The Pittsburgh University football player took off his sling and began swinging his arm around. “I couldn’t move it like this before!” Tears filled his eyes. “What’s happening?”
“Jesus loves you,” was the reply he heard.
Other football players began lining up, presenting their various injuries; a glint of faith was beginning to spark in their eyes toward Jesus. “Will you pray for me, too?”
The students began praying. As they did, they told them about Jesus and why they were out in the streets meeting people. Whether they experienced healing or not, they each encountered His love.
A woman walks by right then and asks, “What’s going on here?”
“These people are praying for people and healing them,” a football player informed her.
“Will you pray for me? I’m on my way to the hospital. I just recently had brain surgery. I woke up this morning and I can’t move my arm.”
She walked home, no longer in need of a hospital visit.
This was just one story from the Student CPx in Pittsburgh, PA last week.
The story above might sound crazy. Perhaps it’s a bit outside the norm of many of our Christian experiences. But it’s true. These things are happening. Crazy things happened in the Bible. They can happen today. Why do some people get healed when we pray and other times they don’t? I don’t know. Jesus just told us to heal the sick and live by faith. There’s a lot of mystery in following Him.
Students are simply taking Jesus’ commands and trying to follow Him. They lead people to Jesus – six people accepted Christ from the streets of Pittsburgh during Student CPx. New believers were baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. Simple churches are starting on campuses.
This is a student movement we’re witnessing. When students are sent to represent Jesus among the lost and broken, He likes to go with them. That’s the heart of Student CPx: to release the potential in students to change the world.
I can’t say the fruit is just the quality of the SCPx training. It’s not just the hype that a well-implemented advertising and promotion plan produces (ours isn’t that great, anyway). These students love Jesus. They’re bringing that love to lost people everywhere they go. I’m amazed at the students Jesus is raising up.
Here’s what Meghan Strickland from the University of Texas had to say:
Why I Love Student CPx
Last August I went through a 10-day training called SCPx, Student Church Planting Experience. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced, and Jesus completely rocked my life during it. If you are college student, I strongly encourage you to look into this training. It is one the best things I ever did.
Why I love SCPx…
- SCPx is a hands-on training, not a conference.– I have been to many conferences. It seems that most end with a sore butt from sitting for 3 days straight and a headache from the information overload. Consumption, not always followed by action. At SCPx, you experience interactive teaching every morning and then immediately you are “sent out” into the city or campus to apply it that day! Fruit is seen instantly. No better way to learn than to trust the Holy Spirit and get your hands dirty.
- SCPx feels like family– Usually anywhere from 15-40 students go through SCPx. It is not large scale. You can imagine the deep relationships that are formed over 10 days of living, eating, praying, and loving people together. The SCPx I attended last year in Austin birthed a community that has felt more like family as we have continued to live out church over the past year. I have never felt closer to the church in Acts.
- SCPx is not just about the campus, but the nations.– After SCPx, I saw disciples made, new believers, baptisms, simple church lived out, and signs and wonders on the UT campus. But God also broke my heart deeply for the nations. Because of the church planting training I received at SCPx, I felt equipped and empowered to go to South Asia in January of this year. Now, some of the other SCPx “grads” and I will return there to train young people in the same way to reach their country!
- SCPx fosters an atmosphere of freedom.– God showed His power by healing me physically and setting me free of a life-long battle of allergies and asthma during those 10 days. Also, many bondages and sin struggles I had carried for a year were broken off of me at SCPx. This is because, more than church planting curriculum, SCPx is about knowing how much God loves us and our identity in Him. Then we were freed to love people radically. I have heard many SCPx “grads” say it was as if they received “permission” to live in freedom and walk in radical obedience.
- SCPx is a challenge.– This is the disclaimer I give to students interested in SCPx… this training will challenge you. It will challenge you physically. It will stretch you. It will cause you to trust the Holy Spirit in a way you have never done before. It will put you completely out of your comfort zone at times. It will probably challenge your theology at some point. It will confront your ideas of what “church” is. It will wreck you out in all the best ways possible. It will push you closer to Jesus and others. If your experience is anything like mine, it will be the best challenge of your life.
More stories to come at Student CPx in Phoenix, Austin, San Diego and (Lord willing) Kansas City this Summer!