Breaking New Ground
"In the last four years, we have reached 12 campuses in three different cities. We hope in the next two years we can reach three to four new cities, which is pretty good because what that means is we will only have five cities left in Chile where there are universities but no student movements. We are very excited about this. Also, we are praying about sending people from Chile to the Southern part of Argentina to form new IFES groups. Please pray with us." Gustavo Sobarzo, General Secretary of GBUCH Chile
Goal: establish 100 new student groups in two years
Breaking New Ground is a new project to help IFES national movements expand to new cities and campuses. The focus of the project is to assist national movements to share ideas and resources with each other, and to provide seed-funding where money is a barrier to moving forward.
We are able to offer grants of between $500 and $7,000, to help start new groups with new people. You can find out how to apply for these grants at the bottom of this page.
The different components of Breaking New Ground are:
- Research to assess the barriers national movements are facing in establishing work on new campuses. This will help ensure that our efforts are strategic and guided.
- Coaching will be given to equip and network a new generation of people with a vision to pioneer and be catalysts for pioneering in the future.
- Funding in the form of small grants will be made available to national movements to help them establish in new cities and on new campuses. The intention of these grants is to assist with the initial pioneering work, giving the national movement time to develop a sustainable ministry model in this new field.
- Resources and toolkits will be developed by IFES to equip and support national movements as they plan and establish sustainable ministries.
- Student initiative is a priority for this project to ensure it harnesses the energy of students, and continues our focus to keep student initiative at the heart of IFES.
"IFES is a truly international network with student fellowships in 160 countries. But there are still many cities and campuses with no Christian student witness. I believe now is the time for us to push out our boundaries, to step out in faith and prayer to break new ground for the kingdom." Daniel Bourdanné, IFES General Secretary
Daniel Bourdanné (IFES General Secretary) has asked Nigel Pollock - currently the General Secretary of TSCF New Zealand - to lead a team from across IFES to champion this initiative.
"Pioneering new work has always been part of the DNA of IFES. It is rooted in a commitment to the Great Commission and sustained by a desire to see universities impacted with the gospel, students coming to living faith, and a new generation growing in Christian character and leadership. Breaking New Ground is an exciting new initiative encouraging, supporting and resourcing a new wave of pioneering around the world." Nigel Pollock, Program Director and Head Coach, Breaking New Ground
If your movement has materials or stories about pioneering new campuses, we would love to hear from you! Please email us on email@example.com.
If your movement would like to apply for funding, download the application form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are currently processing the first round of application forms, the deadline for round 2 will be Monday 30 April.
Program Director and Head Coach: Nigel Pollock
Administrator: Erika McCulloch
Pioneering in practice
Coffee and cookies in Greece
SXEF Greece is small. The student community is large. SXEF students wondered how they could possibly start building relationships among 10,000 students.
They came up with an idea to attract the student community with a tempting offer. Coffee shops are a favourite place in Greece for young people to socialize and discuss opinions in a non-threatening environment. So students decided to take advantage of this coffee culture by offering free coffee and cookies in a public place.
Growing movements in countries where Christians face opposition
Jamil, Regional Secretary for the IFES MENA region, writes: "The work of God should not be measured in terms of time, and ministry in closed countries even less so. The most important thing is to be present, to use every opportunity to preach the word, to support Christians where they are, to seek to develop movements where as yet there is no IFES presence, and to strengthen the faith of those who are oppressed — helping them to persevere and to stand firm. Everything we do will then be a means not only to bring new souls to the Lord but also to maintain the faith of those who are already Christians."
Despite many challenges, the MENA region boasts 12 national movements (seven of which are formally affiliated to IFES), with pioneering work planned or taking place in a further seven.