College Ministries

A lot of ink has been spilled about how to best win and train the college generation for Jesus. Many college ministries have been successful by appealing to students who are wary of a staid church setting. Some of these produce lasting fruit; others see their students' fruit blow away. But in either case, we're convinced that in order for students to be truly discipled, it must be done in the context of the local church, where they are cared for by pastors and elders, and where they have regular fellowship with believers of all ages and walks of life—families, children, and senior adults. More than that, we're convinced that college students have a lot to offer the church. They have gifts that they should not hold back from the rest of the household of faith.

On the other side of the table, the local church has lately been giving up the task of making disciples in university communities. It's all too easy to leave the work to highly funded para-church organizations—especially since we all know that college ministry is difficult and demanding. The four years that students are in college will witness some of the greatest trials they'll ever face. College leaders will often pour their lives into the students under their care, only to see them leave four years later, when a new group of students will require their efforts. It's often a discouraging ministry, and what church wants to bother with that? At Clearnote Church, Bloomington, we're convinced that the need to minister to students requires us to not shun the messiness involved with it. So we seek to disciple students and encourage them to be involved in the regular activities of our church: Sunday Morning Worship, small groups, Adult Discipleship Classes, Men's Ministries, Women's Ministries, volunteering in the work of the church, and developing personal relationships with individuals and families in the church.

But we're not just about taking students off the campus to disciple them. We're also determined that students be making an impact on their campus for the sake of the gospel. God has put them on the campus for a reason, and hiding inside the walls of a church building does not honor Him. He desires His name to be exalted in all the earth, and this includes the university campus. The traditional model for campus ministries is simple: win 'em, build 'em, and send 'em. So far, so good. But the problem is that most campus ministries fail to actually make disciples. They either become a one-dimensional, numbers-oriented clean machine, or they become Youth Group: The Sequel—a ghetto for disaffected Christians who aren't ready to grow up and join the real world. Either way, when the students that filter through them finally graduate, they leave school, unequipped to establish homes, lead in churches, and impact the culture for the sake of Christ. And so year after year, students will leave these campus ministries, to end up with little ministry to anyone else.

Our vision for the campus is decidedly different.  Clearnote Campus Fellowship (CNCF) is the ministry of our church to students at Indiana University, and its connection with CNB immediately sets it apart from other ministries. Our goal is to bring the church to the campus, and to bring the campus to the church. During the school year, we have a weekly large-group meeting every Tuesday night on campus. It's called the Fold, and it's where we get together to worship and to hear God's Word. We have Men's and Women's Discipleship Groups that meet every Wednesday night on campus. That's where we minister personally to students, believers as well as non-believers. We also have a Grad/Faculty Discussion Group that meets every Friday at 11:30 a.m. We also have outreaches, retreats, and missions trips that let us be the hands and feet of Jesus. And through it all, we encourage all of our students to immerse themselves in the life of Clearnote Church.

Not an IU student? That's also not a problem. All Bloomington-area college students are welcome to participate in CNCF activities. For more information on who we are, what we’re doing on campus and how you can get involved, please visit JESUSatIU.com. Note: The schedule changes during times when IU classes are not meeting regularly. Check JESUSatIU.com for an update of what's scheduled for this week.