Penn for Jesus is Campus Renewal’s ministry on Penn’s campus. Campus Renewal is a national ministry that desires to promote missional unity between Christian groups on college campuses to strategically collaborate to see their entire campuses reached with the Gospel. Penn for Jesus is not a fellowship nor an umbrella organization, but rather, the local Philadelphia branch of this national ministry.
We serve to foster dialogue, collaborative efforts and community among the leaders of the various Christ-centered ministries on Penn’s campus. We hold regular Fusion meetings among the staff and student leaders to pray over our campus and discuss relevant issues facing both Christians and non-Christians alike. Through these discussions, we ideally seek to plan and collaborate on 2-3 united events each semester that will effectively address these issues.
Essentially, we bring Christian leaders together to pray for our school and evaluate how our current efforts are affecting the campus, develop a common vision, and establish a plan to implement this vision.
Penn for Jesus is based off of Acts 2:42-47, John 17:23, and 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. Bearing in mind these concepts of unity in mission, Penn for Jesus seeks to implement these biblical concepts for the sake of representing our Lord Jesus Christ and functioning as one body, that the Gospel may reach our campus effectively.
Our collective ministries are currently reaching only ~4% of the campus. This statistic has not changed in the last 20 years, yet the number of ministries on campus has more than tripled in this time. With all the different strengths and perspectives God has blessed us with on this campus through these different ministries, being more intentional about working together as one body would ideally maximize our outreach efforts and help us more effectively plan to meet the spiritual needs of our campus.
It is much easier to remain in one’s own community, but in doing so, it also becomes easier to lose sight of the the greater Christian community & collective impact that could be realized by keeping in contact with each other. By gathering together as one body of Christ made of many parts rather than disjointed fellowships, we fulfill the command to be unified. In being unified, we are also able to focus on a vision greater than our own, which we can move towards together. Doing so does not make us lose sight of our visions for our own fellowships, but rather helps us see how each vision fits this greater vision.
Unity is not proximity in events, becoming one large group, nor basic amity and friendliness. It is instead relationships filled with humility, relational unity, and most importantly, missionality where we pray and intercede on behalf of our campus and allow the Lord to reveal ideas and strategies to reach it as our mission field.