“Missions have a way of stretching you beyond your normal routines and areas of familiarity, where you can do nothing but rely on the power of God each and every day. This is a lesson that affects the rest of your life.”
STATEWIDE – “Missions have a way of stretching you beyond your normal routines and areas of familiarity, where you can do nothing but rely on the power of God each and every day. This is a lesson that affects the rest of your life.”
These words by Jamey Droddy, director of Baptist Collegiate Ministries in Shreveport, explains the impact BCM – and the missions involvement BCM encourages – can have on college students at 28 or more campuses across Louisiana.
“We’re fully staffed on all our campuses,” Mark Robinson said. “The staff we have now, their personalities match to the campus. The BCM’s are healthy across the whole state.”
Students from Louisiana’s colleges and universities served this summer in Africa, Asia, Europe, Central and South America as well as Canada. They came back excited at what God had done through them, and what He taught them, several BCM directors said.
Stephanie Collins, a junior at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, “was a part in leading 40 Japanese to faith in Christ,” reported Kevin Inman, BCM director at Tech. “Her first week in Japan she met a small group of Christian girls crossing the most congested intersection in the world – 5,000 people cross at the crosswalk in downtown Tokyo each time the light changes. Stephanie led one of their friends to Christ a few days later, and the rest is eternal history.”
Probably every Louisiana BCM student who went on mission this summer had “divine appointments” that made eternal differences in lives around the world that will multiply in the months and years to come, several BCM directors said.
So now what? Summer’s past. The annual trek to Student Week at Glorieta Conference Center near Santa Fe, N.M. is past – 167 Louisianans participated, third in size behind Okahoma and Texas. School’s back in session, so now what?
BCMs make themselves known in a variety of ways during Freshman Orientation and the first week of school, Robinson explained.
At the University of Louisiana in Monroe, there’s Steak Day, with grilled steaks and baked potatoes drawing a crowd.
At Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, BCM members help students move into dorms and campus apartments.
Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge maintains a presence at a table (cookies provided by area churches) in the center of the campus. In less than a week they had signed up 105 freshmen to be on the Freshman Leadership Team, which plans events for throughout the year.
Louisiana Tech in Ruston signed up 90 in the same time period.
“Most BCMs have ‘survival’ events designed to help new students with time management and study tips, and how to not lose your spiritual vitality,” Robinson said. “That’s also when usually churches participate to make themselves known to the freshmen.”
Intense worship times also take place at BCM weekly gatherings the first four weeks of the semester; BCM intramurals also help develop relationships. Then comes Ignite.
Set this year for Sept. 19-21 at First Baptist Church in Lafayette, Ignite is a three-day event designed to ignite a passion within college students to live their lives and reach their campus for Christ.
Ignite kicks off the school year by gathering students from all across Louisiana together for a weekend of powerful worship and relevant messages.
The theme for Ignite 2008 is “Vantage Point,” Robinson said.
“Life in complicated world is difficult enough, but what happens when you try to bring a life of faith into the mix? Ignite 08 seeks to inform, educate, and encourage college students and high school juniors and seniors to process your walk with Christ in light of a complicated world,” reported the event’s website: www.laignite.com.
Through relevant main sessions and informative break-out small group sessions, Ignite has been designed to show college-age and college-bound students in practical ways what it means to live as salt and light.
“Ignite is a rally time for the [Baptist Collegiate] ministries around the state,” Robinson said. “It helps give them a spiritual shot in the arm. We give the students about a month at the start of the school year to get to know the people at the [BCMs] and the churches, and to give the BCM members time to make new friends and invite them to the conference.”
About two weeks after Ignite, the first round of exams hit on most college campuses.
“Ignite is designed to encourage students and get them focused for the semester,” Robinson said.
In addition to blow-out worship, intense messages and dynamic breakout sessions, Ignite also is where BCM members and guests also learn about options for next summer’s missions opportunities in North America and around the world.
• Crossover New Orleans Nov. 8-9 is to be part of BCM’s Ministers Student Training Retreat for students called to any area of ministry. Last year 295 people participated. Robinson credited Tim Lafleur, BCM director at Nicholls State University, with the growth of this annual event.
• Christmas in East Asia. BCM members make home visits in the nation that hosted the 2008 Olympics to explain the significance of the holiday. This effort is stemming from LSU-Alexandria, where Chad McClurg is director.
“Every student on the BCM leadership team is a significant campus leader,” Robinson said. “Three residence assistants, admissions counselor, freshmen counselor, even Miss LSU-A.”
It’s students like these, and all the BCM students across the state, who will be the leaders for the next generation, Robinson said. BCM helps develop within them the ability and the desire to be a Christ-centered, outward-focused person who wants God’s best for each person.
“Christianity can so easily become ‘all about me,’” said Kevin Inman, BCM director at Tech. “The benefit of BCM is gaining God’s heart for the nations and the people of the U.S. – the poor, widows and children.”
Chad McClurg, BCM director at LSU-A, concurred.
“This generation is focused on material possessions and worldly success,” McClurg said. “Missions involvement teaches students to look beyond themselves and see the needs of the world around them.”
For help in locating a BCM, contact Robinson at 318.448.3402. Your giving to the Cooperative Program helps support the work of BCM in Louisiana and across the nation.