College Ministry - August 2014

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 college Sunday School 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, and Hannah Walker 

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College Ministry - September 2014

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.

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College Ministry - July 2014

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 \vhile 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, Makavlan, and Hannah Walker

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College Ministry - June 2014

IMPACTING THE WORLD THROUGH CAMPUS MINISTRY

Prayerfully read this "guest column" about how important it is to reach our international students right here in Ruston. I pray your heart is burdened for these precious souls.

IMB's Terry Sharp* talks about the golden opportunity for global impact through collegiate ministry to international students.

For years, the International Mission Board, as well as other Great Commission Christian groups, has encouraged embracing UPGs (Unreached People Groups) and UUPGs (Unengaged, Unreached People Groups), developing an engagement strategy, and then getting on an airplane to reach them in their homeland. That's still an important and valid strategy, but there's more! Someone needs to go the airport and welcome the planes filled with people groups that God is sending to our homeland! The people group God is calling you to engage might not just live in their homeland - they could be a student at your university! When you consider the thousands of international students coming to study in the United States, it doesn't take long to realize that God is creating for us the opportunity to reach the nations here on our soil! International student enrollment is up six percent to a record-breaking 764,495. That's a 31% increase over the past decade. China continues to send the most students - 194,029 last year, up 23% from the previous year. There has also been a recent increase in the number of students from Saudi Arabia by 50%. Many international students come from places that are restrictive or prohibitive to the Good News of Christ Jesus. You may not realize this, but many are interested and receptive to the Gospel while studying in the United States. We have a profound opportunity to influence future political and business leaders. The truth of the matter is this: While studying in the United States, the majority of international students—as high as 75 percent—are never invited into an American home. More than 80 percent are never invited to an American church, nor do they have any meaningful contact with genuine Christians during an average stay of four years.

Consider this excerpt from a 2011 WorldView column by IMB's Erich Bridges entitled, "Cold Welcome for International Students." A foreign student preparing to return home after several years at an American university left behind a full suitcase with his roommate. "What's this? " the roommate asked. "It 's full of the gifts I brought to give Americans when they invited me to their homes. "the student replied, a tinge of sadness in his voice. "No one invited me."

*Terry serves the International Mission Board as the Director/Lead Strategist State and Association Relations & Urban Mobilization Strategies. He formerly served as a missionary in Spain and Brazil,

If you'd be interested in finding out more about "International Student Ministry", please let me or Amanda know. From "Adopting-a-college-student", to helping with ESL conversation students, to hosting students for a supper or holiday party, I promise we can help you reach the world just by touching the life of one of our many international students.

We love you, Cook BC family! If you've got any ideas on how we can do college ministry better, please let us know.. ..we're always open to new thoughts or ideas!

Chris, Amanda, Makaylan, and Hannah Walker

 

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College Ministry - May 2014

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 back to Sanostee, New Mexico on May 31 - June 7), 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 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, and Hannah Walker

 

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