MY COLLEGE MISSION’S
By Victor Beshir
The vision of this mission is to see Coptic congregations include White Americans,
Black Americans, Hispanics, atheists, agnostics, and converts from other religions,
in addition to Egyptians.
In other words, the vision of the mission is to move
the Coptic Orthodox Church to an active evangelistic church
in North America.
Although the Coptic Orthodox Church started in North America about fifty years ago, very few Americans or Canadians joined the church, and a small number of them remained in the church.
Copts, we talk to each other, preach to one other, and conduct meetings with
each other or at the most with few other Orthodox. We send our youth to
Africa, Mexico, Bolivia, Brazil, Fiji, and India, but our youth do not know how
to talk to their American or Canadian peers.
evangelistic front that must be addressed is the university. Many Copts have lectured at universities about
the glories of Orthodoxy, the superior faith of the Orthodox Church, and the
glorious history of the Coptic Church. At the end of such lectures, the
speakers received applause, but not many people like to join our church, which indicates
that our approach is not right.
our college clubs’ and fellowships’ names start with the word “Coptic.” First question people will ask is, “What does
the word Coptic means? The answer would
be Egyptian. Immediately, they are not
interested since they are not Egyptians, or at most, they might attend a few
times to learn about Copts. On any visit to a Coptic college meeting, one will
find only Copts and some other Orthodox attending. Though the leaders of those meetings work
hard to excel, neither the vision nor the objective of the club are clear.
The Need is a New Vision
invitation to meetings should not be offered solely to Copts and Orthodox but
mainly to others. We need to learn how
to talk to others about Christ, salvation, faith, resurrection, and to show
them the light and life in Christianity.
vision is based on our promise to the Lord in every Divine Liturgy
to “proclaim His death and resurrection.” Yet, we stop short from
fulfilling our weekly commitments. Many students in our universities and
colleges are eager to hear about the true God Who will water their thirst and
enlighten their path. All those souls around us need salvation and a
SAVIOR. North Americans need to hear the gospel as we heard it. God has
put you in those colleges and universities to reach out to the students with
the eternal life message that, with the grace of God, moves people from death
The New Vision calls us to:
We, as Coptic Orthodox,
need to venture outside of our comfort zones and speak with Non-Orthodox,
Non-Christians, atheists, and agnostics.
realistic since many students nowadays are agnostics, atheists, or do not know
anything about Christ except His name. We need to present Christ as the one Who
is going to forgive their sins, change their life altogether, and offer them
peace, joy, and eternal life.
students are interested in is not a denomination but rather salvation, inner
peace, meaning of life, and spiritual fulfillment, rather than speaking of
glories of Orthodoxy, which turns them off. In fact, speaking of any
denomination receives resistance from people. The approach the apostles
used, as it is recorded in the book of Acts, was speaking about Christ and His
salvation. They never started with mentioning or giving sermons about the
church. When people accept that faith, then the person(s) is introduced to
the church. This is the sequence that should be followed.
Unfortunately, we currently put the cart before the horse, which leads to
the approach is different, eventually we will reach the point when we introduce
people to the church to be baptized. At this point, the word
'Coptic' will not turn them off.
When the vision is clear, then the approach is different. The vision is to win souls for Christ. The method is to represent Christ and the Gospel, and to teach about salvation, crucifixion, and resurrection.