By Jake Blasdel

August 29, 2017

Do you have a drawer or closet filled with junk?
I know I do. Actually, a couple.

A couple Sundays ago our Pastor shared that messiness is one of the main elements that fuels a warm community. What does messines in a relationship mean?  To be honest and open with each other about your heart and your situation.  Recent research published in the book Growing Young, says that young people, ages 15-29, are rooting into -- rather than leaving -- churches that work to engage them in this authentic way.

Students and young people are watching...and longing to see your junk drawer.  When they see the messiness of your “junk drawer,” they feel welcomed because they can relate to messiness. Your realness invites them into a community where it is safe for them to open up and reveal their untidy drawer, too.

Will you come alongside a student this fall and walk with them in the messiness of life?  

As you read, 4.4 million students are headed off to college across the Mid-Atlantic Region of our country.  The campus ministers scattered across this area are only reaching about 2% of them.  This leads to only one conclusion: we need you!  We need other champions in the corner for college students to help them through this journey of college -- and the ups and downs that it brings.  

Here are some ideas and opportunities for how we can start living into this and be a champion:  

  1. PRAY.  Pray for students, schools, professors and campus ministers by name and at specific locations. If you know them by name you most likely know part of their story which will help in praying specifically.    

  2. GO. We must go to them and stop waiting for students to walk into our door.  Look for an established contextual ministry or extension opportunity that you can get plugged into immediately rather than creating your own thing.  And if it is something that is student initiated and student lead the better!

  3. SIT. Sit with a young person between the age of 15-29 when they are in church.  I call this “knee to knee fellowship.”  We are in desperate and isolated times. When you sit with young people and within close proximity of others we are saying, “I desire to be with you and know you.”  As a result, people will experience a warm and welcoming community.

  4. GIVE. Your monthly giving or special transition gift at this time will be a direct investment into the lives of college students.  Currently, we are 29% of our new additional monthly goals for the New CCO XD Resource Specialist role I started June 1st.  For 3 months now we have seen the Lord provide through special gifts to keep us sustained while we work towards are monthly support and financial champion goals. 

The beautiful thing that begins to happen when we get out of our comfort zones and fuel a warm community is that it begins to spread out through the doors and into our community. It will start with the local church and it will start with you!

Will you PRAY, GO, SIT and GIVE to be in the corner for young people?

Your CCO XD Resource Specialist for Ashland & OH Region and a Fellow Champion,
Jake Blasdel

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