One of the Scriptures that come to mind when thinking about our connection to the kingdom of God is Luke 10:20. It says that Christians have authority over and protection from Satan and his power because Jesus has signed our names in heaven.
We are kingdom citizens in pursuit of living out the kingdom culture on earth. But how can academic administrators and professors help implement the evidence of God’s culture on the campus of your Christian institution?
The foundation is laid in how we show love for one another. So, the first of seven simple ways to create a kingdom culture begins with a personal and dramatic example of the power of God’s love among peers on campus:
Make Demonstrating God’s Love a High Priority
“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)
In the Summer of 2021, my wife gave birth to a premature baby girl at 27 weeks. Born at 2lbs 7oz, she suffered the most severe case of intraventricular hemorrhage in her brain that led to hydrocephalus (water on the brain). While my wife and I focused on being by her side in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), engaging in spiritual warfare over her life, the body of Christ on campus rallied around us.
Sharing in the call from God to attend seminary, we were the neighbors who they owed nothing to, yet showed their love for Christ by loving us through the season. Families took turns cooking meals for us, the campus pastors and families prayed for us, and we received many blessings and words of encouragement. Families babysat our other two daughters so that my wife and I could visit our “miracle baby” together or have a date night to help take our minds off the weight of the season. My family were the other neighbors who were loved by God through our neighbors.
Our daughter is doing amazing as we speak, and we are so thankful to the Lord.
Ensuring that God’s heart is on display is crucial because the trials and testing that will come to students has the potential to make them question whether they are called to seminary, and they might drop out as a result. However, God’s love sustains and reaffirms each student that we have heard God clearly in answering the call to ministry. Because we can never repay God for His love for us, He has given us the desire to pay it forward.
My exhortation for the Christian College is this: Go and do likewise for others.
Create an Email Thread for the Needs of Your Brothers and Sisters in Christ
“And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.” (Acts 4:32)
There is a student email group thread on campus that reminds me of the body of Christ in the book of Acts. This email thread is meant for students to post their needs, such as borrowing schoolbooks (because money can be tight on a seminary campus) or their family needs like furniture or babysitting. This also allows students to serve others and fulfill those needs. This is a fantastic way to build culture and relationship, knowing that God can supply our living and daily needs through the body of Christ at seminary.
Read God’s Word Together, Publicly
“Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do! “ (Exodus 24:3)
Prior to Exodus 24, the Lord gave His laws to Moses for Israel to obey. Moses then read God’s commands to Israel, and they all agreed to obey the Living God as one voice: from the youngest to the oldest, from the servant to Moses.
Whether its nationality, ability, status, year level, campus position, age, man, woman, or child, since the Lord God is One, He calls us to imitate His righteous standard through Christ Jesus as one, knowing that we are accountable to Him and each other as one through the Son.
How can your campus community come together as one before God?
Revelation 1:3 says that there is a blessing in store for those who both read and hear the words of the book’s prophecy. We do not know what that blessing looks like because the Bible does not specify. However, imagine if your students and faculty as one body and one voice listened to and read the book of Revelation together, reading Revelation on your campus publicly. I wonder the impact the blessing of God would have on your campus from the public reading of Revelation (as well as other books of the Bible).
“See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. “I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship.” (Exodus 31:2–3)
“And behold, I Myself have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of
Dan; and in the hearts of all who are skillful I have put skill, that they may make all that I have commanded you.” (Exodus 31:6)
Bezalel and Oholiab’s job were to create a replicated version of God’s kingdom culture in heaven on earth through art and design. Art imitates culture, and God wanted to create a distinction between Israel and the rest of the kingdoms on earth.
Likewise, secular artistry, such as contemporary art, film, and billboard advertisements if you take notice, often proclaims another kind of spiritual dominion or kingdom, while given the face of a physical representation.
Since the Spirit of God is greater than he who is in the world, how much more powerful is the Spirit-filled artisan in comparison to secular artistry?
If a Christian college is looking to further engage culture with the Gospel, consider the weight and influence of creative expression by those whose “names are written in heaven” by Jesus Christ (Luke 10:20). Encourage students and faculty to release God’s reign and glory on and off campus creatively. Then go and support them. How? Perhaps class assignments could allow for an artistic expression rather than an essay. That student would then submit their artistic expression to an art magazine, art gallery, or museum (online or in person), or simply post on relevant forums, Facebook, Instagram, and the like. The opportunities are abundant.
Celebrate the Many Languages on Your Campus
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands.” (Rev. 7:9)
A standard for God’s kingdom culture is diversity.
Jesus made His redemptive blood available to every nation, tribe, people, and tongue and according to Revelation, they are saints and citizens of heaven. Your campus diversity is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s influence throughout the earth.
Now that these nations are on your campus, God has given your academic administration the responsibility of welcoming and growing them in Christ Jesus. Consider recognizing them and implementing the uniqueness of their culture on campus, such as their delicious cuisine.
Connect With Cuisine
“Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46–47)
Food and building kingdom culture go hand and hand. It is a connection builder.
You might not speak Farsi or Arabic, but once you delve into the seasoning and spices of chicken shawarma, falafel, or sweet baklava, the culture will most certainly speak your language– because everyone loves tasty food. Try doing an “International Food and Fellowship Weekend.”
The Lord could use something as common as food as a pivotal point in fostering life-enriching friendships, vocations, and missionary endeavors.
Help Your Students Discover Their Spiritual Gifts
“Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.” (1 Titus 4:14–16)
What gift has the Spirit of the Lord bestowed on your students?
You can help them know their area of spiritual gifting and ability, whether by testing, supplying opportunities to serve and share in various roles, or by evaluating what they share with you in their heart. Graduating your college with a solid understanding of their spiritual ability is an invaluable gift that will help your students to stay encouraged and empowered to become the person God has called them to be from eternity.
In conclusion, the kingdom of God is still at hand through the power and love of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. He lived life on earth, bringing glory to God and setting up kingdom culture for us to imitate. Through these seven keys for building kingdom culture on campus, the evidence of God’s culture can be magnified, bringing glory and honor to His name, and drawing your students closer as one body in Christ. Moreover, it will help them to carry forward other ways to live out the Gospel and the light of Jesus to the world around them after they leave your campus.