He Can’t Save Us?
It’s hard to not take vandalism personally. Our campus ministry portable looked like a hurricane had swept through it. The room was all but completely destroyed. The words “He can’t save us” dripped in red paint.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
This particular ministry location is a portable on the corner of a middle school campus. The doors to this ministry opened last year after spending literally years serving this campus.
As school gets under way each year I always have a mixed feeling of anxiety and boundless opportunity. Like many fellow youth workers I begin to plan and block out time each week for specific tasks: staff meeting, Sunday morning, prep time, meeting with student leaders, finish that calendar, one on one’s with students, and going on campus…or attempt to get on campus.
I’m confident in most areas, in control in fact… except for going on campus. Going on campus is the one variable that is scary and unpredictable. My greatest highs come from meeting new kids on campus and getting them involved in our ministry. Yet, often, my greatest anxiety revolves around getting on campus and what on earth will I do when I get there!
Why the anxiety? Why the uncertainty and excuses?
Why the fear?
I believe with all my heart that the local school – you know the one just down the street – is your greatest mission field. But there is an enemy, an adversary that would like you to believe otherwise. Why? Because he’s threatened. He knows it’s his territory and he is terrified of the life changing power that accompanies you every time you step foot on campus.
I not only have the privilege of going on numbers of local campuses – but one of them recently gave us a building to house our “program” – I call it a ministry! Over the summer the enemy was at work. Angry, disenfranchised kids cut a hole in the roof and severely vandalized the building. I became sick to my stomach as I read profanity combined with our Savior’s name scrawled on the walls over and over. Our beloved American flag dipped in red paint with the words “murderers” and “liars” sprayed on the ceiling. The most chilling sight was our pool table that had been tipped on its side – and intentionally angled towards the door. There was a pentagram sprayed in black paint with the words “Beelzebub (prince of the demons) has the youth” and “He can’t save us.” It was a proclamation – a threat – a warning.
It took me a moment to compose myself, and then righteous anger began to pump through my veins. “It is on!” I screamed in my deepest parts. God’s Word reminds me that He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world.
Those vile words were a threat and they have mobilized our community and we are now doubling our efforts and launching new ministry sites on campuses this fall.
The same adversary is at your school – and he desires you to do nothing about it. Check your schedule again…what could possibly be more important than meeting kids who don’t know Jesus, loving them, and opening doors to minister to them? Don’t let the words scrawled on the pool table be true of the schools in your community.
is a 20-year youth ministry veteran who has worked full time for Campus Life for the last 14 years. He serves on two campuses weekly and runs several campus ministries both on and off campus in partnerships with local churches. Rob has been interviewed several times in Jonathan's podcasts on TheSource4YM.com and Jonathan drew from his expertise throughout his book, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation. Rob serves on the national Campus Life team at Youth for Christ USA.