As another school year approaches, I’m excited to announce that this year my ministry will be expanding. During the past year, I’ve ministered primarily at PCOM, but this year I’ll also be helping out at Drexel’s medical campus. This Tuesday, I had the chance to meet with the student leaders from both campuses in back-to-back meetings.
At each campus, upon the first-year students’ arrival, we have an important, but short-lived, opportunity. Within the first few weeks, the new students will quickly form the friendships and affiliations with various clubs that will last during their two years on campus. After that, with the intensity of their studies, it will be much harder to enter into their web of relationships.
As a result, a lot of our planning and strategizing centered around beginning-of-the-year outreach events that will help us connect with both Christian and non-Christian first-year students. At both schools, here’s how we’ll do it:
- hold a BBQ kickoff event where we can greet new students in a laid-back atmosphere before classes begin
- have a table at the Activities Fair so that students can sign up for more information
- personally follow-up with each person who expresses interest at the fair
- offer large-group meetings that involve bible study, worship and fellowship
- send out email reminders for the various events we offer
In all this, of course, we rely on the Lord. He’s the One who will make our efforts effective.
During this season of spiritual opportunity, please keep the following things in prayer even more than usual. Please PRAY:
- for God’s protection against the evil one on both campuses. Although appearances suggest otherwise, we know that our “adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).
- for the Lord to amaze the student leaders and I with what God has done for us in Christ. As we understand that, increasingly we are motivated to do His work on campus out of gratitude rather than duty. Pray that His life will shine through in all we do, and that we will be attractive to both Christians and unbelievers alike.
- for strength and endurance for the student leaders during this early window of opportunity. Classes reach their full intensity immediately rather than “ramping up” gradually as they did during undergraduate work. This means reaching out comes at a heavy price.
- for our student leaders by name. At PCOM: Brian, Elizabeth, Jenn, Kristen, Mike and Norm. At Drexel: Candice, Greg, Isaac, Justin, Melvin and Preethi; also, for Dr. Charlene Brock as she works especially with the female leaders.
- for our newly-forming council of Drs. Charlene Brock, Jim Kirkpatrick and Rich Shoemaker. They give sacrificially in so many ways, and work with me to reach the students. Pray especially that the Lord shows each one his or her role, and helps us work together most effectively for His Kingdom.
- for the Holy Spirit to make Christ and the campus fellowship attractive to the first-year students. While the need is obvious for students who don’t know Christ, the need for believing students is very real as well. Often they get lost in their studies and never make a full recovery.
- me as I help the leaders stay focused on Christ and their mission during this time. I’ll be praying intensely for them, meeting individually with leaders, calling them to stay true to their vision, strategizing as problems arise, and providing guidance on many levels.
- that God helps me make my family a priority even during this busy time.
As you can tell, although I always rely on your prayers, I’m really leaning on you for this first month of the academic year. Here are some specific dates to keep in prayer beyond the general, everyday needs:
August 11th – Drexel Activities Fair
18th – Drexel’s first large group meeting (mainly to connect with second-years)
24th – Drexel’s BBQ
25th – Drexel’s 2nd large-group meeting (first time most new/first-year students will attend)
27th-28th – PCOM’s Activities Fair
September 1st – PCOM’s first large-group meeting
September 19th – PCOM’s BBQ
Thanks so much for standing with us during this exciting ministry season. We’ll keep you posted!
Bryan & Sharon
PS Please be sure to see my previous post (just scroll down) about new giving information. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know!