The College Ministry Team at Living Hope exists to be a first point of contact for college students. Our goal is to make disciples of every student God brings to our church by connecting them with a local body of believers where they will be held accountable and be taught to obey everything Jesus commanded.

Look around during service sometime and see how many kinds of people there are. There are older, more experienced folks. There are couples who are recently “empty nesters.” Some are new families who’ve just gotten married within the past few years and may or may not have children. We have ones who have grown up in the city. There is also an occasional “country bumpkin” who loves to be outside on a horse or four-wheeler. Nearly every race on the planet is represented at church and from every continent.

There are educational institutions here that draw students from everywhere. We cannot waste the opportunity to share Jesus with them. Do we have a passion for Jesus that drives us to have to tell people about the Gospel? Here’s our vision statement:

“We are a Christian fellowship that glorifies God through worshipping, teaching His Word, evangelizing, and ministering to the community”

This is who we should be. This statement is still meant to keep us focused on what we are to be about.

College students are still a huge part of this community. They all want to belong to something. There’s not a better place or entity to belong to than the church. Be intentional about welcoming students to church and in our homes. The College Ministry is looking for folks who are passionate about students and their walk with the Lord. If this is you, we’d love to have you.

This month, be a part of blessing the students at the BSM Study Nights, Wednesday, May 3rd, Thursday, May 4th, from 5 p.m.-2 a.m., and Sunday, May 7th from 7 p.m.-2 a.m. (203 College Main, CS). Take good food for them to eat while they study. Hang out and talk with them downstairs in the “louder” area. Write some encouraging scripture on cards for them to read. Be a blessing Living Hope. - Eric

Why College Ministry?

In a town where a majority of the population is comprised of college students, this can seem like a silly question. However, what we believe about the church and its purpose determines how we answer this question and whether or not that answer is biblical. We follow a Titus 2 model where the older and younger are obviously connected in the ministry of the church. So our college students are being equipped for ministry much like they are academically, hopefully seeing the value they bring to the local church. For most churches, having college students means hosting programs and events just for them. At Living Hope, we believe that more programs and events for college students are just the opposite of what they need. College students are bombarded with Bible studies, Christian clubs, and opportunities to hear messages and sing songs every day. However, Jesus taught that service and connection were absolutely essential to growth (see Matthew 20:25-28 and Hebrews 3:12-14).

Our desire is that every student would be connected to a local church as an important, growing, and faithfully serving member. Without commitment to the local church, all of us would continue to live apart from real accountability to do the things God commands in His Word. We would all seek to serve ourselves rather than others. That’s not okay, so we set up our College Ministry to help students know Christ and plug in to His Church as vital parts of the body. We hope you will embrace this vision and help us achieve these goals. We want to make a difference to the ends of the earth.

How will this ministry really work?

It has to work! God is building His Church, so we trust Him with the folks He brings us. More than 60% of our members are college students, so every aspect of our church family will be impacted by these students. College students will be a part of your Hope Group, your ministry teams, core discipleship classes, community workdays, worship services, and your everyday life. Interacting with and getting to share life with our students is a blessing in every sense of the word. For both families and students, we have seen God use these relationships for spiritual growth and sweet and protecting accountability. We are truly part of one Body! A good time to have students over is:

  • while you do laundry, work on the car, or wash the dishes;
  • when the kids are playing nicely;
  • when the kids need correction;
  • for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner;
  • when the house is a wreck; or
  • during family devotions.

The point is that there is never a bad time to have students over. They want to know you—the real you—not the you that is all put together in the immaculately clean house that only looks that way for a few short hours once per month. God desires to use you and your family to build lifelong relationships with these students. God desires to use our college students to bless and help our families in authentic community.

I think I’d like to serve on this ministry team. What would I do as a member of the College Ministry Team?

As a member of the College Ministry Team, you would be expected to attend meetings as announced (generally before big activities and for planning). During our meetings, we work together to seek God’s vision for our ministry, plan events, and analyze how we are helping the body to invest in the lives of college students. It’s a great way to be on the front lines of a very important ministry to this community and to the world!

I don’t believe God is calling me to serve on this ministry team permanently, but I’d still like to help. What can I do?

Here are some ways you can help:

  • Mentor a student. Many college students grew up in a home where biblical values were not held or practiced. By identifying unconnected students and intentionally making them a part of your everyday life and routine, you can mentor an eager young man or woman as you simply “do life.” We ask all of our servants and mentors to undergo a background check.
  • Participate in special events. We host various events throughout the year like College Worship Nights and the annual Night of Worship in the spring, and you are always welcome to attend and/or help with these events. Come out and show the college students you care.
  • Ask every student you see if they are in a Hope Group. Show interest in our students by meeting new ones each week and then asking if they are not connected to a Hope Group and a ministry team. Invite those who do not have a Hope Group to come to yours that week! We want to see every student plugged in to a group who loves them and cares for them in practical ways.

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