The first step for churches applying to the One Year Challenge program is to determine if your church is a campus ministry in a college town, or a mission church in one one the least evangelized countries.
Practically any church can participate as a OYC site, but Campus Service Team gives the most program support to two types of ministries:
- Campus ministries in college towns;
- Mission churches in the least-evangelized countries.
First, churches in campus towns are strategically important but chronically short of resources. Since the university dominates the town, most students move elsewhere after graduation. These churches deserve additional temporary support from One Year Challenge volunteers. In return, they provide many churches with single disciples converted in their campus ministries.
What’s a campus town church? In the OYC program, we define it as a church in a city with a population less than twice the number of students enrolled in its universities. Examples include State College, Pennsylvania; Norman, Oklahoma; and Storrs, Connecticut. In cities like this, the university practically is the city.
Second, mission churches in the least evangelized countries are in great need of outside help. Every nation in the world is, in one sense, still unevangelized and in great need. However, clearly the need is much, much greater in some places than in others.
For the OYC program, “least evangelized countries” are those with at least five times lower the world average ratio of ICOC members* to population. Worldwide, our family of churches has about one member per 70,000 people. Countries that fall into this category have fewer than one member per 350,000 population. Examples include Germany, Vietnam and Israel.
Of course, just being a church in a campus town or in a least evangelized country doesn’t automatically qualify it as a One Year Challenge site. All sites must be overseen by capable leadership and meet other program requirements, since they are being entrusted with volunteers from other churches.
What if a church is not in a college town or one of the least evangelized countries?
It can still participate in the program. Many disciples may be seeking opportunities to serve in places other than campus towns or the least evangelized countries, and we want to help them find these worthy sites.
However, we don’t promote these sites with the same intensity we give to campus town churches or mission churches in the least evangelized nations. There is a separate section of the website (“other worthy sites”) and a separate registration form for churches in this third category. Of course, these sites must also meet the same program requirements for capable leadership and a well thought-out ministry training program.
Ready to apply as a One Year Challenge site? Here’s the application.
*Defining “least evangelized” only in terms of ICOC membership is admittedly limited and imprecise. We’re thankful for all Christians in every country who are proclaiming Jesus.