Bible & coffee
Campus Coffee Break - CNU InterVarsity NewsJune 2011
Dear Friends, 
We hope you are enjoying the summer!  Here are a few things that have been happening on campus in the past few months, and a few things you can pray for as we begin the 2011-2012 school year in August. 

In Christ,
Eric & Beth Gambardella
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Vision for the fall: Small Group Overhaul
Diana & Daniel
Diana & Daniel, 2 of our small group leaders

Unless you've been living under a rock (or not reading our updates) for the past 6 years, you know that Student-Led Small Group Bible Studies are the backbone of our ministry at CNU.  Remember how we take 70ish students out to Rockbridge at the end of each school year?  Well, a good number of them are there for the Small Group Vision track where they receive world-class training on the nuts and bolts of leading a Small Group.  Small Groups are where it's at! 


Transformation at CNU


Small Groups are where we tend to hear the most stories of deep transformation in students' lives.  Small Groups are where genuine community is developed.  Small Groups are the avenue through which most of our students get involved in InterVarsity after the first few weeks of the school year. 


Small Groups get together for a couple hours each week for an in-depth Bible Study aimed at slowly dissecting God's Word, giving people the freedom to ask any question, and encouraging them to apply the timeless truths of God's Word to our broken lives.  And lastly, ladies and gentlemen, Small Groups are ready for a serious OVERHAUL!


Overhaul for effective ministry

2011 Seniors
2011 CNU IV Seniors


"Don't fix what ain't broke."  This, despite being a grammatical nightmare, is one of my life's mottos.  So why mess with something that has been so effective for so long? The answer is simple, it's not effective enough. 


The Inductive Bible Studies that our students lead as part of their Small Groups have been an excellent antidote to the shallow and moralistic "Bible studies" and sermons that some of them have been subjected to for years.  And the genuine vulnerability, openness and honesty that our leaders display is a welcome departure from the cold and judgmental attitude that many students associate with "Christians."


We have a truly wonderful tool in our Small Groups, but the fact is, they're a little dusty.  Sure they're sharp and strong, but still too few people on our campus are connected to them.  So here's our new goal.


Small groups for the sake of evangelism

Small group members
Small group members with their leader, Chelsie (far right)


We want to see every Small Group comprised of 50% Christians, and 50% non-Christians.  The Small Group Vision track at Rockbridge numerous weeks ago reflected this new vision.  InterVarsity has prided itself for years for realizing that Jesus called us to make disciples and not just converts (See Matthew 28), and so we don't just bring new Christians into our fold and then ignore them for 3 years in search of new converts. 


This is GREAT!  But it should not be done to the exclusion of sharing our faith with as many people as we can.  And we don't want to separate too much the part of our ministry that aims to bring young believers to maturity from the part that wants to see the dead raised to life for the first time.  


We believe that for the Christian and non-Christian alike, the things that will bring them closer to God, wherever they are on their journey, are deep Bible Study, the presence of a genuinely caring community, and constant reminder of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Gospel is not the ABC's of life, it is the A through Z!   


Partner with us in prayer 


So join in prayer with us as we aim to make our Small Groups more missional, more other-focused, more welcoming to outsiders, and more like what Jesus called us to do when he said "Go...make disciples!"  

 Gambardella Family NewsJulian smiling

We have really enjoyed getting to know our son since he was born.  Julian is now an energetic 4-month-old who loves to smile, coo, and laugh.  He has brought so much joy into our lives.  


The students were delighted to meet him at our last large group meeting in April, and he did well traveling with us to chapter camp at Rockbridge in May.  We look forward to having him with us as we begin a new school year in August!


Prayer Requests & Praises

1.  Please pray for us as we re-learn how to do college ministry while caring for our son.  Pray for balance, rest, and diligence.


2.  Pray for our student leaders, that they would be refreshed by the break and continue to have close fellowship with the Lord while away from CNU.  Especially lift up those doing foreign and local missions work.


3.  Praise the Lord for his continued faithfulness in providing for our needs through the financial support we receive from alumni, families, and churches.  We are blessed to end our fiscal year in a good place.


4.  Praise God for providing a new location on campus for our large group meetings this fall, and pray that the transition into this new room would go smoothly. 

Supporting InterVarsity @ CNU
  If you are interested in extending your partnership financially,
  • Or, mail a check made out to IVCF, designated for "CNU" to: 
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA
Attn: Donation Services
PO Box 7895
Madison, WI 53707

As always, you will receive a receipt for tax-exemption purposes. 

About InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at CNU
CNU IVCF is an on-campus club that provides Bible-study, worship, teaching and fellowship for Christians of all denominations and ethnicities. Our aim is to be a witnessing community - a group that nurtures students' spiritual lives: maturing and growing those who are already in relationship with Jesus Christ while also teaching and pointing to Christ those who are still seeking the Truth.
For more information, visit our website at
Eric -, Beth -