College/Missions Ministry - November 2016


Hello Cook Family!! We hope you are doing well today, as you peruse through this month’s Baptist Message. Let me start off by thanking all the Connect Group classes who have helped us over the past two months with all our “Welcome Week” activities, as well as Big Free Lunch, “Adopt-a-Student” ministry, BCM “Soul Food” Lunch and mentoring. Students are craving authentic relationships and want older people who will invest in their lives....may these relationships bring both sides closer to the Lord through encouragement, love, and accountability!

Are you looking for ways to get involved with the college ministry here at Cook? Let me give me a few ministry opportunities that are coming up!

#1) We still have a few students who would like to be “adopted” by a family from Cook. If you’re interested in helping with this awesome ministry, please let Amanda or me know.

#2) On Sunday, November 13, Adult 2 will be hosting our next Big Free Lunch, which is always immediately following our morning
worship service in the Cook gym!

#3) This year, during Tech’s Fall Quarter/Thanksgiving break, many of our students will be traveling with the BCM to St. Louis, MO, to
participate in “Mission St. Louis”, a week of ministry and service. Please be praying for safe travel as well as opportunities to share the gospel as we serve among the people of St. Louis. Dates are November 18 – 22.

#4) If you’re on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, then “like us” or “follow us” @CookonCampus to keep up with the latest news and updates from our ministry. Help us spread the word when events are happening!

Thanks for being a church family who loves college kids! My prayer is that every student who enters our doors will have someone who knows their name and has given them a hug by the time they leave! I challenge you to learn the name of one new college student this coming Sunday!

Love y’all! Numbers 6:24-26 - “May the Lord bless you and keep you....”

Chris, Amanda, Makaylan, Hannah, and Aaron Walker

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College/Missions Ministry - October 2016


Howdy church family!! Hope y'all are doing well today! John 15 which states, "I am the vine, you are the branchies....." 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 (Dawg Haul, LUAU, Freshmen Survival, Church Roadtrip, 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 1,100 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 dois 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-acollege-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 or thru the church app. Our kickoff luncheon will be on October 2. 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 9 will be our next "Big Free Lunch" and will be hosted by Adult 1, 5, & Mosaic/Agape Connect Group classes.

P.SS. On October 21st we will be attending a conference in Dallas, Texas called "ReTHINK apologetics conference". This is open to all high school seniors, college students, and student ministry adult leaders. Contact Chris Walker for more information.

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College/Missions Ministry - September 2016


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 belonging. 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 a 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, 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” 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 one somewhere.

If you’re interested in participating in our “Adopt-a-College-Student” ministry, please visit our church website at 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 2016


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, because 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 needing 2 more teachers for Sunday mornings at 9am down in the CAVE to lead one of our small groups. If you’d be interested in this position, please contact us!

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 2016



    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 any way (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

Christ, Amanda, Makaylan, Hannah, and Aaron Walker

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