Well, 2017 has come and gone and it was a great year for our campus ministry. However, I haven't updated you on the last couple months of the year, so let's go back and visit how we wrapped up 2017. It seems like it was ages ago, but a lot of good things happened that are worth remembering.
So, last November was a fairly typical month for us in a lot of ways, but it did have some surprises. We had about a dozen students coming to our Monday Night Bible studies on a regular basis, about 4 students at our Wednesday night assemblies, and about 5 students at our Sunday morning assemblies. It thrills me to say that's the new normal around here.
I love having a row of college students consistently showing up on Sundays and Wednesday and getting plugged into our congregation. The danger of age-based ministries is that they tend to silo off that group and isolate them from the greater body of Christ, which isn't good for anyone. The younger people need the wisdom of the older people and the older people need the energy of the younger people. So I love seeing our younger people connecting with the members of the congregation and everyone sharing their collectives wisdom and energy together.
November was mostly dominated with talk about Thanksgiving Break and with things breaking. As the cold weather blew in, everything started breaking down. I helped patch a flat tire, helped get the keys out of a locked car, and gave two jump-starts. One day it got so windy the big sign in front of our campus house blew off, so I had to get that, bang out the dents, and screw it back in place (we are a classy bunch here in South Dakota). One of our elders, Jim Sigle, got our old broken water heater replaced at the campus house, so there was much rejoicing in the land. I even took one of our student to the Urgent Care center for severe headaches. It was just a big month for patching people and things back together again, I guess.
Thomas Pruett and I also decided on the topic for our youth rally in February. We are going to be talking about Timothy Keller's book, “The Reason For God: Belief In An Age Of Skepticism.” It is going to be fantastic! As soon as I finished reading it, I knew we had to do something with this material. If you have any interest in apologetics, you should definitely pick up a copy. This is best, most intelligent, and well-written case for the Christian faith that I have read in a long time. So this February we are attempting to distill it down to 6 lessons over a weekend at an accessible level for teenagers, which could be a bit of a challenge, but well worth the time.
We did the usual kinds of monthly events too. I took my traditional trip up to Faith to teach their youth night. They had a whole pile of teenagers and we talked about conflict resolution skills, so that was a good trip. There are some sweet people out in that part of the world.
Our college students hosted a movie night. I hosted our area-wide church leader “eatin meetin'” where we had the preachers from four different congregations present. Those are always a blessing to us.
The ministry activities, however, were cut a week short for Thanksgiving Break. The students were mostly heading out of town, so Sarah and I did the same thing. We went to visit my sister Naomi and her husband Ben in Utah. Since we were going to be gone the Monday before Thanksgiving, but the students weren't going to leave until Tuesday, I asked Thomas to teach our study for me.
Apparently, he did a stellar job of it. After the big group Bible study, Thomas got into an study on baptism with one of our girls, Brittany Begeman, and she decided to put on Christ in baptism that night. Hooray! Isn't that fantastic?
Brittany has been part of our group for a year and a half now. She always has a big smile and great questions about whatever text we are studying. She has been through some pretty hard times in her life, but her faith has been growing immensely in the last couple of months. She had been asking about baptism and thinking about it a lot and the Holy Spirit was moving in her heart. This is a big step for her and I am so proud of her and her decision to put on Christ in baptism.
Here are a couple of pictures for you:
Thomas Baptizing Brittany
Our New Sister In Christ
“Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
Thanks for reading and you have a great day!