It is that time of year again — young people around the state are preparing to go back to school, getting ready to begin a new season of growth and learning in their lives. As this time approaches, I want you to pray for a specific group of university and college students: those about to enter college.
For many, starting college can be a scary time with numerous challenges, new temptations and increased personal decisions to make. For all, it is a time of growth. Here at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, our Collegiate Partnerships Team is daily hard at work to make a spiritual impact on the approximately 150 universities, colleges and community colleges in our state. A goal of our Collegiate Partnerships Team is to have no campus left in our state without a reproducing gospel presence. Currently we are assisting with ministry on 48 different campuses in North Carolina, but we have many more to reach. Are you willing to challenge your church congregation to learn how you can impact the lives of students attending a community college or a university not too far from you?
“Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:38
In our efforts to reach every campus and to create a reproducing gospel presence on each of them, the Collegiate Partnerships Team is working with local churches to help equip them to reach college students. North Carolina Baptists, you must recognize that the colleges and universities around you truly are a mission field. In addition to the large number of American students attending these schools, there are also many international students who left family and friends in order to live here and receive a college education. If you will invest some time in these students by offering friendship and hospitality, inviting them to your home and church, you will see several accept Christ as Savior.
Our Collegiate Partnerships Team wants to challenge you and teach your congregation how to reach these college students for the Lord. To help you with this task, the Collegiate Partnerships Team is conducting a free workshop next month to familiarize churches with the first steps of engaging a college campus with the gospel. The “Reaching College Students” workshop is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 16 in Chapel Hill and will include hands-on training to give participants the skills and experience they will need to begin engaging the colleges, universities or community colleges that are in their own backyard. Learn more about this event at reachingcollegestudents.org.
I give praise to the Lord for what we are achieving together for the advancement of the gospel on college campuses. Will you pray for college students in our state? Please pray not only for the Collegiate Partnerships Team and the ministry of the churches, but also for the students who are heading to campus this fall. Pray that the Lord will send us more partners to help reach those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to know Him. Respond to God’s invitation for your involvement in this available missions opportunity.
by Milton A. Hollifield Jr. / Executive Director-Treasurer / Baptist State Convention of North Carolina
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