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The vision of Campus Outreach is "Glorifying God by Building Laborers on the Campus for the Lost World." We seek to build laborers with a commitment to Jesus and His Great Commission through evangelism and discipleship. We are passionately reaching students with the gospel and training them to become mature followers of Christ. Our desire is to see students leave college equipped to labor in the harvest field for the glory of God.
Our region of Campus Outreach currently serves at the University of Tennessee and Tennessee Technological University. In these cities, we partner with churches who help us achieve our mission on the campus. Legacy Church in Knoxville is our regional hub church, while Washington Ave. Baptist Church is our partner church in Cookeville.
The ultimate purpose of God and of all His creation is to bring attention to God or to glorify Him forever (Is. 43, Ps. 33, Ps. 115, Rom. 1 & 8, Eph. 1, Rev. 5). Because there is nothing and no one more valuable or important than God Himself, Campus Outreach exists that He may continually receive what He deserves and is due to Him… praise, honor, and glory from us as we find our joy in Him. We, like many throughout history, desire to spread a passion for the glory of God throughout the world. It is our desire that His identity, reputation, and fame be proclaimed to all people, in all places, by all appropriate means, as urgently as possible.
Jesus Christ once said, as he observed a large crowd of people, “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few” (Mt. 9:37). That profound statement has rung true for more than 2,000 years and can certainly be applied to our world in the 21st century. There is no shortage of needs, problems, and opportunities awaiting the approach of an equipped leader (Eph. 4:11-16, Mt. 4:19) to make a difference. It is the desire of Campus Outreach to work hand in hand with colleges, universities, churches, families, and individuals to produce these Kingdom leaders and laborers for which there is such a desperate need.
Campus Outreach believes that the university campus is one of the most strategic fields of ministry available in the world. Beyond the movement of the sovereign God through His Holy Spirit, there are at least 4 factors we see at play that make college students so strategic.
It is the combination or cumulative effect of these dynamics coming together in tangible ways that lead us to the conclusion that the university campus is the most strategic place for Campus Outreach to impact the world for Christ.
The goal of Campus Outreach is that we would influence the world for Christ -- that we might be part of fulfilling the Great Commission (Mt. 28:18-20). Campus Outreach desires to be a part of the expansive enterprise of the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Glory of God that is being lived and preached and spread around the world to every people, tribe, tongue, and nation (Mt. 24, Mk. 13, Rev. 5). More specifically, we desire that trained graduates would provide leadership for the Kingdom of God in every sphere of influence imaginable in every country around the world. It is the aim of Campus Outreach that these leaders would be mobilized from the campus to have a Gospel-centered impact on those around them as they live the rest of their lives in the church and as a part of business, medicine, the community, the family, politics, education, missions, and all areas of life.
Though we are not connected to one particular denomination, each of our ministries are under the authority and leadership of a regional church body, which provides a crucial source of accountability, leadership, and resources.
We have found that the best way to grow big is by staying small. CO is made up of around 30 independent franchises worldwide. Once a franchise grows large enough, we seek out a new church to adopt Campus Outreach as its college ministry and launch staff members to new campuses. After a period of testing and transition, the new host church assumes all authority and oversight for that franchise. In essence, we are individual college ministries who share a common vision and strategy.
We share the gospel with the intention to lead students to faith in Jesus Christ. When that happens, we invest in the context of Christ centered life-on-life relationships - one individual sharing their life with another. We focus primarily on discipling new and young believers and training them to do the same with their peers.
We believe that the Bible shows us a God who is in control of all things. We are created in His image, but are helpless to follow or please Him. Apart from Christ, we are spiritually dead and can do nothing to become justified in His sight. But God mercifully gives us life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We trust in God’s truth and rely on the Holy Spirit to empower us for life changing gospel ministry.
Campus Outreach began in 1978 at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham. The ministry enjoyed a great beginning, and within a couple of years began to expand to new campuses in the Alabama region. Strong connections in each community and good relationships with local churches and campus administrations provided favorable circumstances for continued growth. Since then, around 30 other franchises have been established under local churches in the United States and around the world.
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