Friday, December 02, 2005
Momentum in the Fall
In Student Venture, the fall is a big time for reaching out to new students. In every way imaginable and with every group possible, we seek to take the Gospel to those who may have never heard. Sometimes it's with official groups that have a name, like the freshman football team or the marching band. Other times it's with informal groups of friends. Always it's for the purpose of sharing with the students how they can have a personal relationship with Christ. Keep reading for three stories of exciting outreaches from one Student Venture city this fall.
Keep in mind, most every new staff person we see join our ministry experiences responses like this all the time. Please pray our recruit efforts will continue to generate more workers.
*** MAKING A DIFFERENCE ***
From one of our staff guys in Atlanta: Recently we hosted an outreach for the Freshman Football team from a local high school. Because the outreach was held on a day where the students got out of school early, we had lots of time with the guys. They didn't have to be back for practice for almost 3 hours so we did lots of crazy, messy games that the guys really enjoyed. We had a couple of older guys share about the difference that Christ has made in their lives since becoming Christians a year ago. We even had a guy who had graduated from their high school share his personal testimony about his relationship with Christ with them. Finally, we shared with the 35 football players how they could have a personal relationship with Christ. We talked about sin, football and God's "game plan" for our lives. The guys stayed fully engaged as we talked about scoring a touchdown, winning a game and how to win the "ultimate victory". They seemed to really understand the Gospel and we challenged them to consider the "cost" of following Jesus. When we led them in a prayer of salvation, 26 guys indicated that they had placed their faith in Christ for the first time. Now they are starting the follow up process, beginning to get established in their faith and learning how they can grow closer to God.
We've started middle school ministries at many of the schools that feed into the high schools where we have established ministries. Some of the high school students help lead the middle school meetings, give their testimonies, lead discussion groups, etc. Just last weekend, we had a "semi lock-in" for students from these middle schools at a local entertainment complex. On Wednesday before the lock-in on Saturday, we had 30 registrations and knew of about 10 others that were coming for sure. We felt like there was momentum for it and that there would be a lot of kids that would just show up. Little did we know. On Saturday night, there were scores of middle school kids in line to sign in. And they kept coming! They were everywhere! 130 kids showed up for putt-putt, go-karts, arcade games, pizza, ice cream and a movie. We were able to share the Gospel in the midst of the craziness and 15 middle school kids indicated that they placed their faith in Christ! What a great night!
We had a "Freshman Rally" earlier this fall at one of our schools. This is a "broad sowing" event designed to reach into every pocket of the freshman class. We made bright orange T-shirts for the freshmen that we knew that said, "Hey freshman, got your pool pass yet? Get it at the freshman rally." The big night came and the school auditorium was buzzing with excited freshmen. We used water balloon launchers to launch free t-shirts into the crowd. We played Family Feud between a team of guys and a team of girls, with the loser of each round having to do some gross stunt. We had a contest to see who could eat the caramel apple (that was actually an onion) on a string the fastest. The rally was a great momentum builder with about 140 freshmen coming and 22 indicating that they placed their faith in Christ.