Reach a new generation of students by building communities worldwide
Recently a colleague posed the following question – How important is it for people to feel like they are part of a community?
A 2021 study by American Perspectives shows that over the last 30 years, the number of close friendships for people across the United States is in a consistent decline. This affects young people especially hard. It seems that the more reliant we are on the internet for our connections, the fewer close and meaningful relationships we have with those around us.
In 1990, 45 percent of young men would reach out first to close friends when facing life challenges. Now it is less than half of that at only 22 percent.
This trend reflects what we are seeing across the world with university students today. As different leaders met at our recent World Assembly, many shared that students are increasingly feeling isolated, lacking connection and community on campus. This loss of community has a profound impact on students’ mental and spiritual health.
Maria, a student in Brazil, shares what it has been like for her and her classmates in recent years:
“Students’ hearts were all experiencing the same feeling of physical and mental exhaustion, dismay, and even though we had all adapted to living online, there was always that feeling that something was missing.”
As we enter a new academic year in this context, the words of Maria offer a clear picture of what students are missing. The fellowship Christians offer is a powerful witness to the love of Christ, and in an age when people are craving meaningful connection, it is also a strong invitation to discover the source of our community.
This academic year, IFES will build up this witness and invitation by equipping the community within our fellowship and resourcing students in their life-changing outreach, established on a strong love for the truth of Scripture.
Will you join us to empower students in their ministry of nurturing meaningful relationships and a welcoming space to encounter the transforming love of Jesus Christ?
BE A PART OF THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY
As students are living in an ever-increasing online world, the value of meaningful community is becoming ever clearer. Building faith-filled Christian communities in universities around the world is central to our mission and a response to our Lord’s call to make disciples of all nations.
We invite you to give a gift today to provide students with welcoming spaces to grow in their faith and to discover the lifechanging power of the gospel. With your partnership, this academic year we will create nurturing communities by encouraging meaningful relationships, empowering sincere outreach, and energizing students with a love for Scripture.
Annette Arulrajah, IFES Associate General Secretary, IFES World Assembly 2023 Address
“He doesn’t let us go on the journey by ourselves…We’re a family.
We may be from different parts of the world…but it doesn’t matter, we are a fellowship. And the Lord has called us together because he also knows we have never been this way before… Let’s travel together as a fellowship where we tell our stories to one another, and we strengthen one another’s soul. Let us journey as witnesses – cheering each other on and reminding each other we have a mission to live out.”
Help us build communities where students can encounter Jesus
Thank you for your prayers and support! You are a critical part of this fellowship as we travel together as a community of witnesses for the glory of Christ.