Transforming College Students

This is my third year serving as a campus minister with the CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach).  Two years ago in April, I was wrapping up my first year on campus at the University of Findlay.  I had been leading a weekly Bible study on campus, and for every week of the Winter Semester that passed, fewer and fewer students were attending Bible study.  I specifically remember the last two weeks of the semester.  One week, three students showed for Bible study; and on the final week, only one girl showed.  It was a bit discouraging at the time, until I discovered that all campus organizations have the same problem during the latter weeks of the semester.  With the University of Findlay being very academic in nature, students spend significantly more time investing in their studies later in the semester.

I tell you this because I want to paint a simple picture of what God has done in the last couple years.  And yes, it is all God’s work!

Not only has God greatly multiplied the number of students involved, but students are beginning to view their roles on campus differently.  They see themselves not only as students who are at college to learn, but even more so as missionaries for the gospel of Christ.  Students are taking their eyes off of themselves, their own desires and comforts for the sake of intentionally spreading the gospel on campus.

This past weekend, we had a planning meeting with seven student leaders and several adult volunteers.  We discussed what God has done and is doing.  We also spent significant time talking about the future.  In the past, I’ve plugged students into small leadership and planning roles, but up until this time, I have been leading the Bible studies and doing a significant portion of the planning for events and activities.  But as of the Fall 2011 Semester, students will be leading Bible studies and have a significant role in planning events.  We are shifting from one weekly staff-led gathering to three or four student-led small groups.  Students will plan the the Fall Retreat, outreaches, activities, and Bible studies.  God will be challenging and growing both students and me in new ways.  And best of all, God is transforming college students to transform the world for His glory!

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About Mike Barnhart

I am a Christ-follower, Husband, Father, & Campus Minister.
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