What Drives Us?
Below are some comments on our motivations, our goals, and our priorities. We hope they will help you figure RUF out a little bit more, regardless of whether you're brand new to us or you've been around a while. Enjoy!
RUF's two-fold purpose is to reach students for Christ & equip students to serve.
In that vein, our vision is to be a community that is embraced and equipped by the beauty and power of God’s grace, and that responds by embracing and equipping others as followers of Christ.
Every group has those "driving" principles that make it unique. These are some of ours...
In the truth and authority of Scripture
We not only believe that the Scriptures are true, but that through them God is "at work in those who believe" (I Thessalonians 2:13). It is also through the Scripture that God changes the hearts of those unconvinced of the truth of the gospel. Therefore, the Bible isn't just to be held in high regard, but the relevance of its message and authority made clear for every aspect of our lives.
In the transformational power of the gospel
The message of the gospel is that Christ has done what is necessary to bring us into a relationship with God. That means that our sinfulness does not count against us and it also means that our religious efforts don't count for us. The good news is that Christ hasn't given us a philosophy or list of rules to follow, but that he has given us Himself, and that His life of perfect obedience is given to all that repent and believe. It is this very good news that drives us to joyfully pursue lives of purposeful holiness from love to God.
In the Church as the body of Christ
The Christian faith is not something that can be lived out alone. The Christian is called to live within a loving community of faith that crosses ethnic, economic, and any other barrier that would divide us. That community is called the Church.
We face our struggles together, and we taste the life of heaven together. But the glory of this community is not her people, but her glory is her redeemer, Christ the Lord! Because Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her we are then made to delight in gathering under His care and submitting to His authority in His church.
The Bible, the Gospel, and true community in the church are what we pray will mark our ministry together!
Where are we headed? What are our goals as a ministry? We are committed to pursuing Genuine Engagement... And Grace-Empowered Discipleship...
We Desire to Genuinely Engage the Campus Community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
RUF is committed to pursuing genuine relationships, genuine love, and genuine dialogue over the claims of Christ in the gospel with our friends throughout the campus community.
In an age of personalized spirituality and impersonalized and inauthentic relationships, we are passionately committed to sharing the universal truthfulness of the gospel in relationships that are authentic... genuine... full of both love and truth towards all of our friends and classmates who do not yet personally know Jesus Christ.
We Desire to Pursue Maturity in Christ by the Power of God's Grace
RUF believes that all Christians are called to become what Christ has already won for us in the Cross- righteous, holy, humble lives filled with all the fruit of the Spirit. To that end we seek to be disciples ("learners") of Christ who are...
Growth in Grace
Mere spiritual survival on campus (and beyond) should not be the goal of the Christian. Men and women who believe the good news should be growing -- but how? God provides the growing, but He works through means. RUF aims to help students understand and use the means of grace which God has provided for Christian growth- learning to study the Bible, developing a prayer life, understanding worship, participating in the sacraments, and living and serving in sacrificial fellowship with other Christians. Through these means (as well as others) we grow more deeply in the gospel and put on the fruit of the Spirit and Christ-like lives.
Evangelism & Missions
If we believe that we have news that is good, we don't horde it. We share it with others, near and far. Our desire is to grow in our ability to thoughtfully and respectfully communicate the love and truth of Christ. This involves more than our words, but certainly not less. It starts with our roommates and classmates, but extends to our support and even participation with those taking the gospel to the nations.
Fellowship & Service
According to the Bible, the Christian is a brother or sister to every other Christian, as well as a neighbor to every human being everywhere. These realities must find expression in real, tangible acts of love and service to the people we encounter- especially our fellow believers. We seek to develop a community of authentic, loving relationships that are experienced in both word and deed! We also seek to demonstrate the gospel to the world immediately around us through acts of sacrificial service for those in need.
Biblical World & Life View
Christianity is a way of seeing all of life. The redemption that Jesus speaks of is not merely a redemption of individual souls. He speaks of the redemption of everything. Mondays through Saturdays are just as much a part of the Christian life as Sundays. We want to see all of life through the lens of Scripture and to honor Christ in everything. We seek to better understand our education, our relationships, our talents, and our futures by learning how the whole of God's truth relates to every area of life.
What are our priorities... our core values... those themes that flavor our ministry as we live out our passions in pursuit of our purposes? Read on to find out!
A Priority on . . . In-Depth Christ-Centered Bible Study
At RUF we believe in having fun, but also that the quality of our fun and relationships as a group will be better, more mature, and more fulfilling when our lives are being transformed by a real encounter with all of God's Word. We believe that, as college students, we are ready for and interested in knowing God deeply and learning to see Christ as the central character in all of the Bible.
A Priority on . . . Authentic Christian Community
“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:27-28 In a fragmented world, the power of the gospel is powerfully seen in authentic Christian community- the kind of community that unites us in loving, sacrificial relationships that cross such modern barriers as race, social and economic classes, etc. We take that seriously at RUF by seeking to be a multi-ethnic fellowship who become known in the community as Jesus’ disciples by how we love one another (John 13:34-35)
A Priority on . . . The Student’s Vocation
The vocation of university student is just that - a university student. RUF takes that seriously and strives to equip students to be faithful and growing Christians who are conscientious in their studies. The campus is not reduced to a convenient pretext to do evangelism, but rather the place where God has providentially placed students to prepare for legitimate vocations after graduation. Christians learn, grow and reach others in the midst of this, not in spite of it.
A Priority on . . . Being Rather Than Doing
RUF ministries will have a variety of activities on the schedule, but we do not expect everyone to be involved in everything. We have no agenda to bury students in a crush of activities, something that often burns them out. Rather, we desire to help students become people who truly know and love God, and whose lives are profoundly affected because of it. This, rather than a flurry of activities, will make their life and witness more effective and authentic.
A Priority on . . . Challenge and Thinking
We believe in absolute truth, and we also believe the most helpful thing we can do for people is to help them learn to recognize and discover that truth themselves. We avoid giving a set of pat, canned answers. We encourage thoughtful questions and place a strong emphasis on critical thinking, learning how to interpret and understand the Bible properly, and then applying it to all of life today.
A Priority on . . . The Visible Church
RUF is not a substitute for a local church. We are the church going to the campus. Essential to our ministry is a commitment and accountability to the visible church. RUF is not only accountable to and under the guidance of the church, but it is concerned to see students integrated into the life of the local church. The church is where students will spend the rest of their Christian lives, not a campus fellowship. By encouraging student involvement in local churches, RUF situates students to continue their growth in grace long after RUF and college are over.