So many great things have happened in the college ministry this Fall semester, and I wanted to share some of them with you:
We began Life Groups last year, and the start to the groups was a little rocky (to say the least), but this semester we have seen the Life Groups begin to thrive, looking more and more like something that could be a sustained way to study Scripture and share life together. I have been continuously impressed with the students who were called on to lead these groups - Nadine Villarreal, Dylan Benson, Chris Brown, Vic Norris, and Edgar Johnson led discussions week
after week. Even if the group was particularly tiny that week, or if the room was full, these leaders maintained a faithful presence and came prepared to share life and discuss the Bible.
The format for Life Groups is that each group member reads a Scripture
passage once a day for the whole week leading up to the meeting time, then when they spend time together, the discussion flows naturally out of their reading. Early on, a leader was discouraged after a gathering, and I reminded him of the
importance of what he was doing: encouraging his peers to encounter God. If
college students are engaging God’s Word, God will work.
Another awesome experience has been seeing the growth of a Texas Wesleyan student from Mongolia, Telmen Enkhtur. Many of you have met, or at least seen, Telmen, as he is often at church and has volunteered at many church events. I got to spend a lot of time with Telmen because early in the semester he committed himself to earning a driver’s license so he could get around on his own, and I had the blessing of working with him on his driving skills. Time together on the road led to many great conversations about a variety of things. Telmen grew up in Mongolia with parents who are Buddhist, and yet something about Jesus and His Church has piqued Telmen’s interest. I pray, and invite you to pray, that as Jesus has piqued his interest, He will also capture Telmen’s heart.
By the way, I’m happy to say that Telmen did earn his driver’s license! If you have any leads on an inexpensive car, send them my way 🙂
Lastly, I have been impressed with the growing church involvement in the College Ministry this semester. I believe that belonging to a larger community of faith is key in developing students into disciples who will be long-term followers of Christ, and I’m seeing seeds of this beginning to grow here at Southside. Several students have developed great relationships with their “Adopt-a-Student” families, and it brings great joy to hear that a student has been invited to share a meal with or spend time in the home of a family from church. If you’ve adopted a college student, I encourage you to reach out to them and try to spend some time with them (although you may have to wait until after the holidays).
The ministry has also seen great partnership with Frank & Jessica Jett and John & Kory Cummings. The consistent presence, wise counsel, and helping hands of these (and others too!) Partners in the Gospel has been invaluable. The ministry is blessed by the church’s involvement, and students are changed for the better when they see the church family at its best - working together. Young people who do not find community at church will not be inclined to continue participating into adulthood, but young people who find deep and meaningful community at church will grow into the kinds of leaders, teachers, and parents who seek out and cultivate churches that promote deep and meaningful community.