INTERVARSITY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
Washtenaw Community College
A Community of Students and Faculty who are
Developing Ordinary People
For an Extra-Ordinary Purpose;
Joyfully advancing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Partners in Ministry,
We are now in the second week of school heading into the third week. Time sure flies by and we have been working hard for the Lord at the campus of Washtenaw Community College. I have so many stories to share I can't possibly share them all in an email, but I would like to share a couple stories along with some prayer requests as well.
As I headed in to begin ministry on campus God impressed on my heart to only "make myself available." Often this concept is a struggle for me as I am sure it is for others. We can get so busy or try to make ministry happen in a predetermined schedule or program that we squeeze God out from being involved in our ministries. Yes we teach the bible during those times, but what about a relationship that is "available." Being on campus and not having a set time table or events to attend actually has improved the receptivity to the gospel. I've mentioned previously about divine appointments - those meetings that God has you and another person meet at exactly the right moment and gives you the right words to share. As I meet student on campus it amazes me the number of divine appointments that the students and I continue to have on campus.
As I was leaving my African American History class, I headed down the elevator and started talking with a young man named Spensor. He transferred in to WCC though he had previously attended a college for Architecture. Architecture wasn't for him he said, but it was a common bond we could talk about since I have a degree in Architecture. We chatted about the teaching philosophy of his school and compared it to the one I went too. I then moved the conversation into my youth ministry interest and service. He said he had a friend who was studying youth ministry too. As we continued to talk we eventually came to the topic of Jesus. You can tell what a person believes when you mention that name... Jesus. The warm and inviting conversation about trivial things now seemed to freeze and stand still. I could sense some uncomfortability once I mentioned Jesus' name. He said, "well each person can believe what they want and I believe that there are many ways to heaven." I've heard this statement many times and it is common in postmodern pluralism. At that point I shared the gospel: God created us, we fell into sin, God promised to reconcile us to Himself, he sent Jesus, Jesus lived a perfect life, he died on the cross to pay our penalty of sin, he rose again and all who repent (turn from sin) and believe in Jesus will be saved. He said he knows the gospel because he attends church a couple times a year, Christmas and Easter. Yet he still believes that there are several ways to heaven. I said, friend, do you remember when Jesus was in the garden before he was taken to the cross? He said yes. Well Jesus prayed this prayer, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will, but yours be done." Then he continued to pray earnestly and sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. (Luke 22:39-45). Jesus sought God's will and God answered that going to the cross is the only way that the world may be saved. We cannot take Jesus as a only a prophet or a nice guy. He was God's Son who is the Lamb who was given as a sacrifice for the world's sins once for all. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me." (John 14:6).
Spensor and I were interrupted at that point by another woman who overheard our conversation. Spensor left at that point and I began talking with this young black woman. While we were talking about Jesus and creation, another young man piped in and started sharing his views on evolution. I talked with the young man for a few minutes and shared that I don't really understand the science of evolution but have heard some inconsistencies with carbon dating. I shared with him what InterVarsity is doing on campus and asked if he would like to do lunch one day. Well yesterday we had lunch. He pursued me to set up the meeting and he was very excited. Honestly I can't debate all the aspects of evolution. I simply share the gospel because God loves us so much.
Yesterday I had another encounter with a couple of guys. I overheard them talking about sharing their faith and so I inquired about what they believe. They started talking about Jesus and the true gospel. I asked what they believed was the gospel. The shared about Jesus dying on the cross and rising again. Sounds correct to me, I though. But as we continued to talk they kept coming back to always obeying the law and the ten commandments. I inquired more about what they were sharing and asked how is a person saved? They continued to say by believing in Jesus and by obeying the law and doing good. They had many words and it was difficult for me to interject because they wouldn't stop talking. Eventually I asked for them to hang on and let me explain something to them. I said you are correct in saying that we are saved by repenting and having faith in Jesus. But as far as entering heaven and being justified by good works is not true. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, not by works so that no man can boast. We obey the law and do good works not to be saved, but because of the work that God is doing in us through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We know we are saved because of the transforming work of Jesus in our lives. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23). We earn death (as God stated in Genesis 2-3) for our sin. But God's gift to us is eternal life in Christ Jesus. We cannot earn a gift! It is given to us freely and so we only need to receive the gift. The men I was talking with could not understand or were blind to the simple truth of the gospel. The gospel they are preaching is not good news at all as the Apostle Paul often says in his writings, because it demands that we need to do good works to be saved.
Friends, this battle on campus is over the LIES that people are believing instead of the simple TRUTH about Jesus. The gospel is the power of God, in Jesus, and that is simply what our InterVarsity Christian Fellowship - WCC community is purposefully sharing. Of the 15,000 students and faculty on this campus how many people do you think are believing these lies of evolution and false gospels like the liberty gospel, prosperity gospel, social gospel etc...? As Paul states in Ephesians 6 please pray for me and the students and faculty who are in faith standing on the rock of Jesus Christ and holding out the good news for all people.
That God would give us encouragement as we engage people with the gospel.
That God would thwart the plans of Satan to spread his lies on campus - that instead people would be open to the good news about Jesus.
That God would protect the students, me and our families from discouragement, temptations and pride - that we would be built up in love.
That we all would grow in our knowledge of scripture and in loving each other and others.
That the students would be committed to working together and meeting together on campus - that Christ is the priority!
For the African Americans on campus and the African American history class and instructor Thorton Perkins.
Welcome Day is September 15- that God would draw missional believers into our core and that many who do not know the good news would hear it and build relationships with us.
Praise to God for the work he is doing through the students and me.
I praise God for all of you too! Thank you for sharing in this ministry. We can feel and see your prayers daily!
Serving in Christ,
Here you will find updates, thoughts, discussion and prayers for my life and ministry...