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2002 Conversations


Ron McManus: Leadership center launched (December 30, 2001)

Norman Arnesen: History's supreme event (December 23, 2001)

Dr. Everett Bartholf: Help for the holidays (December 16, 2001)

"Auntie" Anne Beiler: God has a plan (December 9, 2001)

Mary Inman: Raising seven sons for Christ (November 25, 2001)

Tony Hall: Feeding the hungry, one person at a time (Novemer 18, 2001)

John Maracle: A growing Native American Fellowship (November 11, 2001)

Al Peterson: Praying for national leaders (October 28, 2001)

Beverly LaHaye: The family is God's gift (October 21, 2001)

Terry Meeuwsen: Putting family first (October 14, 2001)

Dennis Gaylor: Changing the world, one student at a time (September 30, 2001)

Nate Cole: You are not alone (September 16, 2001)

George Cope: Training pastors, missionaries and evangelists (September 9, 2001)

Thomas E. Trask: Breaking down the barriers (August 26, 2001)

John Kilpatrick: The blessings and challenges of revival (August 19, 2001)

Marie Colwill: A passion for evangelism (August 12, 2001)

Lottie Riekehof: The Joy of Signing (July 22, 2001)

John Castellani: Teen Challenge: The Jesus factor (July 15, 2001)

Mike and John Tompkins: Publishing newspapers and proclaiming the Good News (July 8, 2001)

Chuck Girard: Music, marriage and ministry (June 24, 2001)

Stanley Burgess: The value of a godly father (June 17, 2001)

Dennis Franck: Single Adult Ministries Agency (June 10, 2001)

Thomas E. Trask: The work of the Holy Spirit (May 27, 2001)

Stephen Tourville: The changing church in America (May 20, 2001)

Margaret Columbia: Raising 17 children for Christ (May 13, 2001)

Donna Fahrenkopf: Wanted: a life change (April 29, 2001)

Sean Smith: Spiritual attacks on young people (April 22, 2001)

Josh McDowell: Is the Bible true? (April 15, 2001)

Joyce Meyer: Being a practical Christain (April 8, 2001)

Paul Drost: Multiplication (March 18, 2001)

Bill Bright: Fasting for 40 days (March 11, 2001)

Beth Grant: Women in ministry (February 25, 2001)

Alicia Chole: His people and His presence (February 18, 2001)

Cris Carter: Playing on God's team (January 28, 2001)

Randall K. O'Bannon: The value of life (January 21, 2001)

Dennis Gaylor: Secular colleges: a vital mission field (January 14, 2001)

Secular colleges: a vital mission field

(January 14, 2001)

Dennis Gaylor is director of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries. Chi Alpha is impacting 225 campuses nationwide, involving about 12,000 students who meet weekly. He spoke recently with Scott Harrup, general editor of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Evangel: The environment on secular college campuses has become increasingly anti-Christian, yet Chi Alpha keeps growing.

Gaylor: Yes, but Christianity thrives in a hostile environment. Chi Alpha and other Christian campus organizations are doing well because students’ spiritual needs are not new or unique. When those needs are confronted or met by a community of believers on campus, or when students are able to observe that community in action, it draws them.

Students come to Christ at our meetings even without invitations. The deep moral uncertainty in our society is so despairing and disillusioning that students are looking to fill the vacuum in their lives. The relativism and tolerance for sin being promoted today are intensifying the need in students’ spiritual lives.

Evangel: How would you characterize the students being reached by Chi Alpha?

Gaylor: Loneliness is the No. 1 problem. Students want to become part of something. Our Chi Alpha groups are committed to ministering and serving these students. They may establish initial contact by helping students move into the dorm or meeting them in the student center at an information table. These familiar campus environments are ideal places to initiate friendships. Warm, friendly contacts attract students to meetings held in dorm lounges and other activities.

I think of one freshman who came to a campus in the Midwest. Chi Alpha students moved him into his dorm. He made some friendships and was led to Christ. He was invited to a Chi Alpha retreat, saw the connection with the Assemblies of God and decided to attend a Wednesday night service at a church. He was baptized in the Holy Spirit. He stayed in Chi Alpha, married another student involved in Chi Alpha and is now a campus minister. His name is Greg Kinzle, and he and his wife serve at Iowa State University. There are many stories like that.

Evangel: What spiritual distinctive sets Chi Alpha apart?

Gaylor: The Assemblies of God distinctive of the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues is the marker. When you have a gathering of Spirit-filled students, you’re going to have empowered worship. That is attractive. There is a lot of liberty. Many students are hungry for that experience.

Evangel: Tell our readers about ministry to international students.

Gaylor: More than 500,000 international students study at U.S. colleges, and that number increases every year. The United States is the No. 1 host nation for education. In Chi Alpha we’ve made international ministry integral to all we do. Almost 20 percent of the students we reach are internationals from about 125 nations, some of which are closed to the gospel and traditional missions outreach.

Evangel: Who are the people committing themselves to campus ministry?

Gaylor: The majority of America’s 15 million college students are not being reached by the local church. We don’t expect the church to have the focus of ministry necessary to successfully reach the campus. This is why we need Chi Alpha. It is the specialized nature of campus ministry which provides a context for discipling, meeting students’ needs and challenging students in ways few churches are prepared to do. We bring Christian witness and perspective into the world where students live, study and congregate.

Young men and women who have been touched by Chi Alpha are becoming ministry leaders themselves. In fact, most of our vocational campus ministers are raised up within Chi Alpha. Their areas of experience are as diverse as the students they are reaching. But God has called them, and He’s the One who empowers their different styles of ministry and leadership.

At the same time, a significant number of leaders are coming out of our Assemblies of God colleges and seminary.

Evangel: How are technological advances like the Internet helping Chi Alpha?

Gaylor: E-mail has enhanced communication on the local level between campus leaders and among students. Our website — http://chialpha.ag.org/ — is providing greater awareness of Chi Alpha nationwide.

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