Two weeks ago forty students from ten different campus ministries at UT spent three days together at the “Mission(all) Retreat.” The retreat, aimed at equipping many of this year’s missional community leaders, was a collaborative effort. College pastors from eight different ministries took turns teaching and equipping the students to live on mission in the coming year. The content for the retreat was fantastic, as we focused on three central themes: The Gospel, Gospel Identity, and Gospel Intentionality.
We began by remembering that the Gospel is for us. We need to be reminded that God is on mission. He came after us and sacrificed His Son to atone for our sin. Often, we who have followed Jesus for many years subtly begin to believe that we have earned God’s favor. We need to be reminded that apart from Christ, we are hopelessly under God’s wrath. As student missionaries, we’re nothing more than beggars who have been given bread and now offer it to others who are hungry. Growing in our understanding of the Gospel increases our desire to share the Gospel with others because we really believe in our hearts that it is good news.
Next we explored who God has made us in Christ. As new creations, we are now priests and ambassadors for Christ. This call is not for a select few. It is the call of every believer. We are His workmanship, created in Christ to do good works which he has already prepared for us. God has made every believer to be a light in the darkness on campus. As missionaries, we’re invited to be a part of God’s wonderful redemptive plan. Knowing who God has made us to be in Christ gives meaning and purpose to life and relationships.
Finally, we looked at the call make disciples. This call requires us to go to the lost, rather than rest in the security of our Christian bubbles. We are called to build deep friendships with broken and needy people to the degree that these friends see the broken places in our lives and the way the gospel is transforming us. As missionaries, we need to selflessly spend our time, energy, and resources loving the people in our communities. Living with intentionality causes us to live authentic lives that bring the tangible hope of Jesus to our friends.
Terry Cole12 years ago
Wonderful training! I want to invite all to join with Street Youth Ministry in mission activity right in your neighborhood. Each week, I know and serve about 100 young people, the same age as most of the college students, who depend on the street in West Campus. They live there, get there food there, or have their only friends there. You’ve seen them begging for spare change (called “spanging”).
These “young vagrants”–street youth is my name for them–have been attracted to the West Campus for more than 50 years. However, recently, there is a lot of talk about how troublesome they are and how the hurt ministry in the local area.
I would like to invite everyone to get involved and learn that they can be a blessing to every ministry. Every day I have safe and tested ministry activities that people can join me. Friday afternoon I offer a two hour mini-mission to the street. Tuesday afternoon at 2pm we do street Bible study. Wednesday night we do fellowship off the Drag at a NW church. And some of your groups and churches will start new activities so that you can be a blessing to this population and be blessed by these people.
This Friday, you’re invited to join me at a memorial service. One of these street youth passed away at the age of 25. He will be buried in California but we’re doing a memorial for him under the big tree by University Baptist Church parking lot, on the property of Lutheran Campus Ministry. Food and cold drinks will be shared afterward. Even just a few visitors coming would show such support form the community!
I am available to talk to your groups about street youth in Austin and to help you look at your programs and see how your ministry can be a blessing to these youth. Many of them long to be able to go to churches of their choice without judgement and without feeling uncomfortable. I would love to be able to know your groups and recommend your studies, fellowships, and worship services to appropriate youth.
Blessings and peace!
Street Youth Minsitry
512 553 3796
Justin Christopher12 years ago
Terry is doing great work. I hope many will filled called to join his ministry to the homeless and kids on the street.