In the midst of the global pandemic we all find ourselves in with the COVID-19 reality, the people of God have needed to pivot to different models for this season to continue to create and foster Christ-centred community, share the good news of Jesus and make disciples.
You might wonder what campus ministry looks look during a time like this. When Ryerson’s campus closed in downtown Toronto and classes went online, we quickly made a plan as to how we’d continue to serve, pastor, disciple and support our students. So we launched LifeLine Live in an effort to livestream our services on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. on Instagram live. We chose that platform for our online gatherings because that is where students already are. During this time, it’s the best place for us to go and be among. In LifeLine’s services we have a time of worship led by our worship leaders remotely from their home, and then a message from me from my home. We then sometimes have a “Q & R Time” where students can openly share their thoughts, interact with the message and get clarity on questions they might have.
We also continue our Bible studies (that we call “Living Rooms”) on Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. through Zoom, a web-based conferencing platform. It allows us to see one another and look together at what the Word of God says about specific questions and topics. Last week’s Living Rooms on Zoom was themed around, “What the Bible Says About Friendship”, and how Jesus modelled healthy relationships for us.
In addition we get to connect one-on-one with our students through phone and video calls to continue to disciple them, pray with them, and support them as they pursue their relationship with God. We are seeing many who are struggling with magnified issues of anxiety and loneliness at this time when students are not able to come on campus, and need to be distanced from one another.
This season is challenging and it’s required us to step further outside our comfort zone but, in so doing, we’re seeing God continue to work in and through the lives of students. God is on the move, and we are moving with Him! It’s an adventure, and right now we’re adapting to continue to be salt and light for Ryerson. Our goal is to help students find, follow and serve Jesus Christ. Because we must.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support of our work as Mission Canada workers. Pray for continued creativity and for God to open hearts to the message of His love. Believe with us that Ryerson’s students would know a peace that passes all understanding, and that their hearts and minds would be focused on Christ Jesus in these uncertain times.
Mission Canada Campus Worker
Reaching the students of Ryerson University in Toronto