Reaching NYC: A Strategy for Urban College Ministry

posted Sep 25, 2019, 3:00 PM by Ginger Bowman

Meet Austin West. Austin, his wife Haley, and their two children Kolbi and Sawyer live in Queens, NYC. God has called their family to partner with local church plants to reach surrounding communities for the gospel. For Austin specifically, this call manifests itself leading out in the strategy and coordination of reaching college students across the entire city.

Working with the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association (MNYBA) Austin developed a strategy centered around engaging campuses and local churches simultaneously. Engaging campuses, Austin creates multiple pathways on and into campus culture otherwise not exposed to the gospel. Engaging local churches, Austin trains, equips, and supports the local church in reaching their campuses and students within their community. The vision for this strategy is to utilize the local church to create a gospel reproducing presence on every campus in NYC (over 100) so that every student in NYC (over 1,000,000) will encounter the gospel.

This vision is already taking root. In just two years Austin connected to 8 local churches, 10 campuses, 3 outreach organizations, and engaged over 2,000 students. Recognizing this momentum, local churches partnered to launch a monthly worship service for college students in June and saw 30 in attendance! The opportunity to see God move in the lives of college students is tremendous for the church in NYC and for many it has started with a connection to the MNYBA and Austin. The ministry has grown so rapidly that Austin is following a call January 1, 2020 to work full time as a Collegiate Church Mobilizer.

Are you taking notes? Urban areas in our state and around the U.S. can benefit from the ministry strategy that Austin and the MNYBA have developed. The campus is a strategic connecting point for local churches to engage this generation. Building relationships and meeting needs on campus can build bridges to local churches where students live and work.  

We're excited about what God is doing through Austin's ministry in Queens. We asked him what impactful things those interested in his ministry could do to help. Here is his response: 

Pray - God moves in incredible ways through faithful prayer (Mark 11:22-24)
Give - Austin is currently fundraising in order to be full time in January. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
Go - Come see what God is doing among church plants and students for yourself! (Mathew 28:19-20)

Want more info on how to partner with Austin contact Ginger Bowman at ginger.bowman@texasbaptists.org.
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