By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
ALEXANDRIA – Rahul Agarwal challenged students attending the recent Collegiate Evangelism Conference to consider how their everyday choices impact their future.
“When you ask about what’s next, are you thinking of what’s tomorrow or what’s in your future or are you thinking of what’s in light of eternity,” said Agarwal, the director of men and married couples at Gwinnett Church, a campus of the non-denominational North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Ga., and a former Baptist Collegiate Ministry director at the University of South Florida.
“So many times we are so relegated to now. We just think of now,” he continued. “We worry about our own lives instead of thinking of eternity and thinking about what God has for us.”
Responding to his challenge to include Christ in their future, 10 students came forward to declare Christ the Lord of their lives, while many others answered the Holy Spirit’s call to follow Christ in obedience on a daily basis.
Agarwal’s messages were part of a two-day conference that included seminars, worship led by the House Band – a group comprised of former Baptist Collegiate Ministry members from around the state – and a late-night fellowship.
The conference was centered around the theme – Next.
Mark Robinson, state BCM director for Louisiana Baptists, told the Baptist Message he was excited to see so many former student leaders in the worship and breakout seminars challenge the next generation to follow Christ.
“When you get this large of a group of college students and leaders together praying, listening and seeking God’s will in their lives it is a powerful time,” Robinson said. “I have heard many reports every day since CEC from campus ministries across the state about how much students loved the event and were energized to take on the semester for Christ. It was encouraging and humbling to watch all of those former student leaders make an impact on those that are coming along behind them.”
Frances Knight, a sophomore from Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, loved the multiple fellowship opportunities CEC offered.
“It’s really important to get away from campus and connect with those from other campuses,” Knight said. “I enjoyed how the speaker really spoke to me about trusting him in the next things of life.”
Seth McCoy, a freshman from Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, saw CEC as a chance to relax in a setting conducive to hearing God speak into his life.
“A big group of us were able to come down here and join together to learn from the speaker and seminars,” McCoy said. “It’s an opportunity we don’t really get a lot, so when we do it’s important to take advantage of it.”
Chase Cassels, a freshman from the University of Louisiana, Monroe, appreciated the chance to unwind away from the pressures faced on campus.
“School is stressful and this was the perfect opportunity to get close to God a couple of hours away,” Cassels said. “When you get to hang out with friends for a couple of days, it’s so relieving.”