2016 is almost upon us. It's time to celebrate His victories with you—our Teammates—and to plan wisely for challenges we will confront in the coming year (Proverbs 21:31).
One area where we are anticipating the potential for exponential growth in 2016 is Ratio Christi College Prep (RCCP). This is our major initiative that strategically prepares high school students for the intellectual and spiritual challenges they will face one day at the university. They face the same challenges right now in high school, online, and in the culture. These obstacles, however, often become our students’ greatest opportunities to advance their passion for and pursuit of truth, the historical reliability of the claims of Christ, and the coherence of the Christian worldview in their lives.
Here’s one such example we want to share with you. It involves one changed life through the ministry of Ratio Christi College Prep—someone now involved in changing the lives of others. In 2015 Zoe Polites was a North Carolina high school student who had been asked numerous times to come to RCCP by her friend and student leader Jenna Shackelford. After seeing the movie God’s Not Dead she finally decided to attend. The first night, she politely informed RCCP leader Kevin Duffy that she “believed differently about many things.” She stated affirmatively though that she would come to the group but would NOT be participating in any “street apologetics or evangelism.”
Over the ensuing months, Zoe challenged Kevin continually with questions. She accepted nothing at face value and her questions forced Kevin to become a better apologist. Yet, if he dared cancel ANY RCCP events he would hear about it. In just a few months she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior and was baptized. Zoe even sought opportunities to teach others! Street apologetics—applying what she had learned in class for the purpose of winning the lost—has now become Zoe’s passion!
Her eternity and that of many others was changed largely because of Christ working through RCCP. And Zoe’s story doesn’t end at RCCP—she has now transitioned successfully to a Ratio Christi University campus chapter at UNC Charlotte where she serves faithfully.
Great victories bring future challenges. In prior communications we cited the Barna Research Group report. They have found that about 70% of youth drop out of attending Christian churches between the ages of 18-22—most often because they are not prepared for challenges to the historic Christian faith. According to a government website there are over 37,000 high schools in the United States. Wouldn’t you like to see a Zoe, a Jenna, and a Kevin on every high school campus or on your high school campus?!
One prominent need Ratio Christi College Prep has in 2016 is a bigger team to keep up with the growth. The goal is to increase from clubs in just a few states to national in scope. Adequate staffing, infrastructure, and logistics alone could cost $185,000 in 2016. We invite you to join us or recommit to the journey.
Randy Alcorn, in his book The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving, asks a thought provoking question. Are we living and giving for “the dot,” the here and now of this life, or for eternity, “the line” that never ends? Alcorn repeatedly reminds us that the Bible affirms the principle that if we make eternal investments of our time, talents, and resources we will reap eternal rewards.
One out of three: God has enabled us to meet one of the three previously reported financial goals so that we can end the budget year in the black and be ready for what God has next. As of today the entire $47,000 matching grant opportunity has been fulfilled! We are grateful for God’s provision and your generous giving. Two more year end goals remain. Let’s move forward and not retreat. We still have to raise $28,600 to reach the $116,000 goal to eliminate our budget deficit. (We are 75% of the way there!) And most importantly, we need more monthly givers as we are still $13,000 per month short of the goal that will sustain our operational expenses throughout the next year.
Each day this final week of 2015 we will give snapshots of our different initiatives and our significant needs for a deeper ministry partnership.
We pray you’ll be inspired and led through His Spirit to stand with RC College Prep or perhaps one of our other Campus Apologetics Alliance major initiatives like RC International or RC Professor.
Ratio Christi, Latin for "the reason of Christ," is a global movement that equips university students and faculty to give historical, philosophical, and scientific reasons for following Jesus Christ. RC plants student-led apologetics clubs at universities around the world to defend God's existence, the reliability of the Bible, and the fact of Christ's resurrection.