This morning I went for a prayer drive around our local community college. It has one of the most magnificent views in town, due in part to its location on the fringes of our little mountain town and the community itself. Most community colleges I’m aware of tend not to have this kind of view but all tend to be on the fringes of their community, mostly forgotten.
Part of our mission is to see No Campus Left without a reproducing gospel presence. The Watauga Campus of Caldwell Community College lacks that presence. We want to see that change.
There are a few difficulties in reaching this particular campus. Visitors must collect a visitor parking pass from the receptionist. The campus is so small that there aren’t many people congregating anywhere at any time. And there is a security guard keeping an eye out for anything out of order.
Besides the fact that it was 14° out this morning, these difficulties are why I went for a prayer drive rather than a prayer walk. Our first priority with this campus is Entry. Somehow, we need to enter the field before anything else can happen. One of our first strategies for entering a new field is prayer. We are praying for open doors and for God to raise up laborers from the harvest to reach the rest of the campus. Would you pray that with us?
Last month Anna and I were on the No Campus Left Podcast to share about our experience in BCM over the last few years. I didn’t even realize until shortly before recording the podcast that we had grit. When I listened to the podcast once it was released, I was really encouraged by the ways God has been faithful especially in the tough times of transition. The last two years were the hardest years of ministry I’ve experienced yet, but I’m thankful for them and how God has worked on the other side of them. I hope you’ll download it and listen!
Last night we celebrated Thanksgiving with a gaggle of students and staff at the Puckett house. There’s nothing better than a table full of food and a living room full of friends.
As BCM is becoming more and more decentralized, this family meal setting is going to be more and more important. I’m really thankful that I get to do what I do.
On Saturday evening, after months of planning, I (along with quite a few other key people – including staff, board members, friends, and students) had the privilege of hosting the first ever Friends of BCM Fundraising Banquet. None of us had ever tried pulling off an event like this, but we had a great time and raised a nice chunk of support as well. We had lots of folks in attendance from all over the High Country and the Flat Lands, including business people, church family, friends, and alumni. Three of my students told stories about their experiences with BCM, as did one of my board members. Coach Jerry Moore (of back-to-back-to-back National Championship fame) gave the keynote address. It is always encouraging to hear how God is using BCM to change and shape lives.
For many years we have been supported fully by the Baptist State Convention of NC (BSCNC) as a ministry. We were one of 9 campus ministries that received this full level of funding. About a year and a half ago the Convention made the mission-focused decision to pull away from finding campus ministries like this in order to call the local churches to “own” the mission field in their back yards. The big benefit of Convention funding was sustainability and consistent funding. Those are great things, but the unintentional result was that local churches didn’t see the need to be as involved – nor did the campus ministries see the need to work all that hard at including churches. This change in funding structure was massive, but it forced us to rethink how we were doing what we were doing. I, for one, am glad to see the current impact this change is having on our ministry at ASU and in the High Country. I will post more of these dynamics in the very near future.
While at times it felt like we were crossing the finish line, it was more like a starting line. Our goal was $20,000 in one-time and monthly pledges and we pulled in right around $10,000. I am very encouraged by this result. The banquet was about fundraising – but it was more about the Kingdom of God than anything else. Ministry requires money, sure. But if we aren’t laser-focused on the Kingdom of God, then we might as well pack on up and leave.
I am excited to continue sharing the story of God’s work on campuses in the High Country through BCM in the coming weeks, semesters, and years. I believe he is only getting started!
*If you would like to give to BCM of the High Country all of our contact info can be found here and I would be happy to help you sort this out.
Last time I checked, it’s been just over 8 months since I’ve posted a new update here. Certainly that’s not for lack of new things happening in the lives of us Pucketts, but maybe because of all the newness. Last time I checked in, we were just getting settled after a mostly unexpected move from Akron, OH to Charlotte, NC to Boone, NC. I alluded to lots of changes happening in the NC BCM world, and that has only progressed and continued to develop. When I accepted this position with ASU BCM, I assumed I would be taking over a fairly static ministry role with a reliable trajectory.
What I knew coming in was that the Baptist State Convention of NC (BSCNC) had made the decision to relieve their campus ministry staff of their duties and shift the ownership of the respective BCMs from BSCNC back to the local churches that surround each of the campuses. A shift this drastic is anything but painless, but the idea is to call the local churches to account for the mission fields in their own front yards. This was the rapidly unfolding situation that met us as we arrived in Boone. I can’t speak for other regions and campuses, but I can happily report that the Lord is at work here in the High Country.
Denominations and churches are not known for agile and speedy decision making – especially in a time of major transition, but in a period of around 6 months, the major building blocks were put in place to move us from Convention ownership to the launching of a non-profit organization (BCM of the High Country) overseen by a diverse Board of Directors. I am honored to serve as the Executive Director and Lead Missionary. During this time of transition, some things will remain relatively the same. The main thing that will remain is our outward focus on reaching students who are far from God. If BCM is anything, it must be a missionary hub.
There’s so much to tell that I’ll returning here to post about life and about ministry vision and updates for BCM of the High Country. Just know that I am thrilled to be where I am, and to be doing what I’m doing. Would you pray for me and my family as we hit our stride in Boone and at ASU?