College/Missions Ministry - February 2016

MISSION RUSTON 2016

March 1 – March 4

Hey church family.....one of the cool “traditions” in college ministry is to take a “Spring Break” mission trip. Last year our college ministry went to New Orleans to serve in the big city and find out what “Urban Missions” is all about. We helped with a church plant in Marrero, LA, named Westbank Baptist Church. You can find out more about that church at www.wearewestbank.com

Well, this year after much prayer and talking we are excited to announce that this year’s college “Spring Break” mission trip will be to RUSTON!! Yep, that’s right....we’re going to approach MISSION RUSTON with the same enthusiasm and preparation as we would any other mission trip. We will be partnering with local ministries (Rolling Hills, Life Choices, etc....) as well as serving in places such as elementary schools and the Detention Center. We will be prayer-walking in neighborhoods and sharing the Gospel with those we come in contact with. We’ll also be doing nursing home ministry, visiting the home-bound, and doing little clean-up projects around the church.

Will you pray about partnering with us? We’d love to have you come along side our college students and participate in as many projects as you are able. Do you see or know of a “need” in our church family that you think our college students could help with? Please let us know....

As always, thanks to all the Connect Group classes who have prepared and hosted our “Big Free Lunches” throughout the year. These delicious meals are by far our most well-attended events. Our college students love getting to know you better and absolutely enjoy feasting on the food you so lovingly provide. Thanks for loving on them!

Here are a few upcoming events you could help with:
Feb. 2, Tuesday – we need 6 pans of chicken spaghetti to serve at the LA Tech BCM.
Feb. 28, Sunday – Pancake Supper for college students after the evening worship service.
March 1 – March 4 - MISSION RUSTON

Also, we’re in need of a few people who would be willing to help meet & greet and hangout with college students on Wednesday nights from 6pm – 7pm. You would be mainly focusing on developing relationships with our college students and getting to know them better so you will know how to better pray for them and encourage them in their walk. Our college department in also in need of 1 more Connect Group teacher. If you are interested, please let us know.

Love y’all.....and we’re so thankful to have a church family who loves college students!

“May the Lord bless you and keep you....”
Chris, Amanda, Makaylan, Hannah and baby Aaron Walker

P.S. Follow our “Cook-on-Campus” ministry on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram @cookoncampus to keep up with the latest happenings.

 

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College/Missions Ministry - October 2015

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 (Dawg Haul, LUAU, Freshmen Survival, Adopt-a-College-Student, 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 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-collegestudent” 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. 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, and Hannah Walker

P.S. October 11 will be our next “Big Free Lunch” and will be hosted by Adult 4 Connect Group classes.

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College/Missions Ministry - May 2015

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.

6) SHORT TERM MISSION TRIPS ARE A PERFECT TIME TO "BE HIS WITNESSES" WHILE AWAY FROM RUSTON.

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.

8) SHORT TERM MISSION TRIPS ALLOW US TO "BOLDLY DECLARE GOD'S GLORY!", WHICH IS COOK'S MOTTO. Thank you for being a church family who supports missions, not only by going on trips (we've got a team headed to Anchorage, Alaska on June 6-13), 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 autumn state missions). We must be a church who focuses outward.....how 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)?

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 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, and Hannah Walker

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College/Missions Ministry - November 2015

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, BCM Church Road Trip, BCM “Soul Food” and Freshmen Fridays. 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) Wanna help make pancakes? During finals week at La Tech, Sunday, November 15, we’ll have a free pancake supper for any students who need a break from studying to come get a little food and love from our Cook family! Let me know if you have time from 7pm – 8:30pm (after evening worship service) to help make and/or serve pancakes!

#3) Also, on Sunday, November 8, Adult 5 will be hosting our next Big Free Lunch, which is always immediately following our morning worship service!

#4) This year, during Tech’s Fall Quarter/Thanksgiving break, many of our students (as well as Chris & Amanda) will be traveling with the BCM to Arlington, TX, to participate in “Mission Arlington”, a week of ministry and service in the “Big D.” Please be praying for safe travel and as well as opportunities to share the gospel as we serve among the people of Dallas-Fort Worth, and partner with Mission Arlington ministry (missionarlington.org). Dates are November 19 – 23.

#5) 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 Walker

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College/Missions Ministry - September 2015

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 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 (Philip & Joanne Hood, Will & Jessica Powell, Steven & Erika Breshears, Todd & Lesley Free, and Jake & Millie Haymon) 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! They 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.

Thank for you 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 Baby Boy (due Feb. 1, 2016) Walker

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