Generational Faithfulness through College Ministry

by Associate Pastor for Mission, Tanner Fox & Director of College Ministry, Jonathan Wagner

First Pres has a commitment to the city, to truth, to generational faithfulness. College ministry touches each of these shared values. As we focus on living missionally as a church family, we will welcome and spiritually shape a demographic that is missing in the church at large and in our own church family. With the introduction of the new UCF Downtown campus we have a unique opportunity to care for the city (specifically the downtown area) in a new way! 

Why college ministry?

First, college is a formative time for spiritual growth and development. Students are encouraged to think in new ways while at University and the Christian worldview offers a coherent way for them to understand themselves are their purpose in the world. 

Second, UCF Downtown is on our doorstep. For a long time the college campus at UCF seemed just out of reach for meaningful relational ministry. Now there is a campus just over a mile from our church with thousands of college students walking its halls every day. 

Third, and most importantly, the love of Christ compels us! Missional living means that we move towards those who don’t know the love of Jesus, rather than asking them to come to us. That is why our college ministry model is all about incarnational/relational ministry! Our goal is to spend lots of time on campus, build relationships, share the love of Jesus, and disciple college students as they mature in their love for and obedience to Jesus.

How do we get started? 

First Pres is partnering with an organization called the CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach). The CCO has been doing college ministry through the local church for nearly 50 years. We believe that launching a college ministry that is integrated in the life of the church will provide many meaningful opportunities to  continue to live into our core value of generational faithfulness. Together we will build a bridge to campus, mobilizing our congregation toward students and mobilizing students toward the church.  As our church thought about our desire to reach UCF Downtown and building a new ministry from the ground up, we knew we needed some help and expertise in this specific area.

We prayed for God to provide the right person to lead this ministry and He provided! We have the pleasure of welcoming a veteran CCO staff person, Jonathan Wagner as the Director of this new ministry. Jonathan has worked with the CCO for 8 years and served as both a campus minister, as well as an area director with the CCO. Jonathan has a collaborative spirit and is eager to get to know you and invite you to walk with college students toward Jesus during this crucial season of their lives. 

How can you get involved? 

Come and learn more. Jonathan will be interviewed in the Pastor’s Class Sunday, September 15 on the topic of being “sent” in conjunction with our Missional Church Sermon Series.

Sunday, September 22, Jonathan will host an info session at 10:05am in room so you can learn more about the partnership and hear about ways you can get involved.

Questions? Email Jonathan.