Welcome to RUF Mizzou. We're all about loving Jesus, in community, for the world. How do we do that? We sum it up in four words: Grow, Eat, Serve, and Go. Here's what they mean:
Grow = Grow in Grace. We believe that transformation happens when God's goodness and grace touch our hearts. This is why we're a ministry for the convinced (you need grace, too!) and the unconvinced. We also believe God's word is the conduit for God's grace, so everything we do is centered on God's word to us. We want you to know God and love His word to you about Jesus even more when you graduate.
Eat = Eat with Friends. We believe God transforms us not only through His word, but also through His people. We are a community, not a classroom. We love to eat together! You can find us all over Columbia and the University enjoying God's good gifts of food and fellowship. Jesus transforms us as we enjoy His gifts of community.
Serve = Serve Your Community. We love our Christian community, but we also recognize that God has put us here for a reason! Every other Thursday, our Community Groups serve at retirement homes, soup kitchens, and food pantries all over the city. We really believe Jesus' words: It's more blessed to give than to receive!
Go = Go Make Disciples. We believe disciple-making is the call of every Christian. At RUF Mizzou, we work hard to equip you to be a disciple-maker on our campus, by equipping you with leadership skills that will enable you to reach people who don't know Jesus...and this is the best time in your life to do it!
For other ways to give, visit our donations page.
I'm a strange candidate for missionary work. I grew up homeschooled, in a conservative city, with a Christian upbringing. The world outside was a scary place to me, and I had neat categories for all of life. But during my senior year, my worldview was shaken: a two-week trip to South Africa exposed me to poverty, apartheid and injustice. Two weeks later, my youngest brother died in our backyard in a drowning accident. I went off to college dizzy. My Sunday School answers couldn't hold the weight of the things I'd seen.
The chaplain at my Nazarene school met with me about my brother's death, but these meetings only served to drive me further away from my faith. He assured me God had nothing to do with my brother's death, which led me to wonder: "What does God have to do with anything?" So, I left the church.
During my senior year, I received the opportunity to study literature and philosophy abroad at Oxford University. During my two semesters, I felt I'd found better, secular answers to my questions about life. However, one course kept me intrigued by Christianity: a tutorial on the work of C.S. Lewis. I had read Mere Christianity in high-school. But it was Lewis's conversion story and critique of secular philosophy which hit home for me at Oxford. I discovered Christianity was not only a friend to, but a foundation for, morality, justice, art, work, and philosophy. As one theologian quipped, if I wanted slap God's cheek for the world's evil, I had to sit on his lap to do so!
With a fresh, world-encompassing vision of Christianity, I graduated school hungry for more. Brenna and I were soon married, and I was hired to work with at-risk youth in Indianapolis, at what turned out to be a Christian cult (long story). During my time in Indy, I ran across J.I. Packer's book "Knowing God" for a $1.00 in a used bargain bin. Packer's beautiful, lucid introduction to theology was the perfect companion to my studies at Oxford. Although my new theological convictions forced us away from Indianapolis, the Lord provided us a youth ministry opportunity at a wonderful Evangelical Presbyterian Church in my hometown. Cornerstone EPC eventually funded our way through my M.Div at Gordon Conwell, and provided Brenna and me the opportunity to return to the college campus (now with two boys - Caleb and Owen) to work with RUF, equipped to be the presence we'd desperately needed in our college years.
Link to Nick's personal blog: www.scribblepreach.com