How did you get involved in the ministry you’re in?
After my year at MWSB, I came back home & began working with Jr. High boys at the church I grew up in. After 20 years of volunteering with Jr. High through College age students, I was offered a ¾ time Associate Youth Director position, which I accepted. It will be 7 years in February 2014 that I’ve been on staff.
What matters most to you about what you’re doing?
Sharing the Truth of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ & making disciples, helping them to grow in their faith & knowledge of Jesus Christ & teaching them to obey everything he’s commanded us.
How do you see God’s work in the lives of students you minister to? Do you have a story about that?
It continues to humble and amaze me how little any of us have to boast in & how little our efforts matter apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. I’ve had students from Christian homes, whom I’ve invested considerable time in, walk away from the faith within their first couple years of college. I’ve also had students from highly dysfunctional, unbelieving homes, whom I’ve had no intimate discipleship relationship with, who you couldn’t hold back from growing & making disciples if you tried! The difference? A heart transformed by Jesus Christ & a life in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit.
Do you see God’s work in your own life because of what you are doing now? What’s your testimony about that?
I believe it’s a fact that nobody learns more than the teacher. As I prepare lessons, small group studies, and field questions from students which I cannot answer & need to research, God continues to reveal Himself to me through His Word! I’m utterly dependent on His Word & His Holy Spirit to bring anything of value to the students I minister to. There’s also built in accountability to seek to reflect Christ 24/7 & be His image bearer to the 150+ students I minister to.
What are some challenges you face today in the ministry you are in?
A couple major challenges come to mind. A generation of parents who are “Sunday Christians” and do not live out their faith at home. Their children see the hypocrisy & inconsistencies in their life and, but for the grace of God, will most likely model the same. With 168 hours in a week, if I have an opportunity to influence or disciple a student for 1-6 hours per week, depending on their involvement, it’s tough to compete with the remaining time influenced by hypocritical parents & a culture that’s antagonistic to message of Jesus Christ.
Second, I think the culture is indeed getting darker, compared to only 20-30 years ago. And the church in America, instead of standing as a lighthouse on the rock of Truth to bring light into that darkness, has compromised truth and sought to become more like the world in an attempt to reach them, which quite frankly has resulted in the preaching of “another gospel.” We in ministry, as well as all believers committed to truth, have to be shepherds at the gate, helping to protect & teach discernment to a flock that is subject to wolves in sheep’s clothing who write glossy covered books, preach sermons on TV and sing worship songs that are so centered on self, instead of Christ, that they no longer resemble the true gospel message of Jesus Christ.
These are general, sweeping statements as to the challenges we face as the Church. However, the Church is still God’s chosen instrument & despite the challenges, I’m still seeing lives transformed by the power of Jesus Christ! I have students who are bold & unashamed of the Gospel and are sharing with their families and friends…and have parents who are doing an incredible job of training up their children in the faith! Our God is a sovereign God and despite the challenges, His Church will advance and His Will shall be done!
What encouragement would you like to share with the current students of MWSB?
Make the most of your year at MWSB! It’s a unique experience to study God’s Word, to be discipled and to have accountability in such a tight Christian community…all in a magnificent setting in which God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – are clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that all M-Dub students are without excuse! 😉 Allow God to use this year to prepare you to fulfill his great commandment and great commission in whatever He calls you to in your life!
Has God used your time at MWSB to equip you in any way for what you are doing now? How so?
Well, technically I guess I’m “Old School” having attended during the MWBC years. But, yes, though I was blessed to be raised in an incredible Christian home by godly parents who trained me up in the Faith, M-Dub helped to firm up the foundation of that Faith and took me deeper into the Word, giving me tools to study and learn and truly own my Faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. It increased my desire to serve Him and to share the Truth with a lost and dying world.