by Josh Pease
I hate being cliché. Hate it. Which is what makes writing this so hard.
See I’ve had an epiphany recently, but it’s not the cool kind of epiphany, where the heavens part, and the voice of the LORD  speaks to me a new revelation that no human brain has yet to discern. No, my epiphany was … old. Obvious. Yes, cliché. Of course that’s probably how I missed it in the first place, because I was too busy attempting to be original.
My epiphany was this: I have to meet college students in their world, not mine.
Recently I’ve started taking a World Religions class at the enormous community college literally right across the street from where our church. Every Tuesday and Thursday I sit through a semi-boring lecture from a professor semi-bent on discrediting Christianity . I love every second of it.
Every day I have been on campus – every single day – I’ve had a conversation that made paying for a one-day parking pass, sitting in parking lot traffic purgatory, and barreling through the cigarette smoke clouds around the bus stop more than worth it. Over the past three weeks I’ve:
- Built relationships with the three (three!) students in the class who know me from one of the college services at Saddleback. 
- Invited a girl who knows she needs to start attending church again to come to our service.
- Built a relationship with the guy sitting next to me named Mel, who I think is searching for truth.
- Started a dialogue with a staunchly anti-Christian guy who sits in front of me.
And I’m saying this not to promote myself AT ALL. If anything I can’t believe I wasn’t doing this sooner. God is active and exploding on this campus and I feel like the disciples, after Jesus told them “drop the nets on the other side.” I’m overwhelmed by the abundance.
It makes me think that clichés sometimes aren’t really as cliché as we think. That maybe simple obedience to basic ideas – ideas like “the harvest is plentiful” or “go into the world and preach the gospel” – really are true. Somewhere along the line I stopped believing that, or thought “if I just create the right event, or teach on the right topic, or am funny enough, they’ll all come to ME.” And yet I’ve had more fun/results come from just showing up for a class twice a week.
Maybe you don’t need to hear this. Maybe you’re already doing this really well. Maybe there’s not a no-brainer opportunity to get into your student’s world like there was for me.
But based on what I’ve seen, I would encourage anyone in college ministry with this: God is at work in the lives of our students. There’s a hunger and receptivity out there. The harvest really is plentiful, I think.
We just have to be out in the fields looking for it. 
 Spelled in all caps because the event I’m describing has more of an OT feel.
 So far I have been semi-successful at not leaping up and shouting “LIES!”
 Once we got past them being ABSOLUTELY freaked out about seeing me in their world that is …
 See? Cliché.