My name is Nate Tate and I recently read your article in the Ledger, and thought I’d write a response. As for my background, I currently lead one of the campus clubs you mentioned – Koinonia. The following is my response:
An article in the previous edition of the Ledger expressed the opinion that there are too many religious clubs on campus – specifically the Christian ones. The reasons given were that first, so many groups preaching the same message and having an appearing rivalry is ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst. The second reason given was that the clubs’ chances at funding became next to nothing.
In response to these things, I would like to say that having so many Christian clubs is not counterproductive. Consider the very existence of JCCC. For example, how many community colleges and universities are in the greater Kansas City area? How many existed when JCCC was established? Yet nobody scorns the existence of JCCC, for the very reason that it offers the same things as the others – education – at different times and a different location.
So it is for these Christian clubs. A generous estimate says there are maybe 100 Christians represented in all these clubs combined, trying to reach a campus with several thousand. Even if you are not a Christian, one must conclude that a group that believes in such a place as hell and doesn’t do their best to warn people of the danger must hate them. If we didn’t share what we believe, how calloused would that be? Also, we do have relations with the other clubs, seeking to encourage and build each other.
As for the funding, I doubt any club is seeking to raise the massive funds that would be necessary to go to Madagascar, and referenced in the previous article. Our ministry is here, and a community college is hardly the place to seek funding if we were seeking to go elsewhere.
Since it seems the Christian clubs are giving a confusing message to some, let me try to sum it up. The belief of Christianity is not simply “believe in our God or you’ll go to hell”. The Bible says mankind was made to be in relationship with God – it’s our core need. Now that we’re separated from Him, nothing truly satisfies – or in this culture, someone would have found what it is. But the fact remains that nobody has ever made enough money, had enough sex, been so successful, or accumulated enough stuff to be happy. It can only be found in a renewal of relationship with God, made possible by Jesus’ death on the cross. That’s our message, we believe it, and because we do, we persist in telling others. Much thanks!