News Articles

Students challenged to be CrossSeekers

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–Southern Baptist students were challenged to “share the greatest news in the world on the greatest mission field in the world,” the college campus, during the Aug. 8-13 Student Conference at Glorieta (N.M.), a LifeWay Conference Center.
“God is doing something very special on college campuses,” Bill Henry, director of national student ministries of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, told the more than 1,600 students and leaders attending the week. He noted that 14.5 million students are currently studying on U.S. campuses and that number is expected to increase to 18 million by 2005.
He challenged students to commit to being agents of spiritual transformation as CrossSeekers, a six-point discipleship covenant emphasizing integrity, spiritual growth, witness, service, purity and Christlike relationships. Since the 1998 launch of CrossSeekers, Henry said more than 15,000 students have signed the CrossSeekers covenant at national student events, with many others making the commitment at state and local conferences and rallies.
While the CrossSeekers discipleship initiative is new, he said the preamble to the covenant was written 75 years ago by Frank Leavell, the first leader of Southern Baptist student work. It states:
“As a seeker of the cross of Christ, I am called to break away from trite, nonchalant, laissez-faire Christian living. I accept the challenge to divine daring, to consecrated recklessness for Christ, to devout adventure in the face of ridiculing contemporaries.”
Covenant living means “no matter what people think, I’m going to be the Christian God wants me to be,” Henry said. “Covenant living between you and God is a very sacred concept.”
In addition to becoming CrossSeekers, Henry urged students to participate in covenant or accountability groups to encourage and support one another. Also, he noted that interactive studies are available on each point of the CrossSeekers covenant.
Authors of three of the books spoke at other sessions during the week.
Rod Handley, chief operating officer of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and author of “CrossSeekers: Transparent Living,” challenged students to “invest your life in God, his word and people. These are the developers and revealers of integrity.”
A love relationship with God must be nurtured through a daily quiet time, he said.
He urged students to develop a relationship with a fellow Christian who will hold them accountable for following Christ.
“Men, do you have a true brother holding you accountable? Women, do you have a sister walking by your side?” Handley asked. “The only thing we can do successfully by ourselves is fail.
“When you are accountable, your character and integrity will be greatly enhanced,” he said.
Keith Miller, author of “Soul Food for Relationships,” a book that deals with the Christlike relationships point of the CrossSeekers covenant, said people today are looking for something real, and that religion too often is not real.
“Kids are not looking for dead religion,” said Miller, also author of the 1970s bestseller, “Taste of New Wine.” “They’re looking for something that’s going to live. I love you [college students] because you’re getting real. I’ve been waiting for this for years.”
Christians all too often paint a picture of themselves as being without the problems of the world, said Miller, who received a standing ovation as he concluded his message to students. “We’re not people without problems,” he said, “We’re people who know what to do with them.”
Dean Finley, author of “Fearless: Sharing an Authentic Witness,” said fearless does not mean the absence of fear but allowing a love relationship with God to overcome fear.
Finley, leader of the student evangelism team at the North American Mission Board, cited Christians throughout history who had the courage to face ridicule or even die for their faith.
Fear, Finley said, is “an anticipation of a negative outcome.” But when making a stand for Christ, “there is no negative outcome” — not even death.
National student ministry of LifeWay Christian Resources sponsored student week.

    About the Author

  • Linda Lawson