A response from the president of Power to Change to COVID-19
P2C Students Back To School 20192019-10-02T14:01:23-07:00

“There is no TRUTH…”

“There is no Truth…only truth claims”

This is the postmodern worldview — and this is the most prominent message students will hear when they step onto Canadian university campuses in September.

To claim that Jesus is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) challenges the deeply held belief that there is no absolute or universal truth. And as you can imagine, it’s a very unwelcome claim to make among students today.

Meet Generation Z.

Progressive. Connected. Passionate.

Born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s, these digital natives are profoundly aware of the problems in our world and the brokenness of their own generation.

They long for change and to make a positive impact, but they need a compass.

One-third of Gen Z self-identifies as atheist, agnostic, or claims no religious affiliation. Only 4% have a Biblical worldview, making post-Christian culture their norm.1

You can help Gen Z renavigate and come to know and follow Jesus.

But, how do students come to faith in today’s postmodern culture? How do they grapple with the challenge to their worldview? Well, it’s not a one-size-fits-all process, nor is it an ambiguous spiritual wandering.

Over the past several years, we’ve tailored our ministry according to the Five Thresholds of Conversion2 — which are discernible phases people go through as they become open to the gospel. On their way to Jesus, many people move through Distrust to Trust, Complacency to Curiosity, Closed to Change to Open to Change, Meandering to Seeking, and finally, to Entering the Kingdom and Following Jesus.

In short, the journey towards Jesus is both “a mystery and a process.”3 On Canadian university campuses, it’s a journey that can take years, and at times, be very challenging.

However, like the farmer in the parable in Mark 4:26-29, we continue to faithfully scatter seed, watch and wait to see what the Lord produces, and then celebrate the results.

In the stories that follow, you’ll get a glimpse into the lives of students who are on the journey towards Jesus and those who are walking alongside them. God is changing lives and drawing people to Himself!

At Power to Change, every conversation we have, every event we plan, and every resource we produce is meant to help people on their journey towards faith in Jesus — and to equip Christian students to have a missional mindset as they walk alongside their friends.

Will you consider making a generous gift towards helping students journey towards Jesus? Every dollar matters and will make an immediate impact on campuses across Canada this fall. p2c.sh/backtoschool2019

Make a gift today, and your impact will be doubled by a generous matching gift from one of our ministry partners (But hurry, only the first $25,000 raised will be eligible for this match)!

Will Gen Z be a product of postmodern education, filtering everything through their personal experience? Or will they put their trust in Jesus, relying on Him to give them spiritual eyes to discern their direction in life?

So, is evangelism even working?

Absolutely!

God has the power to change lives! He is moving on campuses today, and together, we can proclaim the gospel and make disciples of all nations. Your investment in this Kingdom work today will make an impact for eternity.

For His Glory,

Andy Smits
National Director
Power to Change – Students


1 Barna. (2018, Jan 24). Atheism Doubles Among Generation Z. Retrieved from www.barna.com
2 Everts, D. & Schaupp, D. (2008). I Once Was Lost: What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us About Their Path to Faith. InterVarsity Press.
3 Schaupp, D. (2014). 5 Thresholds – Overview. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/98177104

Want to help share the TRUTH?

Make a gift today, and your impact will be doubled by a generous matching gift from one of our ministry partners

Donate Today

SNAPSHOTS

Olivia & Abe

Distrust to Trust
“CAN I TRUST THESE CHRISTIANS?”

Distrust to Trust
“CAN I TRUST THESE CHRISTIANS?”

As a first-year student, Olivia came across a Power to Change booth on her campus and met Abe. She was skeptical about Christians and knew very little about what they believed.

“So, are my ancestors who’ve never even heard of Jesus going to heaven?” she challenged Abe. At first, Abe struggled to find the words to answer, but he decided to be frank, explaining that Christians believe Jesus Christ is the only way to everlasting life. Olivia was taken aback but appreciated Abe’s direct response. They clicked and Abe introduced her to some of his friends.

Over time, Olivia developed great friendships with these Christian students, valuing their openness and genuine faith as they shared about the joys and trials of following Christ. She opened up about her own struggles and they had many honest conversations.

In his friendship with Olivia, Abe has found that as he is vulnerable and honest with his answers — especially when he doesn’t know what to say — the Holy Spirit uses these conversations to build trust.

Complacency to Curiosity
“I WANT TO KNOW MORE”

“What’s the biggest difference Jesus
has made in your life?”

This was the first question Jackie — an international student at the University
of British Columbia — asked of Noah when they first met on campus in the
fall of 2018.

The rapid-fire questioning only continued from there. Jackie was intrigued by Christianity and wanted to know more, so he and Noah began meeting weekly to read the Book of Mark together and discuss the life and teachings of Jesus.

As their knowledge grew, so did their friendship. Jackie even acknowledged that the highlight of his week was meeting with Noah to discuss the Bible. They began hiking together over the weekends and Jackie also became friends with other Christian students. “I really love being around Christians,” he admitted to Noah. “There’s just something about them that I’ve come to enjoy!”

Jackie and Noah continue to dialogue about faith and Jesus. Jackie is coming to understand that Christianity isn’t just a cultural construct or a set of rules, but a personal relationship with God. And as they journey together, Noah is also acquiring a greater understanding of the Bible and an increased reliance on the Holy Spirit as he seeks to communicate the heart of the gospel message with Jackie.

Jackie & Noah

Complacency to Curiosity
“I WANT TO KNOW MORE”

Jackie was intrigued by Christianity and wanted to know more, so he and Noah began meeting weekly to read the Book of Mark together and discuss the life and teachings of Jesus.

“What’s the biggest difference Jesus
has made in your life?”

This was the first question Jackie — an international student at the University
of British Columbia — asked of Noah when they first met on campus in the
fall of 2018.

The rapid-fire questioning only continued from there. Jackie was intrigued by Christianity and wanted to know more, so he and Noah began meeting weekly to read the Book of Mark together and discuss the life and teachings of Jesus.

As their knowledge grew, so did their friendship. Jackie even acknowledged that the highlight of his week was meeting with Noah to discuss the Bible. They began hiking together over the weekends and Jackie also became friends with other Christian students. “I really love being around Christians,” he admitted to Noah. “There’s just something about them that I’ve come to enjoy!”

Jackie and Noah continue to dialogue about faith and Jesus. Jackie is coming to understand that Christianity isn’t just a cultural construct or a set of rules, but a personal relationship with God. And as they journey together, Noah is also acquiring a greater understanding of the Bible and an increased reliance on the Holy Spirit as he seeks to communicate the heart of the gospel message with Jackie.

Guillaume

Closed to Open
“COULD JESUS MEET MY NEEDS?”

Over the next two years, the Word of God was shared with him in several different communities and he put his trust in Jesus.

Closed to Open
“COULD JESUS MEET MY NEEDS?”

Guillaume believed the church had nothing to offer him.

Raised in a Catholic family in Québec, he attended mass as a child and was also baptized and confirmed. But when his mother strayed from her faith, he did too.

Then as a young adult, Guillaume was drawn back to church while living in the the Phillippines. God pursued him and he began to understand the personal nature of Jesus and his need for something more in his life.

When Guillaume returned to Canada, he sought out Christian community at Université Laval and eventually connected with several students involved with Power to Change. Over the next two years, the Word of God was shared with him in several different communities and he put his trust in Jesus. When Guillaume realized his need for salvation, it changed everything!

Want to help share the TRUTH?

Make a gift today, and your impact will be doubled by a generous matching gift from one of our ministry partners

Donate Today

Meandering to Seeking
“CAN I TRUST IN JESUS?”

When Yasmin (an Iranian International Student at the University of Toronto) met Farah (a mature Iranian Christian) at a Power to Change Thanksgiving Dinner, they formed a fast friendship.

Yasmin was immediately interested in joining Farah at events and learning about God. She even attended Alpha in her 2nd semester and prayed occasionally to Jesus. But, she struggled with the disparity between what Christianity and Islam taught about Jesus. Who was he, really? A prophet or God Himself in the flesh?

Her heart was captivated by Jesus, but what did that mean for her Islamic faith?

Before Yasmin returned to Iran, she delved further into these questions with Power to Change leaders and they dialogued about the problem of sin, our futile attempts to achieve holiness on our own, and the cost of Jesus’ sacrifice for us to be made
right with God.

While in Canada, Yasmin made many Christian friends, attended church, and started reading the Bible in Persian. For Farah, walking alongside Yasmin while she sought after Jesus increased her faith and encouraged her to continue proclaiming the gospel.

Yasmin & Farah

Meandering to Seeking
“CAN I TRUST IN JESUS?”

Her heart was captivated by Jesus, but what did that mean for her Islamic faith?

When Yasmin (an Iranian International Student at the University of Toronto) met Farah (a mature Iranian Christian) at a Power to Change Thanksgiving Dinner, they formed a fast friendship.

Yasmin was immediately interested in joining Farah at events and learning about God. She even attended Alpha in her 2nd semester and prayed occasionally to Jesus. But, she struggled with the disparity between what Christianity and Islam taught about Jesus. Who was he, really? A prophet or God Himself in the flesh?

Her heart was captivated by Jesus, but what did that mean for her Islamic faith?

Before Yasmin returned to Iran, she delved further into these questions with Power to Change leaders and they dialogued about the problem of sin, our futile attempts to achieve holiness on our own, and the cost of Jesus’ sacrifice for us to be made
right with God.

While in Canada, Yasmin made many Christian friends, attended church, and started reading the Bible in Persian. For Farah, walking alongside Yasmin while she sought after Jesus increased her faith and encouraged her to continue proclaiming the gospel.

Wei & Diego

Entering the Kingdom
“I WILL FOLLOW JESUS”

As a master’s student at the University of Saskatchewan, Diego did not enjoy the chaotic lifestyle of living in residence.

But, in the fall of 2018, Diego met Wei in the lounge, and although Wei was quiet and shy, over time they developed a friendship and began to talk about Jesus. Wei attended Alpha and a Power to Change conference with Diego, and bit by bit, Wei’s curiosity turned to serious seeking.

When asked during the Alpha course, “What is keeping you from becoming a follower of Jesus?”, he replied, “I feel like I’m not good enough.” The leaders explained that Jesus doesn’t ask us to make ourselves acceptable before coming to Him; only He can make us right before God.

One morning while eating breakfast, Diego asked Wei if he was ready to follow Jesus. Wei replied that he was and he surrendered his life to Christ right there at the table.

Wei is eager to learn. He is connecting with a local church community, attending a Bible study, worshipping God with passion, and growing in His understanding of the Holy Spirit.

You can help students just like Olivia, Jackie, Guillaume, Yasmin, and Wei come to know and follow Jesus.

Donate Today

*Several names have been changed for privacy