COVID & THE COLLEGE CAMPUS

It’s been a challenging season in college ministry to say the least. I’m a Campus Missionary seeking to reach and grow students at MCC-Blue River and MCC-Longview. Because of COVID-19, both campuses have been almost entirely online since March of 2019. That means the typical approach to connecting with new students on campus at the beginning of each semester through table events, social gatherings, and follow up work simply wasn’t possible. MCC attempted to help its student groups by hosting virtual student involvement fairs, but those were ineffective. We had to get creative and do our best to think outside the box.

LEADER DEVELOPMENT

Thankfully, we had a handful of returning student leaders that we gathered weekly every Thursday via Zoom. We used this weekly time to encourage each other by sharing encouraging stories and praying for one another. Additionally, we used this time to train and equip these student leaders to leverage their network of existing relationships for evangelism and discipleship. We spent time equipping them to start and lead online Bible studies, to set up Gospel Appointments, to share the gospel through the 3 Circles, and to invite their non-believing friends into evangelistic Bible studies.

In fact, we were still able to launch a handful of small, but consistent online Bible studies through Mark’s gospel in the fall semester. This semester, we’ve focused our attention on starting evangelistic online environments using tools like Alpha, Explore God, and evangelistic Bible studies. One student named Jonah thinks one of his group members may have come to faith in Christ in recent weeks and is actively seeking to disciple him as a new believer.

Additionally, I’ve had the encouragement of having Emma Clark as a collegiate ministry intern this year. She’s taken on greater responsibility inside and outside our local church (LifeConnection) to invest in college students and young adults. She’s led online Bible studies, she’s co-leading our church’s college and young adult small group on a weekly basis, and she’s personally investing in a few ladies to reach and grow them in Christ. Despite a challenging year, God has still been kind and gracious to us.

 SUMMER PLANS

As the semester comes to an end, we’re looking ahead to the summer months. One of the benefits of doing collegiate ministry in a community college context is that students are still around in the summer. We plan to recruit as many students and young adults as we can to participate in Global Project 2021; an 8-week discipleship program (May 23-July 14) that will equip students in four specific ways: 1) quality teaching from collegiate ministry leaders from all over the country, 2) small discipleship groups that utilize The Fuel & the FlameInductive Bible Study, and Scripture memorization, 3) Spiritual mentoring through their discipleship group leader, and 4) evangelism training and outreach.

We welcome your prayers for future ministry and I’m grateful for all your support!