Tim Betancourt, Senior Bible Major
“I can’t wait for my ministry this summer! I am working at a camp, and I am incredibly excited!”
“I can’t wait for this summer, dude! I’m going on a summer mission team!”
“This summer I’m doing an internship at my church, and I’m going to be really involved in ministry there.”
You should definitely spend your summers working at a camp, going on a ministry team, or being involved in a church. As college students, we get so incredibly focused on our summers, and I completely understand why. Last summer I did a church internship, and the two summers before last summer I worked at a camp. I absolutely loved ministering at camp and in a local church. They were the absolute best ways that I could have spent my summers. I grew so much spiritually and developed very practical ministry skills.
Here at BJU, we are pushed to use our summers for ministry, and rightly so. We have a Global Opportunities week, and a week where we have camps from all over the United States come in and recruit from our student body. That is awesome. I love that we have a college where ministering during the summers is promoted. You should use your summers for ministry.
I think that this can create a problem in our minds as college students though.
“I can’t wait for the chance to minister this summer.” “Dude, it was so cool to see God use me this summer.”
I think if we’re not careful, we begin to see summer as the only time that we can be involved in ministry. We focus so much on what we’re doing this summer and how we’re going to minister then. We don’t stop to focus on how we are ministering right now.
Summer isn’t the only time that you can be involved in ministry. There are tons of opportunities for you to minister, and a place that you can minister at right now.
It’s called your local church.
You can be involved in ministry through your local church right now, and you should be.
“But I am a college student who’s taking 18 credits, working two jobs, and a society officer. You don’t know how busy I am.” You’re right, I don’t. I do know one thing though. Your life is not going to be easier once you graduate. You’re going to get a full-time job. You’re going to be married. You’re going to have kids to take care of, a house to maintain, and the list goes on.
If you can’t prioritize ministry right now in the midst of a busy semester, when will you? What you prioritize now, you’re going to prioritize later. If you make ministry a priority now, it will remain a priority in your life.
Going on a mission team and working at a camp are fantastic ministry opportunities. Some of you are going to be involved in missions for the rest of your life. Some of you are going to be working at camps for the rest of your life, and that is absolutely fantastic. Praise the Lord.
However, the majority of us won’t be. We will be church members though. Churches are full of ministry opportunities, whether those are official roles or unofficial roles. I truly hope that when we graduate, we all desire to join a local church and get involved in the ministry of the church. That would be awesome.
Do you know what’s cooler? You don’t have to wait till you graduate. Ministry is now. We all have the blessing of going to a local church on Sunday. Why aren’t you ministering in it and through it now? What are you waiting for?
Ministry is not just for the summer. My freshman year I found a church that I later joined as an associate member. I still attend that church now as a senior. Joining and getting involved in the ministry of that local church is one of the best things I have done in my college career. The lessons I have learned and ways I have seen God use that church in my life outweigh many of the lessons I have learned in the classroom.
Get involved now. Stop hopping around different churches. Find a church. Join the church if you can. Find a way to minister in that church – even the biggest of churches are in need of ministry help. Prioritize church ministry now.
Ministry isn’t something for you to look forward to this summer, it’s something that you should be doing right now.
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The CGO Blog
Written by the CGO staff, with guest posts from students and other faculty/staff at BJU to provide thought leadership for missions in a new millennium.