Campus Ministry Changes the World

Introducing One8Eee Campus Ministry

By Evan Bartholomew, Lead Minister.

“Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.” Acts 19:8-10 NIV.

“You have made people listen. You have made people care, and you have taught us that whether we are poor or prosperous, we have only one world to share. You have taught young people that they do have the power to change the world.” ~~ Kofi Annan (Seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, 2001 Nobel Peace Prize).

“Change” is the single word that communicates the uncompromising goal and heart of our campus ministry. To produce “change” in each individual, then to “change” others, and in turn “changing” the world! The message of the first century disciples was also “change”, “I preached that they should repent and TURN to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.” (Acts 26:20 NIV) The imprint left by their ministry “changing” others was unequivocal even amongst their persecutors, “These who have turned the world UPSIDE DOWN have come here too.” (Acts 17:6 NKJV) The “change” was evident throughout all the world, and has been unequaled since! In the spirit of “change”, it is of great privilege to introduce at this time our new campus ministry name – One8Ee Campus Ministry!

It is easy to underestimate the dynamism of the youthful and seemingly naïve college student. Yet, when the apostle Paul took twelve men, who had just escaped from the clutches of a persecuting and “obstinate” crowd, to evangelize all in the province of Asia, he took them to the lecture hall (college campus) of Tyrannus at Ephesus. It was at the lecture hall where they held daily Bible discussions, or Bible Talks, that fueled their forceful advancement throughout the entire province of Asia. From the book of Revelation, which records letters to the seven churches in Asia, we know that there were at least seven churches planted in the province of Asia with Ephesus as the pillar church! Asia was turned inside out, flipped upside down, and spun One8Ee degrees around by just a handful of sold-out disciples who invested and multiplied themselves into college students, who also invested and multiplied themselves into other college students!

From my first months as a disciple until now, campus ministry has always had a profound place in my heart. I was baptized as a freshman in College in 2001, after my older brother was baptized a month earlier as a junior in college. I remember the joy of knowing that almost every time I had a break, I could head down to the campus cafeteria and find fellow disciples on their breaks or doing Bible studies. In the few years to follow, the campus ministry I got baptized into began to diminish and eventually disappeared. Those of us who remained faithful, married or graduated and moved into other ministries. The effort that it took to baptized and disciple college students became “too time consuming” and “inconvenient” for the more “mature” disciples to partake in. Selfishly, we stood by and watched the heart of the church – the campus ministry – crumble to pieces!

Evan and Kelly Bartholomew lead the UHH and now One8Ee Campus Ministry.

In late 2006, my wife Kelly, who was also baptized into a campus ministry in Dallas Fort-Worth, Texas in 2002, and myself decided to repent and rebuild the type of campus ministry that we were baptized into on the University of Hawaii at Hilo campus! We started with just the two of us, along with the help of my younger brother – Levi! Because we were all working full-time jobs during the day, we would leave work and spend our nights crusading the covered outdoor hallways of UHH searching for students who were looking for “change”. Now, two years later, we have been blessed to see many college students baptized, and many more study the “the word of the Lord”. Among the baptisms, was Melissa, who would later become Melissa Bartholomew – Levi’s wife and my new sister in law! Although we have seen these type of blessings, we are even more excited to reach a new milestone for our campus ministry. One8Ee is not only a name for our Hilo campus ministry, but prayerfully a permanent ministry on the University of Hawaii at Hilo campus. It includes the One8Ee RISO (Registered Independent Student Organization), which permits the use of on-campus facilities and resources. Also, we will be working on a separate web page for the campus ministry, that will be connected to our main Hilo International Christian Church web page – It is awesome to see the campus ministry I was baptized into again!

Many churches have, throughout time, failed to draw college students in with the notion that all college students are immature and turned off from following God’s inerrant word. Sadly, they never question the staleness and deadness of their own congregation as a reason for being unattractive to an average college student! As a consequence the church dries up and becomes even more stale. Other churches, try to attract students through games, fun, and music, which they substitute for teaching them how to be sold-out disciples. Immorality and impurity run rampant in these fellowships, and it goes unchallenged by the leadership because of the fear of losing and turning off the “younger crowd”. I put before us that college students are not only capable of true discipleship, but are a vital part of any fellowship. Only they are often unhindered and unencumbered by the burdens of life that many older disciples find themselves in, making them more mobile and more effective in advancing the Kingdom of God.

The name, One8Ee, is a misspelling of one hundred and eighty, the exact number of degrees that an individual must turn in order to truly “repent and TURN to God”! Jesus commanded people to repent or perish. (Luke 13:3,5 NIV) Yet, for so many in this modern world, young and old, they choose to “perish”. For some, one hundred and eighty degrees just seems too far to turn. Instead, some turn a measly ten degrees and think that it is good enough. Others turn all the way to one hundred and seventy nine degrees, and think that this is surely good enough. Still others turn one hundred and eighty degrees, but keep on going until they spin full circle and continue on in the same direction and lifestyle they are living. If you are among these people, the One8Ee Campus Ministry is here to find you, to help you “change”, and ask for your help in “changing” the world! To God be the glory!