Since we began ministry in Taiwan in 2000, our focus has been on unreached people. In particular we try to reach Taiwan’s working class, especially in Taiwan’s rural areas. Despite being the majority of the population, the working class are less than 1% Christian. Additionally, in some rural areas, one would be hard pressed to find any Christian witness at all, much less a growing, viable church.
Up until 2017, we had been involved in church planting among the working class in a rural area. We began to feel the need to consider how to better multiply our efforts, particularly in mobilizing Taiwanese believers to reach out to unreached communities.
A new direction
We felt the Lord prodding us to consider university student ministry as a viable strategy. Nearly 80% of students who graduate high school move on to study in institutes of higher education. Of those who graduate college, 50% will still end up with a working class job (factory, restaurant, department store, etc). Moreover, the majority of these students are from working class families and many are from rural areas.
Often, students who leave their homes to study are very open to the gospel message. We want to seize the opportunity to share Jesus with them during this optimal time. One way is by opening up a coffee shop/student outreach center. It is a safe and comfortable place where non-Christian students can go to study and have a drink or a snack while being introduced to the gospel. They can participate in activities that expose them to Christian community, including a weekly student fellowship meeting. At this meeting we enjoy a meal together, pray together and study the Word of God.
Training studens to return
Upon identifying Christian students, we come alongside them, teaching them how to be followers of Jesus. And, we encourage and pray with those students to reach out to their friends and classmates. Part of this includes inviting their friends to the student fellowship meeting and other special events. We also train them in evangelism methods and apologetics.
The long term goal for the students, whether already Christians or new converts, is that upon graduation, they will continue a dynamic walk with the Lord and impact those around them with the gospel. We are especially interested in seeing students from rural areas and working class communities trained and prepared to return to those areas, spread the gospel, and disciple others to do the same.
– Seann & Amy, University Ministry
(Chiayi City, Southern Taiwan)