NPL on Campus in SoCal

A Dozen Welcome Weeks

Yesterday was the first day of class for the 2019-2020 school year for many of the college campuses in California. It is a season I’m intimately acquainted with after 11 years of collegiate ministry! I really didn’t think I would be doing anything with the college campus once we moved out to SoCal, but the Lord wouldn’t leave me along about it. He released me from the work in Boone, but he didn’t take the burden and vision for collegiate away from me.

LB City College / Cal State Long Beach

Yesterday my teammate Alex and I spent some time at both of our local campuses sharing the gospel. We started at Long Beach City College and then went over Cal State Long Beach. Alex and I shared with a dozen students and we found two who may be interested in some training.

Cal State Northridge

At the same time Alex and I were on campus in Long Beach, the team I have been training in “The Valley” in North LA was on one of their campuses – Cal State Northridge! They got 10 interested contacts in their time tabling!

The local leader for this team is bi-vocational on this campus and when we first met, he told me that in a given week, you were more likely to be engaged spiritually by a Muslim than by an evangelical Christian.

They are turning the tide.

Fishing for laborers now helps with fishing for the lost over the long haul.

There have been a few major differences in our work with college campuses since we moved to SoCal. Now, we are seeing the college campuses as what we call “strategic villages” within the city. If we reach these, we will more effectively reach the city and beyond. Second, we are catalyzing new works on other campuses in our region.

We currently have NPL teams at LBCC, CSULB, CSUN, Biola, Cal Baptist, Pasadena City College, SDSU, Fresno State, with many others emerging! Would you pray for these teams that they would see fruit that lasts, and pray for new NPL teams to emerge on campuses across California?

If you want to pursue #NoPlaceLeft on your campus, or start from scratch on a campus near you, I’d love to help you get going!

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.

#NoPlaceLeft Boone Progress

#NoPlaceLeft is “Local ownership of the core missionary task for all peoples and places.”
That’s what we are working toward globally, including Boone, NC. Today I saw a couple of clear mile markers toward this end.

It was surreal and deeply encouraging to hear Seth Norris, pastor of Perkinsville Baptist Church, preach the 9 Functions of Church from Acts during our big outdoor celebration service. Simple, biblical, reproducible tools are taking root in our legacy churches. Seth has led PBC to launch a #NoPlaceLeft Residency as well. I can’t overstate how beautiful this partnership relationship has been with Perkinsville.

Tonight, part of our #NoPlaceLeft Boone team cast vision for an upcoming training on June 16. These are all locals from Boone and the training will be facilitated entirely by locals. It is so encouraging to see the Lord raising up local leaders to finish the task here. It makes launching to Southern California that much easier.

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.

Stories from the Harvest: Kandy Taylor

Today as I was coming out of our BCM office space at the Three Forks Association building, I bumped into Kandy Taylor who is a member at Perkinsville Baptist Church. She told me excitedly how she had shared the gospel with 4 people this week using her 3 Circles sticker on her phone. At least one person was interested in taking training back to his local church!

Well done, Kandy!

I love hearing stories of gospel conversations from folks we have trained!

If you would like to receive some simple training, send us a tweet or an email!

Baptism: Zac Gravis

Scott, Frankie, and John first encountered Zac in the harvest on campus a couple of years ago. He was distant for a while, but not long ago decided to go all-in with Jesus!

Last week we crammed 17 adults and 2 kids into Zac’s bedroom/bathroom to witness his public identification with Jesus. The Lord has really transformed Zac and it shows!

I LOVE seeing Jesus transform people!

Baptisms!

Late this semester I met with one of our new students, Mason (on the left). We had been out sharing on campus and expected to do a follow up with someone who said they were interested in talking more.

We got stood up. It happens.

So we continued to meet and I got to know Mason better. We talked about who he knew in his life who was far from God and as he drew out his list, he said he wasn’t sure how to get a spiritual conversation started with these people. I gave him some starting points and asked who was the one person God was laying on his heart to share with first.

“Logan.”

A couple of days later he FaceTimed Logan who is a student at WCU. Mason shared the gospel with Logan and led him to Christ on FaceTime! That next week he drove 3+ hours to Cullowhee, NC to baptize him in the river! He is beginning to teach Logan to obey Jesus even from a distance.

3 years ago I couldn’t have dreamed of this kind of thing happening. Now, it is still exciting (it always will be) but it is becoming a normal excitement! The Lord is clearly doing something special here!