Student Mobilization was incorporated in 1986 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit ministry. Stu Mo is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). Student Mobilization began as a dream of Steve and Carol Shadrach to reach and mobilize college students. The mission statement of Stu Mo is “to build laborers for Christ from the college campuses of the world.” On any given college campus, less than 5 percent of the students are involved in any kind of Christian ministry. As Jesus Christ shared with His disciples,”The Harvest is Plentiful and the Laborers are Few.”
Student Mobilization targets key campuses in the Central United States to place enthusiastic, biblically solid staff in order to engage collegians at a spiritual level. Stu Mo uses events such as the annual Kaleo Summer Project and the Stu Mo Conference to love and challenge students to become laborers for Christ.
“College students are the most powerful percent of the world’s population. They are the most reachable trainable and mobile group on the planet. To mobilize them for the Gospel is to reach the world with the Gospel.”
- Steve Shadrach
Who is Stu Mo?
Student Mobilization includes over 200 families and individuals who have given their lives to reach and mobilize college students. Also, Stu Mo has an extended family of former students, donors and other friends who love, pray for, financially support and hold accountable these precious staff members.
What is StuMo’s strategy?
Student Mobilization is on key campuses in the Central United States and places enthusiastic, biblically solid staff in order to engage collegians at a spiritual level. StuMo uses events such as the annual Kaleo Summer Project and StuMo Conference to love and challenge students to become laborers for Christ.
StuMo staff seek to build relationships with, pray for and minister to key students on campus with the purpose of helping these students develop their own relationship with Christ and personal ministry to other students. This is a challenging, yet exciting activity, as the Lord changes the lives of many.
StuMo also seeks to bless students with key information on the status of world evangelization. Students are excited to learn about this unfinished task and how they can personally pray and work to accomplish the Great Commission.
Is StuMo sponsored by a church?
In the past year almost one hundred churches of different denominations supported StuMo and StuMo staff members. No formal relationship exists with a particular church or denomination. Yet, many church missions committees and individual church members have chosen to partner with StuMo over the years. StuMo enjoys a relationship with a variety of biblically-based bodies of believers.
How is StuMo funded?
StuMo has a budget of about $12 million. About 80% of this is the support received by individual StuMo staff members. $250,000 is raised by the Development department as “Synergy Funds”, which cover many of the support services provided to our staff. Student also provide fees for attending specific Stu Mo events and projects.
Individual staff members raise their personal salary by asking individuals, churches and companies to join their support team.
Is Personal Support Raising a biblical approach?
Personal support raising can be a challenge both to the staff member raising support and sometimes to those who may be asked for support. Yet this approach is, indeed, biblical.
The apostle Paul was a master influencer by his Jewish background coupled with the power of the Holy Spirit. He committed his life to establishing healthy churches throughout Asia. Indeed, his tainted personal history (as a persecutor of the church) and his role as a church pioneer created many challenges for him. He encountered controversy within the churches and he encountered persecution from outside them. In Acts 21 we see an example of the both as he attempts to enter Jerusalem to discuss his ministry with the leaders of the founding church of Christianity.
One of the greatest struggles with spiritual maturity came in Corinth. Paul was instrumental in founding this church, which was likely made up of many Gentiles who had no background of giving financially as a form of worship. In addition to many other struggles with worldliness, the Corinthians had a problem with Paul receiving their financial support. It is interesting to note that the Corinthians did not have this problem with other “ministers”, which were not nearly as instrumental in their faith. In fact, some of these were likely false brothers who sought to drive a wedge between the Corinthians and Paul, while enjoying financial support from the Corinthians themselves. These charlatans had a worldly advantage over Paul in that they were good talkers compared to Paul and probably were also physically attractive, which Paul was not.
Yet Paul was a great writer and had truth on his side. In First Corinthians 9, Paul lays out for the Corinthians both the biblical basis for supporting those who invest spiritually, as well as his own specific right for financial support from the Corinthians. These claims are no clearer than in I Corinthians 9:14: “In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the Gospel should receive their living from the gospel.”
By refusing their support, though entitled to it in every way, we see that Paul’s motivation for this teaching is SOLELY to edify the Corinthians, versus make a play for their resources. He seeks to grow them past their worldly focus on money into a biblical view of investing eternally in the Kingdom. It is too risky for him to accept what is due him, because it will confuse babes in Christ who are still very sensitive to a wordily view of material resources.
Today Christianity has many denominations and strategic approaches to ministry, from independent missions efforts by small bodies of believers to large coordinated cooperation’s of thousands of churches. The Lord has blessed each of these efforts and everything in between. Stu Mo’s model for fund raising is more like Paul’s model, with individuals sharing their ministry with others and asking for their partnership.
One tremendous advantage this method of support raising provides is what it does in the spiritual lives of both our staff and those with whom they share their ministry. Through personal support raising, our staff receive the opportunity, first, to trust the Lord to provide for their needs. Their prayer life improves as they trust the Lord and look for his provision from the individuals they encounter. Also, those with whom they share their ministry get a unique opportunity to learn what God is doing on the college campus. They receive a blessing from fellowshipping with one who is stepping out in faith to see what God might do through them. This process is powerful, encouraging and challenging to all involved. So is being a Christian!
Also, the process of raising personal financial support is the very best training possible to prepare a Stu Mo staff person for campus ministry. The job of a staff member is to initiate relationships with college students. They aren’t invited into the dorms and fraternity houses. They must make the effort to engage these students. They are well prepared to take the initiative to share the gospel after sending several months taking the initiative to share their ministry with two hundred families and individuals.
In summary, the Bible gives very direct, but very general direction both for the approach to ministry and organizational structure. How wise God is. He knew that each era of time would require different strategic approaches. Stu Mo is simply one of many strategic efforts to complete the Great Commission. Many folks have been gracious to join with us financially. We and they are looking forward to treasure laid up in heaven.