Emmanuel Missionary College. That was the name of our university. The pioneers, including whom our university is currently named after, envisioned that every avenue for the spreading of the gospel would be employed, even in higher education. Emmanuel Missionary College was meant to foster a mission-minded campus so that out of it, radical graduates would go ye out into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Our campus is fully equipped with resources, and not short of souls, when sufficiently aroused, would not sit in apathy. Why, then, have we forgotten?
Much like the rich, young ruler who asked Christ for the pathway to eternal life but walked away with the same earthly possessions he came with, our most important purpose has been reduced to that of self. For a faith that calls us to a most solemn and important commission ever given to mortals, our works are more in accordance with nominal Christianity, mediocrity, and complacency. In full view of the fact, we have little sense of our accountability to God. The lusts of the flesh and the love of ease separate us professed Christians from God, and the missionary spirit exists in but a few.
Christ’s challenge to the rich, young ruler was not a test of works, but of intent. Jesus was not asking the ruler if he could, but if he would. This university is not short of daily programs and events that allow us to be fed corporately, but where does our intent lie in terms of our personal spirituality? I believe in order to move toward the mission that our university bears, we must first find a personal relationship with Christ important. Personal spirituality must be a matter of salvation.
We were promised a new thing on this campus, but first we must draw that circle around ourselves. New things will not spring up until we are jealous of the time we spend with God, and we carry a burden in our heart to draw nearer to Him. What if our mission is self, and our new thing is personal initiative to pray and study the Word? What if we were not products of programming, where prayer is an element and the Bible, a reference? I believe a new thing looks like students who dare to learn the power of prayer, and who pick up the sword of the Spirit not only when the speaker invites them to. A new thing looks like a campus that surrenders vices and comfortable seats on the pew for the Cross.
As an advocate for Christ but a sinner who struggles with you, I would like to remind you of the Image you bear. I would like to focus the university’s endeavours in creating opportunities for each student to return to God’s Image, through personal study and meditation. University worships and programs will be organised to challenge the lukewarm to wake up and carry out the great commission. There will be opportunities for people who have ideas about increasing Biblical literacy or encouraging the student body to find importance in intercessory prayer. I want to network with the spiritual leaders, so that we work, in one accord and discipleship, for each soul in our university. I believe in a campus that earnestly seeks the relationship of Christ, not just credit. I believe in a campus in which faith is fought for daily, and not taken for granted in chapel, vespers or Sabbath service. I believe in a campus desperate for revival and reformation that begin at the heart.
And I have nothing to offer you but my devotion to the cause of Christ. Will you do the same?