BCNet in New Orleans

Last week I spent 4 days in New Orleans with a group called Baptist Collegiate Network (BCNet). It is a team of teams that meets together once a year on the campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary to dream up projects that will help move towards the overall vision of BCNet:

“The gospel for every college student on every college campus in North America.”

I was invited to join the Evangelism team (one of a handful of different teams making up BCNet) last year. This year I am leading the team. Our team is distributed across NC, KY, NY, TX, OR, and CA. It’s amazing that we can work together even being so spread out.

Each year when we get together in New Orleans we have 36 hours together as a team to review our progress from the prior year, determine what projects we would like to take on in the coming year, and plan our work for the year. It is a long few days of hard work, but it is tiring in the best kind of way.

Over the last 2 years our team has been working on Gospel Appointments. It is a simple and effective entry strategy and process for setting up gospel shares. It isn’t only a campus/collegiate tool, but it makes a lot of sense in that context. This year we are continuing our work with Gospel Appointments and some vision and strategy to help move the needle forward in collegiate engagement across the SBC community in North America.

There is nothing less exciting to my ears than a “committee of committees.” Peeling back the surface a bit, I am actually excited to be a part of this community. The most encouraging thing about BCNet is the God-sized vision I quoted above. I’m excited to be a part of a team of teams that is all about shooting for the moon.

There are 6,726 institutions of higher education in North America. What if there was a reproducing gospel presence on every one of them?

A key issue for many of us in Christian ministry is that we don’t know (how) to dream up God-sized visions. These kinds of shoot-the-moon plans stretch what we consider might be possible. They force us into dependence on God to accomplish them – which cannot be said of much of what we aim at week to week and year to year.

I’m learning that a God-sized vision forces us to think, pray, plan, and act differently.

Outside Affirmation

I got this text from a student I engaged last semester. He is a leader in another campus ministry and was really appreciative to meet us that first time (and then second and third). We prayed for him and showed him how we shared the gospel and ultimately followed up by training him in 411.

Our students are leading the work and they lead by example. I have gotten messages or calls like this from a number of leaders in a few campus ministries over the last year. Once, we almost never shared the gospel and we weren’t making disciples (or an impact for the kingdom) but now our reputation is preceding us. God has been so gracious to us.

Local Ownership

The working definition for #NoPlaceLeft is:

Local ownership of the core missionary task for all peoples and places.

For this place and these peoples, it sure seems like this is the beginning of the end. I can’t tell you how encouraged I am to see students taking ownership of planning our fall launch. We (staff) would normally start on this ourselves a little later in the spring.

Multiply it, Lord!

Reproducing Training

Jeff is a brother who serves as campus missionary at Eastern Kentucky University BCM. He and I serve on adjacent teams within the national committee called Baptist Collegiate Network, or BCNet.

Jeff reached out to me to ask some questions about 3 Circles because he had seen some of my updates here and on Twitter related to that tool and our process for disciple making. We talked for a while on that first video call and we set up a second video call to run through our 411 Training.

That following week, he trained his BCM leadership team and then they trained most of the rest of the ministry. He shared with me how he had led some other trainings as well – and was even asked by a state leader to train other BCM campus missionaries in 411.

We recently had a call to discuss how to train large groups. The pictures above are from that training.

Think about the implications of this. I trained Jeff and his intern in about an hour over a video call. Now he has trained hundreds of other believers to make disciples. This is a game changer.

If you’d like to be trained in 411, contact me.

Kingdom Partnership

Pictured above are 3 of our Appalachian State students surrounded by the #NoPlaceLeft team based in South Florida. One of our students has family in that area and the 3 of them were visiting them over Spring Break. During their in South Florida, they visited the SFL NPL team church. This team has blessed me in many ways, and this took it to another level. They welcomed our students in to their church, gave them responsibilities during the meeting, and laid hands on them and prayed over them.

One of the challenges and opportunities in doing #NoPlaceLeft movements work on a college campus is that we have a limited time with every student who comes our way. We have to have a vision for them that exists before they arrive and doesn’t end when we launch them off from graduation. One critical component in this vision is how we launch them when they leave. There are many #NoPlaceLeft teams across the U.S. and we want to mobilize kingdom laborers to embed in local strategies in cities all across the country.

We represent separate #NoPlaceLeft teams, but we are running after the same vision in different places. We are family and I’m so grateful for this family.

Grace Raleigh Leader’s Training

Midway through January one of my Timothys (Matthew) and I spent the weekend in Raleigh to lead the Grace Raleigh / Grace Christian Life Emerging Servants’ Summit. The event was Friday night and all-day Saturday and we stayed through Sunday as I preached for their weekly gathering. We trained 70 over the course of the weekend and saw 5 students decide to follow Jesus during our time in the harvest!

Berk Wilson and Ed Russ are their lead pastors/elders. They have bee faithfully laboring at NCSU and in Raleigh for over 2 decades and they are on fire!

It is so encouraging to serve and learn from other churches who are implementing the Four Fields strategy. God is doing a good work in Raleigh!

Harvest time was awesome: 25 teams engaged 84 people, prayed with 56 people, and shared the gospel with 16. Of those who heard the gospel, 5 were ready to turn and believe and there were 7 who wanted to meet again! The harvest is truly plentiful!