By Travis Hamm, BR-KC Collegiate Minister and MBC Collegiate Ministry Strategist
There’s always so much going on in our ministry, and if you are like me, it’s easy to just go from one thing to the next without stopping. In my e-newsletters I try to give you a glimpse into the ministry by offering some highlights of the past month. This month, though, rather than give you news of the recent happenings in our ministry, I’m going to change it up a bit. In this e-newsletter, I wanted to pause for a moment, take some time to share a brief update of where we’ve been and where we’re heading, and then ask you to make a serious commitment to pray with us for the rest of the summer.
First, let me share with you what we’re working on. As you are aware, two years ago I took on a role as a Collegiate Strategist for the Missouri Baptist Convention. Impact, the ministry I’ve led at UMKC, is a part of a network of 22 other college ministries in the state of Missouri seeking to bring the gospel to college campuses and make disciples of college students. My aim in taking on this role has been to use my G
od-given strength of strategic thinking to strengthen these existing ministries, launch new ministries on unreached Missouri colleges, and equip local churches for collegiate ministry.
These two years have been wonderful, and God has exceeded my expectations. For example, my hope was tosee a team of collegiate strategists working alongside me in 5 years. God has already provided this team in less than 2 years! And it is because of this team that I am now able to narrow my focus onto the Kansas City area where we have 12 college campuses most of which do not have a strong ministry presence.
I’ve been praying for gospel laborers to assist me in this work, and God has been answering that prayer. I’ve introduced Daniel Graham who is launching ministries at Park University and Maple Woods Community College. I’ve also introduced Kerissa Breisch who is helping me with administrative responsibilities for our ministry. These two are both wonderful additions, and I’m excited for how God is using us and will continue to use us here in Kansas City.
As we understand our ministry context where most of the 60,000+ college students in our city are commuters, our main approach to collegiate ministry in K.C. is simple: create a network of individuals, churches, and ministries that work together to see Kansas City college students transformed by the gospel, maturing as Jesus followers, participating in local churches, and being sent out to multiply ministry locally and beyond. The idea is simple, but the outworking of the idea is much more difficult. This is where we invite you to join us in prayer. After all, the psalmist says that “unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1). God is our source of help, so let us bring to Him our requests.
Here’s how you can pray:
1) PRAY FOR WISDOM
For my team our days are filled with decisions – decisions on how to minister on a particular campus, how to invite participation from volunteers, how to cast vision for this ministry to others, how to manage our time and resources, how to partner with multiple churches. We pray for wisdom as we make these decisions that we won’t get distracted with less important items, that we skillfully accomplish ministry objectives, and that we magnify Jesus in all we do.
2) PRAY FOR CHURCH PARTNERS
I often tell others that partnership is great in theory, but difficult in practice. Church partnerships are no different.Every church has their own passions, their own responsibilities, their own ministry philosophies and their own ways of ministering. To have churches network together for a common cause can be challenging, but isn’t it beautiful when achieved? I truly believe that the way to impact the most college students in Kansas City is through local churches choosing to minister collectively rather than separately.
We need churches partnering with us by financially contributing to this necessary work. We need churches partnering with us by giving space, time, and energy to discipling college students. We need churches partnering with us by stepping foot on college campuses and engaging students with the gospel. Pray that God provides such partnerships. Specifically, you can pray for a New Partners Training event that our team will be leading at the end of July for churches that want to come alongside us. Pray that God leads churches to attend this event.
3) PRAY FOR MISSOURI COLLEGE MINISTRY
I am so incredibly grateful for the collegiate ministry team I have the joy of working with in the Missouri Baptist Convention. This team of Campus Missionaries, Collegiate Strategists, and denominational leaders share a passion for seeing the good news of Jesus brought to every college student in our state. Pray for God’s grace on their lives as they seek to lead out in their respective ministries.
4) PRAY FOR ENCOURAGEMENT
Whether it be seeing a student make destructive choices, or counseling individuals through relational conflicts, or not seeing the ministry fruit you had hoped for, or being misunderstood and/or rejected by those you respect, or being attacked by a very real Enemy, ministry is tough. And there are many opportunities to be discouraged. Pray for me and for those on my team to be reminded of the love God has for us, to remember where our ultimate value and significance lie, to be graced with verbal support by others, and to be empowered by the Spirit to lay down our lives for the sake of others.
I am truly blessed by the friends and supporters God has placed in my life and in this ministry. To know that I am joined by hundreds of others in lifting these requests to God is, in itself, a real encouragement to me. Thank you for the prayers and thank you for your partnership in the Gospel!
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