College/Missions Ministry - August 2017


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



    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.
    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.
    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.
    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


[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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College/Missions Ministry - May 2017


There are some people who argue that short-term missions are a waste of resources and/or does more harm than good. I would argue against those, and offer this rebuttal. When asked, “Why should we be a church family who supports and sends out
short-term mission teams?” I will answer with the following (which is not exhaustive):

  1. SHORT TERM MISSION TRIPS TEACH US TO PRAY. When you’re faithfully serving God, He puts you into situations that cause you to have to rely more heavily on him. You learn to pray – really pray – in the mission field.
  2. SHORT TERM MISSION TRIPS EXPOSE US TO GOD’S KINGDOM. There is another reality – a spiritual reality – that we Americans and “westerners” know so very little about. We’re taught to dismiss it, to rationalize it, to explain it away. When you step into an area of the world where the poorest of the poor live, where witchcraft, sorcery, and ancestry worship are practiced, where there is a tremendous physical need and spiritual hunger, you will meet this reality.
  3. SHORT TERM MISSION TRIPS AID THE EFFORTS OF LONG-TERM MISSIONARIES AND MINISTRIES. “Many hands make light work.” – John Heywood. Often times encouragement and help with an overwhelming task can be one of the ways short-term trips can be a benefit to those on the field long-term.
  4. SHORT TERM MISSION TRIPS STRETCH US AND GET US OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONE. It is a great opportunity to step out of your own environment and experience God at work in other cultures and contexts. It is the perfect recipe for a life changing experience.
  5. SHORT TERM MISSIONARIES OFTEN MAKE GOOD LONG-TERM MISSIONARIES! It’s amazing how the Lord will speak while we are “focused” and in a place of serving Him already.
  7. SHORT TERM MISSION TRIPS BUILD DEEPER RELATIONSHIPS WITH MEMBERS OF THE TEAM. Traveling together, rooming together, and serving together in a “different place” will build bonds of friendships that will last you the rest of your life.

Thank you for being a church family who supports missions, not only by going on trips (we’ve got teams headed to New Mexico, New Orleans, and South Carolina this summer), but also through prayer support and financial support (Lottie Moon Christmas Offering assists International Missions….Annie Armstrong Easter Offering helps North American missions…..and the Georgia Barnette offering in autumn helps support state missions here in Louisiana). We must be a church who focuses outward… can we love, serve, and reach our local campuses? How can we love, serve, and reach our community of Ruston and surrounding areas? How can we be part of taking the Gospel to an UUPG (Unreached, Unengaged People Group)? Both the IMB ( ) and NAMB ( ) offer great resources!

We are so thankful for our church family! We have many college students who have been invited into homes, eaten meals, sought advice and wisdom from you….and will always remember how you invested in their lives!

If there’s anything we can do better in college ministry, or you have an idea for reaching our local campuses (Tech, Grambling, and Delta CC) with the Gospel, please let us know!

“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 - April 2017


Have we told you lately how thankful we are to have a church family who loves college students? It’s so evident by the way you support our students through hospitality, encouragement, friendly hugs and meaningful conversations (and the amount of food that shows up for Big Free Lunch each month…ha!). From Sunday School teachers, to Wednesday night leaders and “adopt-a-college-student” adopters, you make our college students feel welcomed and part of our “Cook” family!

As this school year winds down, and we begin to focus on graduation, summer and even look ahead to next fall, Amanda and I are full of excitement! We’ve had the largest group of freshmen get involved with our college ministry and along with a great group of high school seniors moving up, we’re preparing for our best college ministry year yet! If you’d like to get involved with our college ministry, we could sure use some more people to come love and serve our students! From teachers, encouragers, disciplers, adopters, and huggers….we can definitely use you!

Here’s a few college events that will be happening soon….we’d love for you to get plugged in:

April 9 – Big Free Lunch (Adult 1 & Mosaic/Agape hosting)

April 10 -12 – Res Week activities on Tech’s campus

April 16 - Easter

May 7 – College graduate recognition service & Big Free Lunch (Adult 3 hosting)

June 2-10 – New Mexico mission trip

June 26- 30 – Vacation Bible School at Cook

We love y’all! If you have any suggestions on how we could do college ministry better, please let us know.

“May the Lord bless you and keep you….”

Chris, Amanda, Makaylan, Hannah and Aaron Walker

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