Tony Campolo challenges chapel students to take Christ

Tony Campolo speaks an average of 350 times a year; he has written 39 books, but most importantly, he is a Christian. Campolo is professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pa.

He has achieved numerous awards and has appeared on talk shows all over the nation. However, he never thinks he is too big for anyone and will go anywhere to talk about Jesus as long as God permits.

His speaking journey brought him to UMHB’s chapel Sept 19, and Campolo had a special challenge for the student body: take Christ at his words.

Junior nursing major Taylor Frank said, “He came on really strong on some parts. I thought he was a very passionate speaker who is really enthused about what he believes.”

Part of Campolo’s strength is being able to share his conviction with fire and intensity. This has helped him connect with his audience as he shares his message.

He said “It’s not so much a technique as it is a passion.”

There are no secrets or acrostics Campolo uses when speaking. He simply tells what is on his heart.

Part of what he says his soul longs for is to take care of the needy, and in doing so, Campolo has partnered with Compassion International, a Christian child advocacy ministry.

He became involved in the organization after he established a child support system in Haiti.

“We developed a program, and it wasn’t working well,” Campolo said. “Compassion contacted me and said ‘We understand you are having trouble working out your system. We’ve got the system. If you want to support kids, do it through us.’”

After Compassion came in to help the children Campolo was supporting, he realized the strength of their program and quickly became an advocate for them. Now he travels to speak on their behalf.

Sophomore computer science major Will Stence said, “He brought my attention to the poverty, and he brought the reality of it all to the surface.”

He did more than just speak on Compassion. Campolo inserted a personal challenge to each individual in attendance. He called believers to take Christ and to follow his every command.

For students to do this, Campolo said they must do two things. The first is to forsake a love for materialistic pleasures.

“You’re spending huge amounts of money to buy stuff you really don’t need, to impress people you don’t know, with money you don’t have,” he said.

Consumerism is a force that plagues everyone. Campolo also said students must recognize God’s blessing of youth.

“You really need to understand that youth was made for heroism and not for pleasure. What is the most heroic thing God is calling you to do?”

Author: Tyler Agnew

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