College/Missions Ministry - October 2017

COLLEGE MINISTRY CORNER

Howdy church family!! Hope y’all are doing well today! John 15 states, “I am the vine, you are the branches…..” What an awesome word picture which reminds me of two things….first of all, I must be connected to the “vine” (Christ) through my daily reading of the Word, prayer time, and the local church body. And secondly, if I’m going to be a “branch” that reaches out, I’ve got to be doing just that….reaching out! My prayer is that through Christ I am able to reach out because I’m a healthy, growing branch which produces “fruit” as I grow. Let’s aim to be the branches connected to the vine.

As far as college ministry goes….THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all who helped with all the “Welcome Week” activities (Dog Haul, LUAU, Freshmen Survival, Tailgating, etc..) on La Tech’s campus during the first few weeks of September. At our biggest event (La Tech LUAU), we had an estimated crowd of 1,000 students on the BCM property…connections were made and lives were impacted. So much of our college ministry is dependent upon a church family who is willing to reach out and love on our college kids! One of the things that our adult leadership team attempts to do is connect college with adults and families at Cook which we think would be a good “match.” Sometimes that may be through personalities, or occupations, or maybe spiritual giftedness, but it is our hope that every student who walks in our doors at Cook will be loved on and encouraged on a weekly basis by someone who knows his/her name.

A great way for you to get involved with this is through our “Adopt-a-College-Student” program! What a blessing those families will be to these college students! Hopefully, through a meaningful relationship with these families, our college students will be encouraged to stay faithful to Christ during a time when many students are pulled by the “world” to leave their faith and experiment with many un-godly things and actions. If you’d like to “adopt” a college student, please let Amanda or me know. You can register on our church website www.cookbc.org or thru the church app. Our kickoff luncheon will be on Sunday, October 1. I pray our church family would be a place where college students feel loved and where people know them by name!

Thanks for being a great church who loves on college students! Let me know if you’re interested in helping! Love y’all!

Numbers 6:24-26 “May the Lord bless you and keep you…..”

Chris, Amanda, Makaylan, Hannah, and Aaron Walker

P.S. October 8 will be our next “Big Free Lunch” and will be hosted by Adult 4 Connect Groups.

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College/Missions Ministry - September 2017

COLLEGE MINISTRY CORNER

Students are dropping out of the church at an alarming rate. In 2007, Ed Stetzer conducted a study for Lifeway Research which indicated that nearly 70 percent of churched youth leave the church for at least a year between ages 18 and 22. However, approximately 35 percent resume church attendance at least twice a month and another 30 percent attend more sporadically. The older our teenagers get the less likely they are to attend church.

Six reasons are laid out by David Kinnaman in “You Lost Me” (David does a fantastic job of describing these in detail. Pick up his book.)

  1. Church is an overprotective-environment of legalism. - We are not having honest conversations with our teenagers.
  2. Antagonist to science. - We can’t use science when it benefits us and discredit it when it doesn’t. There is a healthy balance.
  3. Church is shallow. - Tend to offer too “simplex” answers to complex questions.
  4. Attitude towards sexuality is simplistic and judgmental. - We must help them wrestle with the complex sexual issues within our culture.
  5. Wrestle with exclusive nature of Christianity. - We don’t compromise our faith, but it will take more work than simply handing them an apologetics packet.
  6. Church feels unfriendly to those who doubt. We must create a healthy environment for asking questions.

Additional Obstacles to keeping our students in love with the “bride of Christ” (the church):

Difficulty of Cultivating Relationships: Students are leaving because they don’t feel like they belong. Belonging only happens in the context of relationships. America is so overly focused on individualism that our students think life is about them. We must do the hard/slow work of building real relationships with them. Their basic struggles are: Who Am I?, Where Do I Belong?, Why Do I Matter?

Affinity Groups: Students (people for that matter) are naturally attracted to those like themselves. We have to help our students see the value of getting to know others outside their age. (This is why adult led groups are so important.)

*Good measuring tool: If your High School seniors are hanging out in your youth ministry after graduation you didn’t help them feel belonging within the whole church.

Cook family, would you be willing to invest in the life of a student? There are several ways you could help with this.

  • Be in prayer for our college ministry team (Phillip & Joanne Hood, Will & Jessica Powell, Steven & Erika Breshears, Todd & Lesley Free, Jake & Millie Haymon, Kevin & Sheila Nugent, Gabriel & Gemma Hyacinth and Denise Baugh) that they would be able to develop relationships and build trust with our college-aged community here in Ruston….
  • Have you ever considered helping on Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights with our college-aged? You don’t have to be a “teacher”….you could just be a warm, friendly smile who offers a hug and remembers a name. Won’t you pray about giving a little of your time to come be part of our college ministry team?
  • Would you be willing to “adopt-a-college-student” in the fall? This is an awesome way to spend some 1-on-1 time with a student (or two), just offering them a “home-away-from-home” relationship….maybe you could meet them for coffee once a week, or invite them to use your laundry room once a month, or send them an encouraging text message or phone call every once in a while, or remembering their birthday and taking them out to eat! I promise you will be blessed by investing in the life of a college-aged person! Young adults are crying out for relationships…..I pray they would find one at Cook Baptist Church, rather than out at the local bar or club….’cause I promise you, they’ll find relationships somewhere.

If you’re interested in participating in our “Adopt-a-College-Student” ministry, please visit our church website at https://cookbc.org/events/event-sign-up/university/adopt-a-college-student-2017-18 to find out more information and to register. Thank you for being a church who loves college students!! Any ideas or suggestions for how we could do college ministry better? Please let us know! We love y’all!

Chris, Amanda, Makaylan, Hannah and Aaron Walker

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College/Missions Ministry - August 2017

COLLEGE MINISTRY CORNER

COLLEGE FRESHMAN SURVIVAL TIPS: Get Connected To a Church! If you go away to college, don’t leave church behind! God speaks to us through the church. Casually attending church in college will result in four years of missing out on what God wants to say to us.

Looking for a church away at college? Finding a new church at college isn’t always easy—especially if you have grown up in one church. Being part of a College Ministry is important, so here are a few tips for you, whether you’re staying in the Ruston area for school or going away to another place. We hope these five tips will help you get settled into a church soon.

  1. Don’t be a sleepy head!
    First, you have to go. You’re not going to find a church home if you don’t ever look, so it is important to go the first week. Sure, you’re tired. Moving in is a pain, however nurturing your relationship with Christ is critical, so get up and go. The people you meet the first week of school will often become your friends for the whole year.
  2. It’s going to feel different than your Youth Ministry
    Remember it’s not the Youth Ministry. When you are in a youth ministry you will know everyone. College Ministries are always a mix: folks who grew up in the church, folks who attend a local school and are regular, plus a rotating mix of members and guests who change every week. It’s normal that getting to know College Ministry folks can be harder because there are so many different people. That leads to the next point….
  3. You can’t make true friends with one visit!
    It takes time to get to know folks. Good friendships and feelings of acceptance don’t happen overnight. Think about it: you don’t move into the dorm expecting to become best friends with your roommate by nightfall. Yes, it should be easier to make friends at church, but you have to give it time.
  4. Only show up on Sundays and you will never get to know the church!
    Get involved. It is easy to take the back seat in a College Ministry. You are just there for a few years, semesters or maybe just the summer. Why should you get involved if you are going to be leaving soon? Simply put, being an active part of everything will help you spiritually and socially. Take part on Sunday morning, mid-week Bible studies and social events so the church can minister to you.
  5. Look for a place where college students matter.
    Look for a church that ministers to you! Churches don’t have to have a huge program for college students. Look for a church that seems to care about you. Ask friends about good churches in the area, talk to Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM/BSU), or simply browse the internet. Everyone has an off-day, so don’t write off a church on the first visit because it didn’t seem like home.

Hey, Cook Baptist Church family…..the University/Beyond department is looking for families who would be interested in “adopting” a college student….maybe just a phone call or text every week to check on them, or inviting them over to do laundry or eat a meal with your family once a month, or even taking them to eat lunch with you after church on Sundays. Anything to make our students feel more at home while they are studying in Ruston! Thankful for a church who loves college students!

“May the Lord bless you and keep you….” Numbers 6:24-26
Chris, Amanda, Makaylan, Hannah, and Aaron Walker

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College/Missions Ministry - July 2017

COLLEGE MINISTRY CORNER

FIVE WAYS TO THRIVE IN COLLEGE

  1. THE FIRST THREE WEEKS SET THE PATTERN
    What you do the first three weeks of the fall semester usually determines what you will do the entire first year of college. Get into a regular schedule of classes, study, recreation, and rest. Balance is important. Many fall behind during the period and never recover or they establish habits that are harmful to a successful college career.
  2. CHOOSE FRIENDS BY YOUR PRIORITIES
    Choose friends by your priorities, not your priorities by your friends. In the rush to make friends, many freshmen fall into the trap of connecting with the first group of people they meet and become involved in things they would never have decided to do on their own. Decide what is important to you. What are your values and priorities? Find and choose friends who share and will encourage you in these values and priorities.
  3. GO TO COLLEGE EMOTIONALLY
    Many freshmen do not have a good experience because they are not there emotionally. Don’t hang around your high school or plan your schedule around your former high school’s events. There is more to being a college student than taking classes. Find ways to be a part of campus life.
  4. BECOME PART OF A GROUP
    Studies and surveys indicate that the happiest and most successful students are those who are involved with a campus group. Campus Christian organizations offer a wide variety of activities like intramurals, lunch meetings, large group events, and small sharing groups. Involvement is voluntary and does not require membership.
  5. IT’S OK TO CHANGE YOUR MAJOR (or not have one)
    Many freshmen jump into a major not suited for them and get behind by taking classes in that major instead of the basics. Your freshman year is designed to be a time of adjusting to what college is all about and discovering interests and abilities while taking basic requirement courses. On average, college students change majors three to four times. Don’t hesitate to change should you decide you are in the wrong area.

While in Ruston, we want you to grow in your faith as well as become a well-rounded, productive citizen who learns responsibility and what it means to be part of the Body of Christ aka the “Church”. We want you to feel welcome and part of our church family from the moment you walk in the doors for the first time! If there’s anything we can do to help you in anyway (prayer, physical needs, counseling, etc….) please let us know!

We love you!

Cook Baptist Church family…..thanks for all you do to invest in the lives of young adults in Ruston!

“May the Lord bless you and keep you….” Numbers 6:24-26

Chris, Amanda, Makaylan, Hannah, and Aaron Walker

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College/Missions Ministry - June 2017

COLLEGE MINISTRY CORNER

[dropcap]Hey Cook family! Thank you for supporting your “Cook-on-Campus” university ministry this past school year! Because of your generous support we were able to make a huge impact in our college-aged community…..reaching people from several
countries, including: Nigeria, China, India, Taiwan, Saudia Arabia, Macedonia, Kazakhstan, and Turkey….and students from the following states: California, Texas, North Carolina, Arkansas, Texas and Mississippi! Around forty students were able to participate in mission trips to South Carolina, St. Louis, New Mexico, France, and other nations. We averaged around 30 students in Connect Groups, and around 40 in our mid-week Bible Study. Numerous families from Cook allowed students into their homes for parties and Bible studies, and I know many of you also financially sponsored students to go on a mission trip. You helped cook food and prepare for Big Free Lunch! WOW….thank you, thank you, thank you! There’s no way the Powells, Nugents, Hoods, Breshears, Haymons, Frees or Amanda and I could be able to invest in the lives of students without your love and support! We love you!

As we head into the summer months, be praying about how you can be involved in the college ministry next year!

Here’s a good article written by my friend Arliss Dickerson entitled, Reasons Students Stop Attending.

“Here are what I think are the top reasons Christian students go to or leave a particular ministry, apart from a faith crisis.
1. Language and style
Ministries may have the same theology, but they say it differently or just do it differently. It goes to natural comfort level.
2. Schedule
Sometimes, it is just as simple as one ministry's schedule working better for that student. Work or new classes may bring about a change in schedule.
3. The Cool Place
A Campus Ministry may get the reputation of being THE ministry on campus and students go there for that reason. Never forget that there is some "word of mouth" about your ministry on campus....good or bad...deserved or undeserved.
4. Size
Some students attend a ministry because it is large (The Cool Place) but some students want to go to a small ministry because they may feel more known or it feels more like their home church.
5. Theology
I am amazed that some ministries tout that they teach no theology...just the Bible. Every ministry is espousing a theology. Sometimes, a student comes into a ministry to later decide that their beliefs are different and move to another ministry.
6. Relationships
I believe for good or bad, the number one reason students attend or quit attending a particular ministry is relationships. A quarrel or breakup in a relationship can send a student to another ministry. All of us have experienced a couple who date, breaking up....and then BOTH stop coming because they are afraid they will run into the other!”

We love you Cook family! Thank you for being a church who loves college students! “May the Lord bless you and keep you….” Numbers 6:24-26

Chris, Amanda, Makaylan, Hannah, and Aaron Walker

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