In Jeff Cavins' two talks: "Jesus & the Modern-Day Disciple" and "How to Read the Bible as a Disciple," the Biblical scholar stressed the importance of creating a personal relationship with Christ and seeing Him in everyday life.
"I started to realize that many people today don't have in their mind a picture of what it means to be a disciple in a practical way," he told CNA.
Cavins said one of the things that young people are missing is the personal relationship with God.
"That part of being conscious of the fact that I am really following him through everyday, that He is with me, and that this isn't make up stuff. I'm not making stuff up. It's not theory. He's with us right now and He wants us to continue His mission," he said.
Recently, Cavins teamed up with Ascension Press to create an online video series called "Encountering the Word." He said, "I think that the key right now is to reach this generation that is coming to SEEK."
"They're the game changes. They're the ones that are out there in the world. They're not the future Church, they are the Church."
Curtis Martin, the founder and CEO of FOCUS, told CNA that a college campus is "the most leveraged place in the culture."
"If you wanted to change everything, you need to go there first," Martin said. The future youth ministers, married couples, teachers, priests, etc, he added, are all passing through their universities now.
Right now, there are more than 550 FOCUS full-time missionaries on 125 college campuses in 38 states and even as far as Austria.
Martin said the idea that "one person could be so on fire for love of Christ, they would invest their lives in a handful of others, and just love them and invite them to do the same," can be done and should be done everywhere.
In February 1997, Curtis Martin and Dr. Scott Hahn announced the start of FOCUS on 'Mother Angelica Live!' At that point, the organization did not even exist, but Hahn said, "it'll have to exist after we announce it."
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
During their episode, Mother Angelica was so excited about the new initiative that Martin said she told the viewers to give their money to FOCUS.
"We raised about 10,000 dollars that night and that was the start," he said.
At that time, Archbishop Charles Chaput – then the archbishop of Denver – invited FOCUS to find a home in his diocese.
"In those early days," Archbishop Chaput said, "it already looked like it would be successful from the very beginning but not in the same scale that it is now."
According to FOCUS, their first National Conference in 1999 held only 25 students. "Now it's nearly 13,000 at this gathering," the archbishop said.
"It's wonderful to see it. It's been a lot of years but it's certainly borne fruit in ways beyond my imagination, anyway."