Since IFES’ early beginnings the national movements in North America have played an important part helping to drive forward our mission to students globally. Today, the IFES movements in this region face many challenges, particularly threats to campus-based ministry from increasingly secular college administrations. In spite of this, the movements continue to thrive, encouraging and equipping students throughout the region and beyond.
There are three movements in North America: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA , Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of Canada (IVCF), and Groupes Bibliques Universitaires et Collégiaux (GBUC).
View from the Inside
Tom Lin is a Vice-President for InterVarsity/USA. He writes: ‘The church in North America is living in some challenging times. Less than 10% of Canadians attend church once per month. In the last 15 years in the United States, the percentage of self-proclaimed atheists has grown from 8% to 15% (33% of those under 35 identify themselves as either atheist or non-religious). Freedom of religion on many North American campuses is being challenged, and Christian prayers are being curtailed in public venues.
‘Even in the areas where church growth is occurring, our North American lifestyles, character, and relationships often don't look any different than the our non-religious counterparts. Sadly, polls that compare the "moral failures" of Christians and non-Christians don't show any difference at all.
‘Certainly, we face a challenge to both live like God's people (integrity) and to share the gospel with an increasingly, un-churched generation (witness). But as we look to the future, we remain hopeful. We see God bringing great transformation to our cities and cultures through the power of the gospel. We see it perhaps most clearly in the next generation, which is perhaps the most globally-minded generation of North Americans yet.’
- for wisdom in the face of opposition, and for North American students to reach others with the gospel
- for outreach to international students and global partnerships around the world.