“Thoughts of warm summer nights by the campfire, visions of strolling across the beach and dreams of completing a number of stagnated projects piled high on my desk have swept across my calendar like a speeding, consuming tornado, swallowing up my summer and spitting it out into a new calendar quarter called Fall.” So starts the 33rd chapter in the book called, “Life as a staff member” by Larry D. Rushton.
Summer has slipped by and another year of ministry to our students has begun. Our role again has switched from praying for our students to participating in their ongoing training and in the development of their spiritual growth. What a responsibility! What an awesome privilege!
Writing this article was on my mind as I read 1 Peter 4:7-11 during my devotions one morning. My thoughts soon drifted beyond my personal application to encompass your responsibility to the students you have sent to us. May I suggest four things which I believe you can be doing for our students this school year.
The first is found in verse 7, “…watch unto prayer.” Whatever you do for our students, or should I say your students, make sure praying for them is a high priority on your list! Notice the verse says watch unto prayer. Don’t just pray, “God bless George at NBBI.” Pay attention! Be watching for specific needs like a difficulty in a certain subject, a budding relationship with a young lady, rela- tionships with his roommate or other students in the dorm, his practical Christian service assignment, and I could go on.
Next suggestion, which I found in verse 8, is “have fervent charity” or, love them to death. Care for them! If you could only see our students’ faces when they receive care packages from home or letters from good friends or their church youth groups. You will make their day and maybe get them through a difficult year by one act of kindness.
The third suggestion is “use hospitality,” verse 9. Some of these students may end up in your home this year as they travel with a musical group, the SEM group or work in your church as a youth leader. Help them enjoy their first taste of ministry! You may encourage a student to desire full-time Christian service for his or her future.
The final suggestion, verses 10-11, is allow them to use their gifts and serve. I will be ever grateful for Pastor Arian Groeneveld who encouraged me to step into his pulpit as a student and preach, lead services, lead youth group, sing and play guitar. He taught me to serve.
What can you do for your students at NBBI?
This article appears in the September 2010 Open Bible Bulletin.