Campus Church Networks
Archived content from 2004 -2009
For a number of years this was the Campus Church Networks' website.
In January 2010, Campus Church Networks dissolved and merged with a growing movement of student churches and mobilizers known as Student Church.
When this change occurred in 2010 visitors were encouraged to check out the up-to-date information and current testimonies from the movement at www.studentchurch.org. However that url now forwards to SCPX, another iteration of the organization that started as a dream in Erik Fish's heart to see a church planting movement.
Go to: https://scpx.org/ for the most up to date information about the movement started by Erik Fish so many years ago.
The new owner of this domain has chosen to keep some of the site's original content which is from its 2004 - 2009 archived pages.
Alas, it is just a small amount of the content that was originlly available.
Welcome to Campus Church Networks, a student-led, relationship-based church planting movement dedicated to empowering students to plant new churches for a new generation on every campus around the world.
Start a revolution, start a campus church!
Every revolution starts with a revolutionary, are you willing to be the one? Is there a Campus Church on your campus? If not, do you want to start one? CCN is here to help you get started.
My sister and I love to hang out with the little ones at church while their folks are in the service. It's honestly the best part of my week. There's something super special about making kids laugh and seeing their adorable smiles. So, the other day, I noticed something super cute and kinda funny - all three babies were rocking Batman onesies. At first, I was like, "What are the odds?" But then it hit me – it was all because of our fundraiser yesterday. That event was a total hit; everyone had an absolute blast. And, of course, Batman stuff was everywhere. We had these cool Batman sweatshirts for the raffle and loads of Batman gear for sale at awesome prices. Those onesies? Flew off the shelves. It all clicked, and it just made me love doing this even more. It's those little surprises and connections that make it all feel so special. Florence Horowitz
Here Come the Student Churches
A Global Youth Awakening – Students Doing the Work of Ministry!
The Story of the Student Churches
In the book of Acts, a prayer meeting in Antioch produced apostolic sending. An apostolic team was sent out to travel, make disciples, and start new church communities. Today, the prayer movement is fostering a rediscovery of this type of apostolic ministry –students are starting churches among the unreached on college campuses around the world.
The Beginnings of A Student Church Movement
In the Bible, Joshua and Caleb saw things differently than others. God said they had “a different spirit.” The story of the student churches began with that same spirit.
Two students named Joshua and Caleb (yes, that was really their names) started to dream of a move of God across the UCLA campus. They began praying 24/7. As they prayed, they dreamed of forming students into simple house church communities that could meet across the campus. They went out to preach in the center of campus with towels in their backpack, believing that students afterward would baptize other students in the university fountains. The story that followed at UCLA is told in The Blueprint, by Jaeson Ma.
Today, students are baptizing students on universities all over the place. The seed of Joshua and Caleb’s prayers and dreams are beginning to spread across many universities.
In Western Pennsylvania at this same time, another student named Lee Myers and mentor friend Brad McCoy were contending for spiritual awakening at Allegheny College. As Lee would read the stories of Jesus, he began to meditate on a thought that kept coming back to him, “If Jesus could heal the sick, why couldn’t I at least try?”
Lee began to pray for people with illnesses. At first, there were very few healings. They kept praying.
Then strange things started happening. As they were faithful to keep praying for the sick and injured, the frequency of the healings started increasing.
In one semester, 40 healings were reported on the Allegheny campus. Injured athletes and others would come ask them for prayer. Lee began to organize the students into smaller gatherings led by students. Students from other campuses in the university-dense atmosphere of Western Pennsylvania began coming to Allegheny College to experience what God was doing and spread it elsewhere. The beginnings of a student church movement were happening.
When Lee tragically died a short time later, his testimony didn’t. It began spreading to universities all over the nation.
Heard it in the Prayer Room
The first time I heard of “student churches,” I was in a prayer room, desperate to hear from the Lord about where He was leading our family. I heard the words, “student church.” I saw a vision in my spirit of students leading small churches that multiplied and spread across campuses. I saw students and young people traveling from campus to campus, spreading the movement in the power of the Holy Spirit. Within a few months, I discovered God had been speaking the same vision to leaders across the world. This was God’s doing, not the idea or vision of men.
Spiritual Moms and Dads
As God is speaking to students, God simultaneously is stirring the hearts of spiritual moms and dads to support them. Where there are healthy, growing student churches, there are usually spiritual fathers and mothers that bless and serve those student leaders.
Agencies like All Nations Family have joined together with student church leaders to produce missionary training experiences like Student CPx. At these church planting schools, students are equipped and sent as student church planters to their university. These students preach the gospel, make disciples, and form students into simple church communities that gather in the areas students do life together.
Many local church leaders have also come alongside what they see God doing among the youth. They started asking, “How can I train and send the youth of my church to start new churches among the unreached?” One SE Asian pastor recently said, “I don’t care about having a mega church anymore. I want to see a movement across my nation. I’m willing to take a risk and send out the youth to plant churches.”
Yea, God! Do this everywhere!
Student Church Characteristics
1. Student churches are actual expressions of church. They are not just Bible studies, campus meetings, small groups, or evangelistic outreaches. The students see their experience of following Jesus together with other students their primary experience of what it means to “be the church of Jesus.”
2. Student churches are led by students. The students lead the churches. Mentors serve a support role only.
3. Student churches practice interdependent leadership. They are not characterized by one charismatic personality or leader. Gatherings are not small versions of a conventional church meeting. They usually gather in a circle to interact with the scriptures, apply principles to their lives, and exhort each other to live out the teachings of Jesus. They listen for the Holy Spirit, worship, pray, and focus on reaching other students with the message of the gospel.
4. Student churches are motivated by a love for the nations. When you spend time with student church leaders, they talk about fulfilling the Great Commission. They dream about going to the nations after college, or helping to send their friends. The seeds start on campuses, but spread to the cities and the nations.
5. Student churches are fueled by prayer. The student churches are birthed, sustained, and multiplied through praying students.
From Campuses to Nations
A short time after God called us to serve the student church movement, God reminded me, “Erik, remember, it is not about campuses, it is about nations.”
This has become a guiding mantra for how we perceive what God is doing on the campuses. He’s sending youth to the campuses to reach the nations. What a great way to reach the world for Jesus — send thousands and thousands of youth to be church planters in the university systems across the world. Students live in the dorms. They take classes with the future leaders of the nations. When they leave, they’re equipped with experience in church planting. The church can multiply at every university in the world if we will send the youth to do it!
Prayer + Student Churches = Global Student Missions Movement
The prayer and student church planting movement is part of a divine blueprint for a global spiritual awakening among the youth of the world. Here is a glimpse of what God is doing:
- A graduate student baptizes five students and starts a student church with the new converts.
- A student starts an international student church on his campus with visiting PhD scholars from SE Asian nations — all who previously had never read a Bible before.
- A student baptizes another first year student in a dorm shower. They soon begin sharing the good news of Jesus with Muslim students.
- Students are stopped by university administration from baptizing international students in a campus fountain – so they improvise and use buckets to baptize them.
- People are miraculously healed as students go out demonstrating power evangelism on their campus and city.
- A mission agency working in the Middle and Near East strategizes that university students are the most receptive to the gospel. They start efforts to plant student churches on the college campus.
- A student at an American university leads three Asian students to Christ, baptizes them and starts a church on their campus. They travel that summer to a SE Asian nation and spread the gospel together to other students there.
- Students begin indigenous-led student churches on a Native American college campus — believing for a church planting movement to spread from the campus to the 500+ tribal nations scattered across North America (many which do not yet have an evangelical church among them).
Across the world, students are moving in a rhythm of prayer and mission unlike has been seen in decades. Are we at the beginning of a global youth awakening? We believe, “Yes!”
“God let your kingdom come on campuses and in the nations!”
Let’s pray in faith!
- Pray for the student churches to walk in love, power, and humility
- Pray that a student church planting movement will spread to every university in the world; that God would send forth laborers to these harvest fields.
- Pray for spiritual fathers and mothers to love and serve the student churches.
- Pray for a global youth movement to bring transformation to the marketplace and the influential spheres of society.
- Pray for a united effort among churches, youth ministries, and mission agencies to send a global tribe of student church planters to universities across the world.
- Pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit among First Nations youth (indigenous people) across the world. They are hidden treasures God is raising up to be leaders and messengers in this next global youth awakening.
- Pray for a global youth awakening in every nation and the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation!
By Erik and Jen Fish
Student Church Movements
Every Campus, Every City, Every Nation for Christ.
To fulfill the Great Commandment & the Great Commission in this generation through initiating and cultivating church planting movements on every campus around the world.
"Great Commandment & Great Commission"
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to them, "You shall love the Lord your God with al your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment.
1. Loving God
Campus Churches value & empower every believer to have a passionate, intimate and vibrant relationship with God. The greatest commandment begins with loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind. Our main aim is that every believer's foremost desire is to "know Him" by cultivating a life of devotion in scripture, prayer, & spiritual disciplines in order to live a life of total surrender and obedience to the Lordship of Christ. We believe lovers always outwork workers. We are lovers first and workers second.
"Matthew 28:29 "And the second is like it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
2. Loving Each Other
Campus Churches will value loving one another as we love ourselves. The goal is to develop authentic relationships where believers are spending time with each other in community for learning, accountability, prayer and fellowship in order to become whole mature disciples in Jesus Christ.
"Matthew 28:18 "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen."
3. Loving the Lost
Campus Churches value evangelism as a lifestyle. Church is a body of believers and wherever believers are they are to evangelize the lost. Our conviction is the number one-way to evangelize the lost and to effectively disciple them is to plant new churches. Every believer is to be praying for the lost, caring for the lost and sharing with the lost the Good News with a mission to start or help plant a new church that will plant other churches in student populations un-reached with the Gospel.
5 Steps to Starting Campus Churches that Reproduce (Adapted from Neil Cole):
1. Practice of Prayer:
The first step to planting a campus church is to start on our knees. We must see what the Father is doing and simply join Him. Before we send out any campus church planter they are to seek the Lord in prayer and fasting for His direction. Prayer must precede planning. Practically, pray for God to bring you a team. You can begin to talk to other believers you know who can join you on or near campus or even flyer bulletin boards that there is a new church starting on campus. (Campus Church networks can connect you with a CCN coach to equip and mentor your team in the church planting process.)
Shortly after, start a prayer chain or begin prayer walks over an area of students the Lord is leading your team to start a campus church in. Begin to ask the Lord for the harvest and to raise up student workers from within it. Ask the Lord what are the spiritual strongholds of and in the different areas of the campus? Then pray for God to destroy the strongholds. "For our battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph 6:12)." We must pray it out before we walk it out!
Campus Crusade the world largest Christian organization was started by a 24-hour prayer vigil on the UCLA campus. Founder Bill Bright decided before he would try to plan, strategize or reach out to the students, he would first pray for them. He formed a 24-hour prayer chain with college students from his local church asking God to open a door at UCLA to preach the Gospel. A short while after this prayer vigil God opened a door for Bill to preach to a sorority house where half the students gave their life to Jesus and in the following weeks 250 students on campus were saved including the Student Body President, Top Athletes, and Yearbook Editor!
2. Pockets of People:
The second step is to look for "pockets of people", who are un-reached with the Gospel. In Luke 10 Jesus sent out the 70 to towns and villages (specifically the lost sheep of Israel). We are to look for the lost sheep, not those who are well, but those that are in need of a physician. Jesus came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
As a campus church planting movement we are specifically targeting pockets of students normally un-touched by other fellowships on campus. Don't try to recruit and win believers, but always focus and start with unbelievers. Go to the campus hang outs, cafes, bowling allies, fraternities, sororities, sports teams, campus clubs/organizations, local clubs, downtown, movie theaters, parks etc. Our goal is not to bring the students to the church, but the church to the students.
At San Jose State University a student from a campus fellowship began to feel God's burden for the lost young women in the sororities. So instead of trying to invite them to a campus fellowship she acted like a missionary and brought the fellowship to them by joining the sorority! She is now a leader in the sorority and leading her sorority sisters to Christ!
3. Power of Presence:
The third step is to simply "show up." Jesus commanded His disciples to "Go" and make disciples, not wait for them to come to a church building. As we pray and are led by the Holy Spirit to pockets of un-reached students, we are to then show up and befriend those lost groups of students. The most effective way of befriending a lost group of students is by serving and caring for their needs. We do this before we share with them the Gospel, by finding out their needs and meeting them. For example, college students are hungry for a good meal, so hold free dinners. If the international students want to practice their English, hang out and talk English with them. Whatever it may be, meet the students felt needs. So we pray for them, we then care for them & when the door of opportunity opens we share with them the Good News of Jesus Christ!
Jesus sent out the 70 telling them to take nothing with them. We should not be hindered in our church planting and evangelism because we don't have a facility, staff or finances. The resources are in the harvest field, our job is to show up, preach the Kingdom, pray for the sick, deliver the oppressed and expect God to open a dorm, apartments, classroom, café, or home etc for us to start a campus church.
In Cal State Long Beach a campus church planter started praying for students near the school art building. Pretty soon he developed friendships with students in the art department and eventually led them to Christ on the front lawn of the Art Department. They ended up meeting each week on the front lawn for church! That campus church ended up planting 8 more churches at Cal State Long Beach University.
4. Person of Peace:
The fourth step is to find the person of peace or the student of peace within the pocket of students. Jesus said to his disciples to go into the town and villages looking for the person who would welcome the gospel and open up their home. The student of peace is critical, because they will be the indigenous leader to win that community of lost students. They become the conduit for passing the kingdom message to the entire community of friends. Could you imagine if you won the leader of the fraternity to Christ, the whole frat could follow & come to Christ!
A person of peace is…(student of peace)
- Receptive: They are open to the message of the person and peace of Christ.
- Relational Connections: They know lots of students on campus and in the community
- Reputation: They are people of reputation good or bad (Cornelius/Samaritan Women)
- Reborn: They are normally a seeker whom you win to the Lord and are born again.
In San Francisco State University a campus fellowship led a star-wrestling player to Christ and very soon the same star wrestler led almost the entire SFSU wrestling team to Christ also! Look for the natural student leaders who already have influence with other students on campus.
5. People of Purpose:
The fifth step is as the student of peace brings his/her friends and family to Christ a church is born. The uniqueness of this birth is the church was born out of the harvest and is found among the harvest and is bent on a mission to continue to reach the lost as its main purpose. The student of peace could have the new church meet in his/her home, apartment, dorm or wherever is convenient on or near campus and may be even the new leader of the emerging church.
The key is once the new church is born on campus it is imperative for the campus church planter to work his/her way out of the new church plant by modeling & training the new emerging student leader to lead & pastor the new campus church. In this way, the new campus church will not be dependent on the church planter to pastor them, but they will indigenously take responsibility to lead themselves and reproduce leaders of their own kind naturally.
This kind of a church is not hindered by cultural Christianity (where it becomes a social club) or a church that is dependent on a full time pastor/staff, because the students from the start learn how to reach their friends, depend on God, each other and don't know any better than to follow Jesus and expect Him to save their friends, family and ultimately the nations!
In Los Angeles a major campus ministry realized their full time campus staff members did not have enough capacity to manage 8-10 campuses by themselves. In order to remedy this problem they took the above "student of peace" approach and started campus fellowships by winning students of peace & empowering them to win their lost friends immediately. Once a fellowship was formed the campus staff would model for the new student leader how to lead the campus ministry. After a short while the staff member would coach the student of peace from a distance so they would lead or pastor the new campus fellowship and reproduce likewise. This approach worked so well this ministry has since adopted this model and growth has exploded exponentially on different campuses. If they were still relying on full time campus staff workers to manage & lead all the different campus ministries they would never have the capacity to reach so many campuses with such effectiveness.
There are many tools for evangelism that have proven effective in church history. Our philosophy is to not choose anyone over another, but to work with what works. We may use a variety of methods to win the person of peace on campus and his/her networks of friends and family.
Possible methods to be used are:
- Prayer evangelism: Prayer, Care, Share
- Power evangelism: Praying for signs, wonders and miracles
- Persuasion evangelism: Handing out tracks, 4 spiritual laws or other creative Gospel materials
- Proclamation evangelism: Holding evangelistic rallies, open air preaching during school
- Personal evangelism: Befriending them, inviting unbelievers to, free dinner, coffee, cell meeting etc
- Pasta evangelism: AKA: Alpha dinners 10 week intro to Christianity, seeker Bible study/forum, etc.
- Prophetic evangelism: dream & vision interpretation, word of knowledge or prophetic booths on campus at Starbucks.
- Present evangelism: Use whatever present creative means to be culturally relevant in sharing the gospel in a way they can understand.
The Gospel Challenge
"Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore GO and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20
"THE 13/30 WINDOW"
Missiologoists have coined the term "the 10/40 Window," defining the geographical region 10 degrees to 40 degrees north of the Equator, an area of the globe considered by many to be the most unreached and unevangelized region of the world. But what is more crucial for us to consider is not "the 10/40 Window" but "the 13/30 Window." This defines the age group of people between 13 to 30 years old, which is really the greatest harvest field in the world today.
First of all, this age group is most open to the gospel. Secondly, it is the most important group because they are the future of the Church and the world. As such, when you reach the youth (who are located on campuses), you affect the future of Christianity and the whole world. Just look at the facts according to the UN Population Division and the Population Reference Bureau (2000):
- 60 percent of the whole world are aged 24 and under.
- 30 percent (or 1.7 billion) are aged between 10 to 24 years old.
This age group is the greatest harvest field because they are the most likely to become followers of Christ. Surveys say, 90% of all people become Christians before the age of 25. (Barna Research)
But who is going to reach them?
"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field." Matthew 9:37-38
At Campus Church Networks we desire to coach and help you become a great church planter on the campus the Lord has called you to. If you desire to become a Campus Church Network full-time church planter on a particular campus you can download the following online application to start the process. Once you have filled out the application and sent in your references our Campus Church Networks staff will prayerfully look over your application and contact you with our decision and advice for next steps.
If you are a student and desire to simply start a church planting movement on your campus with yourself or with your existing campus ministry and would like advice and coaching we at CCN are more than available to help you in the process & develop a networking relationship.
First you have to seriously pray and ask God if you are called to start Campus Churches. Your calling has nothing to do with your ability, but everything to do with your availability. Starting a church on campus means you are willing to lay down your life for your campus and commit to ministering to the students of that campus long term if this is what God is calling you to. It means taking up your cross and pouring out your life as an offering for your generation. It means after graduating you are willing to do whatever it takes to continue to live near the campus you are called to in order to continue God's work on that campus. This is the challenge.
God is raising up a nameless and faceless generation of wholehearted lovers who are willing to pay the price in order to see their generation saved. It is not about what you can do, but what Jesus Christ can do through you. Prayerfully consider if God is calling you to help start a campus church planting movement on your campus.
2 ways to take the call…
- Become a full-time CCN church planter by raising support
- Become a student church planter on your campus
With great calling comes great responsibility. Therefore, all campus church planters or student-leaders must have certain leadership qualities and characteristics to oversee a campus church. In 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 the Bible clearly describes what kind of qualities and responsibilities a spiritual leader must have and continue to grow in to lead God's people. These godly attributes include godly character, maturity and faithfulness to God's leadership standards. As we read these two chapters we have a clear picture of what a campus church leader is to be and not to be.
The following list describes different characteristics a campus church planter or student-leader is to have and be developing in…
A Campus Church Planter needs to be growing into a person of F.A.I.T.H. ---
Faithful: responsible, reliable, keeps promises and commitments, has a good attitude in serving and exhibits the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 25:21, Galatians 5).
Available: it isn't about your ability, but your availability, a person who is willing and available to do God's will no matter what the cost. Has a servants heart like Christ this person says, "not my will but God's will be done." (Isaiah 6:8, Matthew 26:39)
Integrity: holiness inside and out, transparent and not living in deceit or hidden sin, trustworthy, held accountable to others and is responsible with his/her finances, relationships and personal holiness. (Psalm 41:12, Titus 1)
Teachable: a disciple, one who is constantly learning, in studying the Word, in prayer, in receiving constructive criticism and is open to new ideas. (Matthew 28:18, Prov 1:7)
Holy Spirit Filled: a spirit-filled believer, full of the Holy Spirit and power. For it is not by strength, not by might, but by His Spirit. (Zechariah 4:6, Acts 1:8, 6)
Update: A friend of mine totally embraced the message of the student churches' mission when we were in college. As a consequence our friendship since elementary school slowly drew apart as he spent more and more of his time with other ardent believers as they evangelized to the lost- me included. We eventually graduated and went our own ways. Just recently I reconnected with him at our 10 year high school reunion. He had just returned from a rehab center where his mother was being treated for alcoholism. He had been praying for her recovery for the past five years. Every abstinance program she had tried ended in failure. He was very depressed and felt God was testing his faith.
I had recently done the graphic design for a website called LifeBac that offered a totally different approach from typical alcohol treatment centers. LifeBac's approach uses pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. The pharmacotherapy medication is Baclofen, a drug that removes or strongly suppresses cravings for alcohol in 92% of people. Initial clinical trials show that Baclofen has a 65% success rate for treatment-resistant alcoholics whereas the success rate for AA and other residential 12 step treatment programs is about 10%. I suggested he look up the site. It wasn't a quack idea. Doctors in Europe have been prescribing baclofen as the primary treatment for people who drink excessively for a number of years. My friend gave me a huge hug and said God was watching out for him and his mother. I heard from him about 6 months later letting me know that his mother was on this LifeBac program and doing well. His parting words in his email was "God Bless, my prayers were answered".
God does work in mysterious ways.
Apostolic Preaching & Prophetic Worship on Campuses!!!