Spend 7 weeks this summer joining a student team and Bruce McCluggage focused on the Boulder CU college community in decoding, researching, connecting, and integrating the gospel and the kingdom of God in fresh emerging ways.
“I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralist, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to see things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!”
I Corinthians 9:19-23 (The Message)
Consider this a short-term mission in your own backyard. While missionaries take years in their preparations to go to another culture, we thought it would be a good idea to do similar prep work in reaching out to our own culture. Why? Because we think that our Western culture is shifting/changing and ever more rapidly in our globalized world. We also admit that as Christians we often are not prepared for these changes especially when we attempt to share our faith in Christ or live out the kingdom of God. It almost feels like we are standing on one continent trying to communicate with an entirely different one. Could it be that we truly are…in a philosophical, cultural sense?
The Culture Shift
Many Christian sociological pundits (i.e. Revolution by George Barna, Beyond Foundationalism by Stanley Grenz) propose that we are in a shift from Modernism to Postmodernism. The rules are changing in how we come to receive and believe truth and reality. So how are we as Christians to respond? What if Philosophy club members from your school came up to your table in the student union building and asked you and your Christian group/community to co-sponsor a debate on campus with them on the subject of, say, “Morality and the Existence of God”? How would you respond? What would you do? And what if they asked YOU to be one of the presenters?** We want to help you be prepared. And not just ready with a good response but to consider all of the other implications of a new paradigm in doing ministry within a postmodern context.
I M A G I N E
Imagine--instead of just surviving as a Christian community within the changing culture, you learn to thrive within it. Instead of battling the culture, you learn to work with the culture. Instead of reacting to cultural events, you learn to be proactive by leading in civilization-building within any social locale or setting. The church is usually characterized by being a step behind or irrelevant and out-of-touch within the culture. What do we need to learn in order to be a step ahead?
Consider joining with college students from university campuses across the country for 7 weeks in the summer to create a learning community where we will tackle these issues head-on through study as well as praxis (fancy word for ‘practice’). Summer mission projects like this have already occurred in places such as UC Berkeley on the west coast and probably in heavily liberalized areas such as the Northeast/New England coast. This summer mission project may very well be one of the first ones offered in Colorado.
University of Colorado and its environs in Boulder has gained a reputation for pushing conservative Christian culture to its edges/margins. It is here that we seek to live and work and ask the hard questions. We will help you to get a summer job to help pay for expenses, or you may want to volunteer in community service opportunities. We will live together and eat together in student housing directly across from the CU Boulder campus.
In the evenings and on the weekends we will gather together as one large group or in smaller groups or in one-to-one mentoring times for training, bible study/discussion, prayer, socials, creative group dates and outreaches, as well as travel to some of the beautiful sites that Colorado has to offer. The following are some of our main summer project goals.
* *this actually happened to me at Boise State U. while I was a Campus Crusade staff member there. I went for the ‘challenge’ which heightened my wonderful journey into ‘cross-cultural communication’…eventually joining the philosophy club, attended philosophy classes, which led me to write a regular column for the school newspaper, hosted live talk-radio, appeared on local TV stations, leading me further to design educational and community-based programs/events bringing together both modern and postmodern, religious and non-religious students, profs, and community leaders and common folk into Worldviews Forums and other points of real-life contact.
-- To develop our walk with Christ; experiencing an increased dependence and confidence in Him balanced with the openness and humility of a life-long learner coupled with spiritual practices that reflect our genuine worship.
-- To develop Christian leadership styles/skills; understanding that one’s emotional/spiritual capacity needs to be supplemented with a leadership capacity. We will learn new leadership styles and skills that can work better within the particular context we find ourselves. Our collaborative learning environment will help to draw out each project student’s contribution in this area.
-- To experience life in Christian community; learning to value listening, loving, giving and praying in unity within the midst of diversity. Authentic relationships and friendships are key to helping us in understanding God’s relentless love for imperfect people.
-- To develop a heart for and understanding of the unchurched and often unreached communities of people and students that work and study and play among us everyday; to see that the ‘world’ is way more ready than we realize.
-- To learn more about the role of worldviews and to research the postmodern culture; to integrate our academic majors and our increasing understanding of the kingdom of God into our interpretation of culture which can provide fresh opportunities in how we can be salt and light in the world. We seek to be co-teachers as well as co-learners.
-- To live and model the Good News through service and worship involving creative artistic expressions such as music, drama, writing/poetry, painting, graphics, dance, visual and media arts, as well as technology-driven communication mediums.
* Dates: June 15, 2007 through Aug. 5, 2007 (7 total weeks)
* Total estimated Cost (including housing, food, project expenses): $2,100
* Now receiving Applications (due by Mar.1st). Send us your email/address for more information.
* Email Bruce McCluggage or call 1-719-636-2000
Bruce McCluggage, a former CCC staff member serving in CA, WA, ID and several Pacific Rim countries, brings decades of college campus ministry experience to his current work with Christian Futures Network, a consulting ministry to church/community leaders. He has taught a Worldviews class at UC Berkeley and is currently an adjunct Philosophy instructor at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs. When he was the CCC campus director at UC Berkeley, he helped to pioneer the 1998 and 1999 Berkeley Postmodern Summer projects (Berkeley, CA). He received his M.A. degree in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Seminary. He is married with four children. Check out his family website at www.mccluggage.org.