Focus Houston: Reaching the University of Houston

posted Mar 25, 2014, 1:09 PM by Ginger Bowman
Our Focus Houston series continues with a look at the ministry at the University of Houston.  B.J. Ramon shares how the BSM and local churches are partnering to reach the campus.  

A significant hurdle for BSM in Houston is relating closely enough to local churches to know their heart and to adequately direct students to churches with which they would most readily commune. Another hurdle, specific to University of Houston BSM, is engaging a campus of 40,000 with an extremely busy student leadership team and a limited budget toward staff and resources.

The solution derived three years ago was to begin partnering with local churches to place more full-time campus missionaries at UH, while also providing additional staff workers for the local church ministries. Thus, campus missionaries are fully funded by local churches, and that campus missionary is able to express the heart of their particular congregation to students of UH and staff of BSM. Additionally, the campus missionary serves strategically in a portion of the campus leading believing students in their third places to pioneer missional communities.

One such co-op has been with Westbury Baptist Church and UH BSM with three different campus missionaries in three years- Kelsey Rogers, James Richards, and Cynthia Varela. Previous to Kelsey serving, there was not a mid-week bible study at Westbury Baptist and after Kelsey started a successful mid-week bible study she was able to pass it off to James who passed it off to Cynthia. All three campus missionaries still help with the midweek bible study and remain involved in the life of the church. The funding for these three campus missionaries also allowed for them to disciple students on campus and connect new believers to the church.

We have learned great lessons in this process the past few years, and we continue to refine the process moving forward.  The next phase calls for the same arrangement, only to begin new works on the various campuses around Houston with no current intentional ministry. The dream would be to have local churches leading the campaign to have viable ministries on the actual campuses of the 265,000 college students around Houston.

 Is your church in the Houston area?
  If you want to know more about partnering to reach campuses in the Houston area, contact Nick Howard at nick.howard@texasbaptists.org


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