It is the way it is supposed to work, but still when you have been doing the work for as long as I have, it brings tears of joy to your eyes.
Yesterday was an incredible and incredibly long day. Because our BCM meets on Tuesday nights, I don’t always arrive early in the office. Usually, Tuesday mornings are filled with a long bike ride with my training partner and fellow campus minister Bob Gailey from Campus Christian House. But due to some knee pain, I have taken a few weeks off, so I was in the office at 8 after dropping my wife off at her office on campus. A normal day of finishing tasks, planning for the week with fellow BCM staff, visiting with students followed.
Lica and I try to eat dinner together on Tuesdays before she heads off to the house and then to praise team practice at church and I head back to the BCM for our weekly Gator meeting. Yesterday we met Zach Allen who came into town to be our guest speaker and bring one of his girls from First Baptist Church in Tallahassee who is transferring to UF in the spring. Zach is a great friend and previously served here as the college pastor at North Central Baptist Church. He is a true partner in ministry and is a blessing to Lance Beauchamp the BCM director at FSU. Lica and Jaclyn got to spend more time with Zach and his entourage of interns and students while I went back to the BCM to get ready for the evening meeting.
Zach did a great job of talking with our students about the necessity and value of local church membership to wrap up a two week series of messages on being connected to the local body of Christ. Pastor Craig Canton spoke last week about the way God puts the various parts of the body together through spiritual gifts to strengthen the whole body. After Gator was over, I spoke to one of our guys that I have wanted to meet with to see when we could get together and he said why not now.
I knew Alex had been dealing with the decision to trust Jesus as his savior so I was glad to share the gospel with him again as we talked. He was open about his questions and his struggles but he knew he needed and wanted to trust Jesus. And so I got to witness Alex giving his life to Jesus and accepting his gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life in my office last night. But it gets even better!
When I asked him where he was going to church he said he had been thinking about attending where some of his fish brothers and sisters (freshmen bible study members) go to, North Central Baptist Church. I knew Matt Seitz the current college pastor from there was still in the building so I was able to introduce Alex to Matt. They share a similar faith journey and spent some time talking together as I prepared to go home for the night.
That’s the way it is supposed to work. The BCM is a bridge for people like Alex who are exploring the idea of faith and returning to church but don’t want to fully commit yet. At least in our BCM the work isn’t done until we can share the gospel with them, love them during the journey, and help them get connected to the local body of Christ. God used invites to an event, Fish Parents who shared the gospel, fellow students who encouraged his questions, a local BCM director talking about being connected to the vine, a FSU college pastor talking about church membership, and a local college pastor who hangs out at the BCM until almost 11 pm to create a path for one of His children to come home. That’s why we do what we do, for His glory!