Crossroads: How much do you focus on Discipleship?

Discipleship

Last time in the Crossroads series we talked about Evangelism. How much focus do we put on it when it comes to college ministry (or ministry in general) versus everything else. Today let’s talk about focusing on Discipleship.

I love meeting with students one-on-one and really focusing on what is going on in their lives. I am a problem solver and this is where I feel I can really listen to someone and help them find answers in Christ through the Bible. However, the problem is there are only so many hours in a day. Evangelism can focus on multiple students but when I spend time with a student alone it is that person for one hour and no one else to invest in.

Paul tells us to not just share the Gospel but share our lives as well:

1 Thessalonians 2:8

We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.

Jesus even said go and make disciples…not converts:

Matthew 28:18-20

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Based on these verses are we supposed to just focus on discipleship?

Let’s start by defining what a disciple is:

dis·ci·ple/diˈsīpəl/

Noun: A personal follower of Jesus during his life, esp. one of the twelve Apostles.

Therefore discipleship is the act of creating/training a person to turn them into a disciple. This means that I need to help students focus on becoming a follower of Christ? To me, that sounds like evangelism. So, shouldn’t I spend a majority of time on that? Or, does it mean that discipleship is more like this video:

or this video:

All these things take time and I only have a small window with the students I have. How do you make the most of your time and balance discipleship with evangelism? Can you do one without the other?

Crossroads: How much do I focus on Evangelism?

I am at a crossroads. Where do I put my focus as a campus minister? Do I focus on evangelism? Do I focus on building up the body? Do I focus on salvations? Do I focus on leaders? Do I spend my time answering emails in my office? Do I spend more time on campus trying to connect with my students? Do I spend enough time sharing Christ on campus?

These questions flooded my mind this morning in ways that have never made me stop and think like this before. Let’s start with evangelism.

e·van·ge·lism/iˈvanjəˌlizəm/
Noun:

  1. The spreading of the Christian gospel by preaching or personal witness.
  2. Zealous advocacy of a cause.

Is my responsibility as a campus minister to get on campus and be zealous about Christ and spread the Christian Gospel? Is my goal to see more souls saved? Am I supposed to get the word out about Romans 10:9-10 as much as possible?

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

Should I be trying to get college students saved by praying a prayer and telling them “Now you will be in heaven with me! Woohoo!?” Should I be trying to get students to be “filled with the Holy Spirit” so they can experience God? Sometimes I don’t even feel like that, in fact sometimes I doubt myself being in the presence of God BECAUSE I DON’T FEEL LIKE THAT.

I want to explore these questions I have and hopefully get some feedback. Next time we will bring up discipleship.

Where are you in all of this…whether you are in ministry or not?

Are you an enabler?

I am going through Ephesians with the guys I am discipling on leadership and came across this passage (Ephesians 4:11-18). I’ve always said that my desire (and job) is to work myself out of a job. These verses confirm what I’ve said all along (yes, I know Mcfly! The Bible has been around a lot longer than I have). Christ gave me a gift of being in ministry through being a pastor/teacher/director to college students. My responsibility is not to do the work but to “equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”

Why?

  • To unify the people of God in faith and knowledge (v. 13)
  • To mature the people of God so they will not be deceived (v. 14, 2 Peter 2:1-3)
  • To grow more like Christ to speak the truth in love (v. 15)
  • To help each other do their own “special work” that helps others grow (v. 16)

I am an enabler.

When expectations are exceeded…the world changes

This past month we did a series called “Get Uncomfortable.” I spoke about social justices going on around the world for purpose of creating awareness and how God is working through them. We talked about how meeting a need required Christ to be involved, otherwise we are just making others comfortable for a season. We are to sustain people through the Gospel along with the resources that convey the love of Christ. We are called to be compassionate which means to “suffer with” instead of just having empathy.

However, this post is not about the series but what happened as a result. I rarely ask students to give money from the stage. This time was different. I wanted the students to truly understand what “suffering with” truly means. That can only come from self-sacrifice. The first night a former student donated pizza (First Wow!). We called for donations to Haiti as a result. To be honest, I was hoping for $100. Instead 76 students gave $428. (Second Wow!)

Next, we looked at everything we spend money on. We were to write down everything we spent money on in the past week and find ways to “cut the excess.” I talked about an organization called Hope International and how microfinancing provides loans to start small businesses through families. $100 is given to a family who are required to pay it back (interest-free) within six months. After the business is self sustaining the loan is then given to another family…and then another…and so on. The value of $1 is tremendous in that situation. That night we had over $200, many of which were $1 bills, given. We are now helping 4 families sustain themselves every year. (Third Wow!)

On the last week we worshiped through different stations where we burned our baggage (literally), wrote letters to orphans from Haiti, painted our thoughts of injustice, and studied verses about the poor and abandoned. At the end of the night I showed this video from Catalyst about how a sponsored Compassion International kid was able to meet his sponser after twenty years. I asked the students to sacrifice one meal a month and give $5/month until they graduate to sponsor a child as a whole community. I could not believe that the USF BCM is sponsoring two children as a result! (Fourth Wow!) What’s crazy is that after all that three more individuals also sponsored children. (Fifth Wow!)

I was blown away by the generousity and love of these students.

$428 – Haiti
2 – $100 small biz loans = 4 families/year
5 – Kids who will live, get educated, have a roof
= Priceless

I can’t wait to give you all updates about what we as a community are doing around the world! (I’m creating a blog that will have all of these updates)

Campus Ministry vs. Church College Ministry

Lately I’ve been thinking about Church vs. Campus Ministry… let me explain.

Church College Ministry = A local church, Christ’s bride, does ministry to all ages (at least that is what a New Testament church looks like). Therefore, some churches have a specific college ministry. Whether it is something like a collegiate service, a college and singles ministry, or a young professional ministry.

Campus Ministry = BCM, Cru, IV, XA, Navigators, etc. These focus strictly on college students at the college campus. Less metro more focused on a campus…sometimes. Some things they focus on are leadership development, small groups, community, discipleship, reaching the dorms/Greeks/Athletes/Medical students/Engineers, etc.

Many students (and ministers) are very torn about the role in a person’s life. I’ve had countless conversations with people who are upset with BCMs “stealing” students. However, I love what J.D. Greear explains it in his blog post.

He talks about how both ministries are necessary in a college student’s life. It is a pretty good read so I’ll highlight what I think are some of the great points of the post.

The church is intergenerational.

This is something that I constantly stress with my students as a NT church has all generations investing in each other for the purpose of discipleship and accountability and fellowship. I’ve found this to be a huge help in my life when I was in college and now.

Campus ministry is only for 4 years; church is for life.

Something that I focus on is plugging students into a local church…that doesn’t mean just attending but actually serving. When a college student realizes that God’s plan is bigger than themselves they jump on board and start investing in some youth. Then, when that student leaves college they don’t float from church to church but find one that doesn’t serve them but that they can serve in and get fed at.

Campus ministries meet on campus, allowing students to grow and minister where they live.

Campus ministries allow students an outlet for reaching their peers as well as growing within a community that deals with similar issues.

Campus ministries specialize in dealing with the issues students face while a student.

Campus Ministries are able to focus on what just students are dealing with…and give practical advice when it comes to adversity.

Greear then outlines what students who are confused should do: serve at both. He basically says that a student should start with going to an on-campus ministry as well as attending a local church (the same one every week, no church hopping, LAME!). As the student becomes a upperclassman he or she should increase their participation in their local church. I also believe that upperclassmen should invest in freshmen and sophomores before totally leaving behind the campus ministry.

I love how someone is thinking and dealing with what I’m dealing constantly talking about. What are your thoughts?