NASHVILLE (BP) – We have more than 21 million college and university students in America, 1 million of whom hail from nations outside the United States. I believe we must do all we can to reach and mobilize these students for Gospel impact. The churches of our SBC network must work together to accomplish this great vision of reaching and mobilizing college and university students.
A reality report
The 2018-2019 annual report of our Baptist Collegiate Ministries shared the following information about our campus ministries:
- 768 college and university campuses have Baptist Collegiate Ministries present.
- 492,369 college students were impacted by SBC campus-based college ministries.
- 70,472 college students were engaged on a regular basis.
- There are 484 full-time directors of campus ministries.
- There are 384 part-time directors of campus ministries.
- 3,557 college students came to Christ through Baptist Collegiate Ministries, with many others coming to Christ through the ministries of the local churches in college and university communities.
We give God praise for what He has done and is doing. Let me share more.
A highly encouraging discovery
Over the last few months, I have been highly engaged with the leaders of Baptist Collegiate Ministries. One of the ongoing studies that is most encouraging about what God is doing through our Baptist Collegiate Ministries is this – at least 7,000 college and university students have surrendered their lives to the ministry of the Gospel. While this study is nearing completion, I was just informed this week that we may have as many as 10,000 who have sensed God’s calling toward their future in ministry or missions.
Discovering these students, connecting them, preparing them and sending them into the ministry of the Gospel through our local churches and to the nations as missionaries must be a major priority for Southern Baptists. It is incumbent on us to do this because we must mobilize God-called men and women to advance the Gospel here in the United States as well as to the nations.
We must call out the called and prepare the called, who are the future missionaries, pastors, church planters, professors and ministry leaders.
A vision I believe in for our Baptist Collegiate Ministries
Reaching college students for Jesus Christ and mobilizing them for Gospel impact is not optional for Southern Baptists.
As a pastor for more than 32 years in one fellowship that was closely connected to the University of Arkansas, I witnessed firsthand the dynamic impact of reaching and mobilizing college and university students. Reaching hundreds of students weekly had a dramatic and powerful impact on our church. It also impacted Baptist Collegiate Ministries and other campus-based ministries. Furthermore, we were able to invest in, prepare for and bless the exciting future of the students and empower them upon their graduation.
The priorities of Baptist Collegiate Ministries are exciting and challenging:
- Reaching and evangelizing college students
- Connecting college students with local churches
- Mobilizing college students to the nations
- Preparing college students to be spiritual leaders for career impact in the marketplace, and ministry and mission impact if God has called them into His Gospel ministry
- Teaching college students to pray for spiritual awakening on their college campuses while they are present and even after they have graduated
We reach and mobilize college and university students together
We are so blessed to have 768 college and university campuses where Baptist Collegiate Ministries is present. The most viable partners for their success and ongoing future are local churches, associations, Baptist state conventions and national entities of our SBC family. Baptist Collegiate Ministries is funded mainly through the Cooperative Program, and some even receive support from their regional Baptist association. This is just another reason to give and increase your church’s giving through the Cooperative Program.
Does your church want to help reach the college and university campuses nearest you? Get to know the local leaders of our Baptist Collegiate Ministries and partner with them. Then, always remember, as you increase your giving through the Cooperative Program, you are helping us reach and mobilize college and university students for Gospel impact.
Pray for spiritual awakening on the college and university campuses across the United States and Canada.
Now is the time to lead.