As the school year launches, schedules are packed, students are anxiously excited and families are adjusting to their new norms. The question arises, what will become of this next generation?
Do you struggle to wait in a world that seems to be sprinting forward at an unfathomable rate? God addresses this over and over in the Bible as He teaches us about the art of waiting.
I confess that one of my least favorite words in the English language is “wait.” Growing up, I wanted to ensure I wasn’t missing out on even one second of what life had to offer me.
It happened as I was on my way to play a board game with friends from church. Someone in my car asked, “So, Molly, why are you going to this?”
Caught off-guard, my eyes switched back and forth between the road ahead and the rearview mirror as I tried to gauge the sincerity of the question. After quick deliberation in silence, I said, “Well, I guess the first reason would be that I was invited.”
“The disciples were ﬁrst called Christians at Antioch.” (Acts 11:26)
The disciples at Antioch displayed substantially diﬀerent lives, so much so that they received a new descriptor that became the name for followers of Jesus Christ world-wide. What separated these believers from the moralistic religious adherents around them?
Daisy Santiago didn’t know what to expect out of her first mission trip.
“I had never talked about the Lord to anyone before,” she said.
Still, the Worcester State University student was the first collegian to sign up for a spring break mission trip to serve hurricane victims in Puerto Rico with Send Relief, a branch of the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board.
It’s hard to be teenage girl! There is so much advice out there, it can be overwhelming! Still, I believe the best resource in counseling, supporting, loving and challenging young ladies lies in God’s Word.
Here are some lessons I’ve learned from Scripture and personal experience. In fact, most of these lessons I’ve learned the not-so-easy way. In many ways, I lived the exact opposite of this list and have found the consequences to be less-than-pleasant and totally avoidable.
Sharing the Gospel with students on campus is one of the personal highlights of ministry. The collegiate missions team is ministering to a generation that has minimal Christian background and is biblically illiterate. Reactions to the Good News are myriad: anger, indignation, rejection, acceptance. But perhaps the two common responses to the Gospel are doubt and confusion.
I think in two languages. Sometimes I even forget what language I’m speaking. The truth is, I feel most comfortable when I can switch between the two. Many children of immigrants face this “neither here nor there” sensation—we don’t fit in fully with American culture, but we are also different from our parents with their international roots.
It was the middle of the afternoon, not late at night when my mind was tired or early in the morning before I had reminded myself of the Lord’s faithfulness and new mercies. I was alone, but not in a dangerous place. I was in my apartment.
But maybe that seemingly safe setup added to the shock when I saw the disturbing news on my screen as I scrolled down my Facebook newsfeed.
Whether you have read the Bible or not, you have probably heard the saying “We have this hope as an anchor for our souls…” (Hebrews 6:19). This is a staple verse, if you will. It’s often written on beautiful decor for your home, fresh-brewed mugs of coffee, even jewelry. Unfortunately, when we see a phrase on a regular basis, it can lose the magnitude of meaning it was intended to have.
“The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” -Proverbs 16:9
The beginning of the year presents an opportunity to set strategy and move forward, but the most important part of this process is prayer as we seek God’s direction in our lives and ministries.
My ministry is serving collegiate missionaries as they minister on college campuses throughout New England. The Baptist Convention of New England has identiﬁed 237 unique college campuses in the six state region, and as a network of churches we are sending church planters and collegiate missionaries to these campuses.
About 1 million college students live in New England, but 60% of campuses have no identifiable Gospel witness. As we start off 2019, will you join us in praying the following things?
Lord, use me to lead people to Christ and make disciples.
Awaken the students of this region to the gospel of Jesus.
Send churches, men, and women to evangelism and disciple making on the campuses of New England.
Encourage the missionaries, pastors, church planters, students, fellowships, and churches that are living the great commission on campus by your word and Holy Spirit.
Your will be done on earth as it is heaven.
Andy Haynes serves as the Next Generation Co-Director of Collegiate Ministries.
“Reading the Bible theologically is a life long pursuit. At the same time, students of the Bible will begin building upon their knowledge of God from the very ﬁrst day that they open the pages of Scripture.” 1
This is the life and ministry of a collegiate missionary. We are growing every day, living the “life long pursuit.” And, every week, we are hopefully opening the Scriptures with someone who is just beginning the pursuit. We talk about evangelism, disciple making, missions all from a biblical understanding. These are activities, but more important than this is our life as missionaries. In summer we rest, we pray, we prepare and we read. Keep drinking from the well of Scripture!
And as we look forward, let’s pray together that all across New England’s campuses, God will give us the joy of being part of the “ﬁrst day” for students.
1 Richard Alan Fuhr, Jr. and Andreas J Kostenberger, Inductive Bible Study, (Tennesse, B&H 1 Academic, 2016), 16.
Anxiety. Fear. Depression. Anger. We are collegiate missionaries and not counselors, yet we are regularly encountering these emotions among students on nearly every campus we serve. Over the last 3 weeks, we jave been posting papers written by TJ Chesnut for a seminary class on Biblically counseling individuals experiencing these emotions. Hopefully each paper will give you Scriptural direction as you relate with students. - Andy
In defining anger Robert Jones states, “Anger is our whole-person active response of negative moral judgment against a perceived evil.” I personally like this definition because it encapsulates a wide range of components that come into play with anger. First, this definition shows that anger is not simply a response of our mind or emotion but of our whole being – body, mind, emotion, etc. Second, this definition points out that anger is an active response; there is an element of action that is being taken by an angry individual. Third, Jones’ definition recognizes that our anger does not simply appear out of nowhere but is targeted at something or someone. Fourth, this working definition displays that anger is a “moral emotion” that makes a moral judgment that carries with it condemnation. Lastly, Jones’ definition states that judgment is brought against a “perceived evil.” This point draws attention to how human anger is subjective because a perceived evil may not be evil objectively.
Anxiety. Fear. Depression. Anger. We are collegiate missionaries and not counselors, yet we are regularly encountering these emotions among students on nearly every campus we serve. Over the next 2 weeks, as well as last week, we will be posting papers written by TJ Chesnut for a seminary class on Biblically counseling individuals experiencing these emotions. Hopefully each paper will give you Scriptural direction as you relate with students. - Andy
Using a more severe form of depression as their benchmark (Major Depressive Disorder), the American Psychiatric Association defines depression as, “A common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act.” While this serves as a footing from which an individual can begin to understand depression it is not so cut and dry that it can be accurately defined in its entirety within a couple of sentences. Ed Welch speaks wisely in describing depression “as a continuum of severity. On one end it is bothersome, at the other end debilitating.” A depressed individual may show symptoms from three different categories ranging from emotional symptoms to physical/behavioral symptoms to mental symptoms.
Anxiety. Fear. Depression. Anger. We are collegiate missionaries and not counselors, yet we are regularly encountering these emotions among students on nearly every campus we serve. Over the next 3 weeks, we will be posting papers written by TJ Chesnut for a seminary class on Biblically counseling individuals experiencing these emotions. Hopefully each paper will give you Scriptural direction as you relate with students. - Andy
Description of the Problem
Defining fear and anxiety, while two separate topics, can be tricky because they do overlap with one another. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) defines fear as an “emotional response to a real or perceived immanent threat” and defines anxiety as “anticipation of future threat.” While these are distinct definitions they do have shared aspects in that an individual cannot experience anxiety without fear because to be anxious about something is to fear the possibility of threat. And while fear is a natural response due to vulnerability, it is the moment when fear rules an individual’s life that it becomes an anxiety disorder.
There are over 230 college and universities in New England with more than one million college students on those campuses. Engaging college students is not just a good idea, it is a Gospel necessity. This is true not only because of the Great Commission and strategic opportunity, but also because of the vast lostness of the demographic. The new generation hitting college campuses are the least Christian this country has probably ever seen. They represent the future of the world.
Then again, you already know that. The question, is what can we do to reach them especially if you lack the resources to engage a campus with a campus ministry? There are lots of things that can be done, but here are some to get you started.