We believe that the most effective way to see the gospel impact every university in the world is through locally-led, indigenous national movements.
From its beginning, IFES has always promoted both the unity and diversity of its movements: unity in our shared vision; diversity in approach. It is those within a particular context who know the most effective ways of working appropriately in the culture and are best placed to do it.
IFES regional teams provide training, resources and support to enable these national movements to flourish in their different contexts. Our global ministry programs work alongside regional teams offering specialist support to help movements engage deeply with Scripture, develop wise governance and develop local partnerships to support their ministry.
The Scripture Engagement team works alongside national movements and regions, through workshops, consultations and resources, to help ensure that each new generation of students loves, studies, lives and shares God’s Word.
Indigenous Support Development
It is easy for national movements to become over-dependent on external funding, which often stunts their growth into maturity. In many countries fundraising is thought of as begging, meaning that some movements falsely believe that support raising is impossible in their local context.
IFES provides training and resources to help national movements to embrace a biblical understanding of gospel partnership and give them the skills they need to find and develop partnerships they need for student ministry to thrive. These partnerships may involve prayer, resources, personnel and finance. They also serve to ground the student movement in the national and local context.
As a result of this support from IFES:
- Graduates of GBU in the Democratic Republic of Congo managed to raise $6,000 in two months, enabling the general secretary to stay longer on staff.
- SLEFES Sierra Leone now has 15 graduate or volunteer staff, all sustained through local support.
- ISCCF St Vincent raised $1,000 within days of the training – more than the previous six months put together.
- GBU Rwanda doubled their local income in one year and can now employ an additional five field staff.
Increasingly national movements are seeing students keen to get involved in financially supporting their local student ministry.
We want to see the boards of each national movement governed excellently so that IFES student ministry in every country can thrive. But governing a national movement is not an easy task. Many newly appointed board members have a great enthusiasm for supporting student work but may have little experience or knowledge in governance.
The Governance Development program provides training and materials to national movement boards, to help them build a strong culture of good governance that is well-structured and God-honouring. This in turn enables and empowers a more effective General Secretary, and generates well-equipped and high-performing staff and student leadership, which results in thriving student groups.
The worldwide team of trainers offers direct support to national movement boards through on-site visits and e-learning courses to make training more widely accessible.
The Ministry Impact program seeks to help IFES national movements understand the impact and effectiveness of their ministries in order to sustain and grow work on campuses around the world. A specially developed e-learning course and ministry evaluation tool are helping national movements make better-informed decisions as they consider their ministry strategy.