If you’ve been around long enough, the phrase “The Creek is rising” isn’t foreign to you. For those of you who don’t know, this is a saying found around Campbell University (located in Buies CREEK) which means “we’re growing!” From the number of buildings (and bricks) to the number of students that make up Campbell University, the Creek is rising. But what does this have to do with us at Coats?
God has given us a vast mission field. Yes, this university that was founded by the first pastor of Coats Baptist Church is historically Christian and is still led by men and women of God. However, you’ll find an increasing population of students that are clueless when it comes to what they believe. Students often come to a school like Campbell because of scholarships, prestigious academic programs, or because they like the size of the campus. They tolerate the faith-based messages, music, and prayers that they hear on occasion.
There are two approaches we can have to this reality: despondency or mission. If you’re a Campbell graduate or have been around for a while, you may be saddened by the reality that this Christian university has rising non-Christian influences which is re-shaping the culture. I understand that perspective. Campbell is my alma mater and in five short years since graduation, I have witnessed many changes take place. In light of this reality, I pray that the response of Coats Baptist is less head-shaking in disapproval and more of a growing passion for reaching the lost at Campbell.
Our mission to make disciples of all nations has never been so easy (geographically speaking). God has brought the nations to us! Throughout the school year, you’ll often see students join us for worship on Sunday mornings. Last semester, students met in homes of our church members for small groups on Monday evenings. This semester, we plan to do more of the same and also intentionally match students with families through the new “Adopt-A-Camel” ministry! I’m excited about what’s happening in our college ministry and the opportunities we may have in the future.
In the last year, I’ve had the privilege of seeing God take little and turn it into much. Without us really doing anything at all, He has drawn students to Coats, to Himself, and to community with one another. God has used people who have a passion for students and who have prayed for God to do “exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ask or imagine” (Eph 3:20). Below are the four core values that currently shape our ministry to college students:
- At CBC, we will offer you community and a place to belong – a home away from home.
- At CBC, we will teach the Word and not avoid asking or answering difficult questions.
- At CBC, we will equip you with the tools to reach your campus with the Gospel.
- At CBC, we will recognize you as a part of the church – you can serve, grow, and worship here – and then we will send you to continue to do the same wherever the Lord takes you when you graduate.
Let me take a second to focus on #3. It’s no surprise that the most effective way to reach students is by way of other students. As opportunities for students to be discipled at Coats through community and small groups increase, this must include equipping them to reach their friends and peers on campus who are lost and without hope in Jesus. As the new semester begins, this will be the primary focus in small group settings. We are praying that God will use college students and college agers who are being discipled at Coats to make Himself known to those on their campus who are searching for truth in all the wrong places.
I ask that you join me in praying with expectancy that the Creek would rise with students who are coming to Christ and living a life of discipleship. I encourage you to reach out to college students when you see them on Sundays. Pray for them. Pray with them. Invite them to lunch. Reach out to me to learn more about how you can “Adopt-A-Camel”. Prayer walk Campbell’s campus. Serve at Freshman Move-In Day (August 17). Ask God to help you react to the lostness at Campbell with missional living instead of despondency and carelessness.
Let the Creek rise!