posted Jul 15, 2014, 3:50 PM by Ginger Bowman
Want to minister to your local campus? That's great!
One of your best resources for ministry just might be on campus already. Baptist Student Ministry (BSM)
is a student organization that has been on many of the campuses in Texas since 1919. BSM was organized by Texas Baptists as a means to minister directly to students on the college campus. Today there are BSM groups on 110 campuses in Texas
. Many of these campuses have a BSM Director
who serves as missionary to the campus and leads and disciples students. These BSM Directors are great resources for knowing and connecting with the local campus. The BSM Director can help your church minister to students by:
- Helping you know the campus. As missionary to the campus, the BSM Director is familiar with the campus culture, the administration of the campus and how it operates. These factors can be keys to finding ministry opportunities that would be a great fit for your church. Several BSM's and churches in the state have partnered together to reach campuses and do ministry in this way.
- Making it official. As an official student organization, the Baptist Student Ministry on a campus has all of the rights and priviledges of any student organization, including requesting meeting space, hosting events on campus, handing out flyers, etc. By partnering in ministry opportunities, the BSM can help serve as an access point for the local church to connect with students on campus.
- Helping you be aware of pitfalls. Your goal in ministry to the campus should be a positive, long lasting relationship. There's no quicker way to make enemies on campus than not following the rules. And there are a lot of rules on campus! As leader of an official campus organization, the BSM Director must know the rules and can help you avoid breaking those rules. Got a ministry idea? Share it with your local BSM Director and let him/her help you find a way to do it well, and according to the rules, so you can come back again and again.
- Helping your church know students. The campus is, in many ways, a foreign mission field. International students, academia, generational differences and other facturs of campus culture can make it an intimidating experience for church members who have not been on campus in a long time, or ever. As missionary to the campus, the BSM Director could help orient your church members to the campus so that they can comfortably and successfully engage students. This type of training doesn't just pay off on campus! You can help church members be prepared to engage students week to week as they come to your church. Who wouldn't want a church full of members ready to meet and minister to college students?
There are a lot of college students in Texas (1.4 million). We must work together to reach them. The days of churches and campus ministries competing over students are gone. If we are to reach this generation of students, we must work together. If you haven't gotten to know your local BSM Director, or connected with them lately, now would be a great time to do so, before the fall semester starts. See what you might be able to do together to reach the students on your local campus.