Our mission, as stated on our website, is as follows: We exist to pursue, model and teach intimacy with God at IUPUI, in Christian community. Let’s break this down.
Pursue. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Model. 1 Corinthians 11:1 says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
Teach. Jesus said in Matthew 28, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Impact Christian Ministries began as Harvest Campus Ministries in the 90’s, made a name change to Impact Ministries International in 1999, and in 2010, a distinct organization called Impact Christian Ministries as we know it was formed to focus exclusively on college campus ministry in the United States. The motto exists now as “Impact the U, Impact the World.”
So… Why IUPUI?
We have diversity all around us. The graduating class of 2016 represented more countries than it did states. We’re in the heart of one of the top 15 largest cities in America. We have access to so many people who we can reveal God’s love and wisdom to. Who’s to say a small group of light-bearing students can’t have a huge impact in the surrounding community, and consequently, the world?
How do we do this?
There are two phases - input and output. An effective ministry begins with well-equipped members. If we are to accomplish our mission statement, we need to start from the foundation, as all projects begin. The foundational layer of Impact includes our life groups and worship nights. These are times when we can learn more about God’s Word, and we can be with Him in the midst of each other. Our foundation becomes stronger and stronger as we gather more information, see from different perspectives, address any questions we have, worship the Lord, and participate in discussion. Just as we need food and water as physical input for our bodies, we need scripture as spiritual input to keep us active in our faith.
Then comes output. We take what we learn about God and apply it to our surroundings. Our goal is to demonstrate the essence of Christianity in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Through Impact, we accomplish this through fellowship events and service projects. We go forth and show the same love for others as God has always shown to us. We form real bonds with each other. Pursue, model, and teach.
A little bit on why I came to Impact and stayed with it -
Impact was attractive to me because of the people. Everyone showed everyone love, care, encouragement, and support. I often thought to myself, “there’s really something special here.” It was and is intimate. It was and is intentional. It was and is focused on its mission. It has changed my faith for the better, and because of this, I want it to have the same effect on other students. Impact is not perfect, but that’s not the point. God isn’t here waiting for us to correct ourselves and then come to Him, like a child in time-out; he is always waiting for each of his children to run to him as admittedly broken souls in need of a Father.
I came into college already worn out by transitioning to the next chapter of my life. I went to Involvement Expos just because my friends were going. Some of you know the story of how I met Andrew at the Impact booth simply because I recognized him from a middle school retreat. I started going to a life group after some much-needed poking and prodding, and the reawakening began as I saw what God could do on a huge college campus.
Impact exists to give students purpose and direction in such a demanding phase of their lives. Impact exists to unite the weary and heavy-laden and put all of us back on our feet. Impact is a distinct part of the body of Christ with unique messages to deliver and acts of love to bestow.
As stated in Ecclesiastes 4:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
We cannot be Christians alone, and that is why Impact exists at IUPUI. By pursuing God, modeling his teachings, and teaching others about His glory, we can further bring His kingdom to our community with the spiritual gifts He has blessed each of us with.
Haley Welch, Student President of Impact Christian Fellowship at IUPUI