The College Ministry has a couple of traditions in the Spring semester: We always go to Campus Encounter - a conference in Stillwater, OK - at the end of February, and we always go to Goodland Academy - a boys home in Hugo, OK - at the end of April. These trips have become beloved by every student who goes, and I am excited that we are going again this year.
Also this year, we’re adding two more Spring events: A Spring Break mission trip to Impact Houston Church of Christ (March 6-10) and a semi-formal banquet to celebrate the end of the school year (May 1).
The variety of different activities that are available to students reminds me of how many facets there are to God’s mission for us. Each week, there is Sunday worship and
Bible study, as well as Life Groups during the week - these are times of learning and equipping. Trips like going to Goodland or Impact are times of working and serving others. And events like Campus Encounter and the banquet are times of encouraging and uplifting.
While each of these are quite different, none of them has a monopoly on being “missional,” because we (all of us, not just college-age partners) need all of these things to carry out our calling. We need to learn and grow in knowledge, which equips us to go and live out the things we have learned. We need to work hard, serve others, and go spread the gospel. And we need to be encouraged and lifted up in order to continue living on mission.
We must encounter God, find encouragement, and engage others - any one of these aspects without the others will fall flat. If we serve continually, but we aren’t growing and being encouraged, we will burn out. If we devote ourselves to learning, but we fail to put our learning into action, we might as well not bother. If we enjoy plenty of self-care and encouragement, but we are not growing spiritually or serving faithfully, we’ve drastically missed the mark.
The mission spans not only across the world, but across each part of our lives. Jesus’s own ministry reflects this balance. He would often retreat from a time of healing or serving to dwell with His Father in solitude or spend time with His closest friends. If Jesus modeled this, we should follow His example. Don’t be afraid to admit when encouragement or further equipping is needed, but also don’t allow yourself to become content with a life where you are not being stretched to work and serve.