the Holy Spirit call us to join staff with Cru!
One great privilege we have as staff members is to see the ebbs and flows of fruitful ministry. In the 2016-2017 academic year, NJCU’s Cru movement was faithful but small. Most of the committed members were the leaders, but they prayed, evangelized, studied scripture and grew together!
Before the end of the Spring 2017 semester, though, only one was able to commit as a leader for the Fall 2017. This happens in campus ministry often, especially at commuter schools. Leaders graduate, take breaks or have other responsibilities. Christian Dowdell (the one student who committed) and our staff team simply prayed. You may remember we even asked you to pray in our August prayer letter, because at that point only one leader other than Christian stepped up in faith.
Well thankfully God is sovereign and by his grace, he sent along several mature Christian students to aid in the mission of reaching the lost and helping Christians grow! Since the start of the semester, we’ve had a steady 25-35 students coming out, at least one girl (named Angela) indicated a decision for Christ and the movement now has a praise team with about 7 members. One phrase that can define this team’s personality is “loud for Jesus.”
Below are their thoughts on where they are and where they’re excited to go as a movement.
“The turnaround for this ministry exploded,” Christian, our student president, shared. “The atmosphere is filled with the Lord in ways that have never been expressed. A student gave her life to Christ. One girl changed her work schedule to come to Cru.”
Our vice president, Israel Hernandez, also shared: “Every great leader I’ve studied has always left a mark wherever they went. Leadership is exciting because it gives me the opportunity to impact future generations and mold the next leaders of the ministry. It’s a great privilege and honor to be a leader, but I understand that it also means a deeper level of commitment and consecration with the Lord. I always remind myself, ‘The higher God elevates you, the deeper you have to stay rooted.’ Leaders set the example and practice what they preach.”
Another leader, Jonathan Drayton, did not expect to oversee the praise team as he is now (video below), but he felt called to be obedient. He’s even so excited about evangelism that he prayerfully envisions administrators attending the meeting!
“Cru at NJCU was down to one person and is now one of the largest organizations on campus. I am praying that the next semester as we get more established, that we are literally all over campus every other day praying for others on campus. I’d like to even see our University President attend our meetings!”
This loud bunch of leaders really loves the Lord deeply and cares for the lost. Praise God for putting together this robust team. Please pray for them! Pray for unity and continued vision. It’s so exciting! Christian even noted that Angela (the girl who came to Christ) comes to every meeting and is growing because “her soul is hungry to learn more.” Woo!