Tell us about your church and your official ministry role. How long have you served there and what else we should know about you?
I am the new college minister at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, TX. I began serving in August of 2013, not quite a full school year yet, but it has been a great transition. I have served overseas with the IMB for 3 years in Thailand with my wife and two of our now four kids. I came back from that and served 2 years in college ministry at Central Baptist in College Station, TX as an associate. I still feel like I am learning how to be on a church staff, and have been blessed to work at some great places. It's been a challenging and fun ride. I am thankful to the Lord.
Would you share your "philosophy of college ministry"?
College is a unique season of life for most people. Students are typically away from mom and dad, and are having to decide if this faith they were taught is real and if it holds up in the real world. New responsibilities are on their shoulders and new teaching from new professors. Our philosophy here is 3 fold: to have the students realize that the body of Christ is a family, I mean, that's why we affectionately refer to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. We can be a support for each other. As a family we care for the needs inside our community of believers (College group, and connecting to the church as a whole). Second, we want to teach the Word and transmit a passion for God's Word to our family. We meet and divide into small groups, we dig in and discuss the Word, we digest it, we apply it. We do all that so that we can be prepared for the third element: Being on Mission in the world. We can't just sit in our bubble and soak up like a sponge. We are always preparing and always expecting to encounter the lost and share the hope that is in us. We also want to encourage our students to be in mentoring (as a mentor and a mentee), discipling relationships with those who are responding to God. They need to multiply what God is teaching them.
Where do you see God at work in your college ministry right now?
Our family has grown closer and closer over the last year. Right now our community is building up, and I am seeing some spiritual growth happen. This young group still has more growing to do, but God is faithful, and He is working. I am seeing new leaders rise to the top and actually begin to lead, which is great!
What are you praying for your ministry in 2014?
I am praying that God would help us continually respond to the cross. That they would see that everything that we do is not out of obligation or of earning something, but that we are serving Jesus because of what He has already done for us. When you work out of thanksgiving, and a knowledge of what Christ has truly done for you, serving Him becomes a great joy in your life.
Do you have a favorite college ministry resource right now? Or a favorite resource for personal spiritual growth? If so what is it?
Saving Eutychus (book on preaching, cause I'm not that great at it), Francis Chan "Basic" DVD series, Wingclips.com (illustrations from major movies, sorted by bible verses or themes)