Love us such a misunderstood word. We actually throw it around so casually that it becomes hard to define at times. Truth be told, I do it. I love baseball, specifically the Reds. I love Five Guys Burgers and Fries, (sounds good even for breakfast!) However, as I read Matthew 5:43-48 it is clear that love is so much more than simply a favorite sports team or food. It really is part of the foundation to a functioning community.
Community is a big thing in campus ministry. One of the struggles that college students face is that they will sacrifice the quality of community in order to find a place to belong, a group that will love them and accept them. When we choose to love, when we choose to pray for our enemies, people who oppose our viewpoint, or even just people who make us uncomfortable we begin to build a community that people will want to be a part of. Even if they are not really looking for any religious connection. If they feel accepted it will open their hearts to hear the truth that can only comes through Christ.
Students are smart, they can spot fakes a mile away. It is easy to love the loveable, it in loving the unloveable where real ministry takes place.