Breakthrough in Quebec

Our team of 6 has been in Quebec for the better part of a week now. Yesterday, two of our students led a guy named Maxim to Christ. Today they baptized him in the river!

Quebec averages around only 0.5% evangelical. It is one of the most lost places in North America. Tonight, we are praising God for new life in the kingdom in Quebec!

Network Effect: One Campus to Another

There are some unique opportunities presented when working in a collegiate context. This summer we sent a few of our students to serve with other leaders on other campuses. Two of them went to Charlotte, NC to serve with Caleb Sprinkle, one of our student leader alumni. One went to Miami, FL to serve with “Scuba” Steve Carswell, one of the key leaders for NPL Florida.

In the course of planning for and sending these students, the network effect became more clear to me. Both of the leaders who hosted our students are a part of the No Place Left community, so I already knew we were all on the same page. Not only was there no slow-down or vision-disconnect, our 3 guys were able to jump right in, and get to work. Alternatively, the hosts were able to turn our students loose to do what we all already do and they were also able to do some coaching and development with them that helped tremendously.

Ultimately, it is the vision that makes this possible. We associate with one another not because we like each other (we actually do love one another deeply), or because we are paid to, but because we have the same belief system with the No Place Left vision at the center of it and an agreed-upon clear path in place. It is amazing that we can parachute into one another’s networks and get right to work as co-laborers and learn from one another on the job. 

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.

First Local Baptism!

A few weeks ago, our #NoPlaceLeft Boone team had their first baptism of a new believer! Haley led her to faith so Haley baptized her. Seth, the senior pastor of Perkinsville Baptist Church (their their legacy church), a family member who is an elder at Perkinsville, and another family member were all in the water with them.

It is so encouraging to see the kingdom expand and it is especially encouraging to see a local church empowering believers to make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to obey Jesus.

NPL Boone City Team

In all of my training and vision casting for #NoPlaceLeft in Boone, I never really expected a city team to emerge. And yet here they are. The Lord is always doing more than we can see or expect. I’m so grateful for this team and the others who are a part of it too.

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.