A revival in college is an unspeakable blessing; it is so wide-reaching in its influence.
– Rev. W.F.P. Noble, 1876
That was written almost 150 years ago, and yet it still holds true. Kossuth Street Baptist Church has seen and embraced this same vision for students’ lives and the kingdom influence they can have, both on campus and for decades after graduation.
For the last four and a half years, Stephen Weinkauf has faithfully and sacrificially served as director of our domestic campus ministry, Salt and Light Christian Fellowship (SLCF). His internship is now coming to a close and, with that, he is handing off the baton of leadership. We are grateful for Stephen as well as excited to see what is next for him in ministry.
We are also excited about what is ahead for SLCF. Our aim is to continue with the same efforts we always have in this important ministry: to function as a community of disciplemakers toward the Great Commission by discipling college students through students. That means we work hard to equip students to be the disciplemakers that God has called them to be.
For those who are not aware, SLCF functions as two inter-connected arms of ministry on campus (see graphic below). One arm relates to our church’s efforts with undergraduate students and the other to our efforts with international students. There is significant overlap and connection between the two, especially at Crosswalk Commons, where American and international students come to live purposefully together.
As a result of this model, students not only grow as disciplemakers in general but also in their heart for the nations. Within that mindset, allow me to point to fruit from our efforts in campus ministry in the past and what we anticipate for the future.
Our ministry efforts major on training students for ministry right where they are at, both among international students and on campus at large. They receive equipping in discipleship as they help believers grow and in their efforts to impact those who don’t know Christ. Over the course of their four years with us, we invest heavily in them so that they can be most effective in gospel work.
Most students graduate and go on to be disciplemakers in their workplace, their home, and among their neighbors. It is always a joy to see this development in their lives. Some graduate and pursue an internship with us. They commit to another few years of specific training and go on to become career pastors and missionaries or intentional people in
the workplace for God's glory.. Regardless of their post-graduation location, we have the privilege of investing in them and having a long-term impact through them for the glory of God.
Whether it be through retreats, spring break trips, Bible studies, Sunday morning, a regular Friday night meeting, or the random late night conversations until 2:00 am (or later!), these students become a family together during their few short years here. Tight bonds are formed that serve as a model of deep relationships they pursue down the road. However, in the bigger picture, they experience an intergenerational community by being a part of the bigger Kossuth family. That’s why I love the way we do campus ministry. SLCF is not a standalone, “college students only” group; rather, it is one expression of our larger church family. I believe this sets them up for the most success as they go on to be a fruitful part of a new church family after they graduate.
Related to the previous point, college students quickly become a blessing to those around them. We have the privilege of investing in them, but they also impact us. Many of them serve in a variety of ways in children’s ministry, worship ministry, and outreach. We learn a lot from them along the way. Some graduate and stick around to have a continued impact as a thriving part of our church family. Others move away from Lafayette and become a blessing to a new church family. Regardless, it is a worthwhile effort on our part toward God’s kingdom work in this world.
We have a good plan moving forward as we continue to press into campus ministry as a church. We are leaning on what we call the KSBC Team, a group of church members who have agreed to focus on this area of ministry. One is a graduate student heavily involved on campus. Another is an undergraduate student who is also doing a light internship with us through a seminary in Indianapolis. Others on the team are effective church members who have a big heart for college students. I believe we can look forward to great things, both for God’s glory and our joy as a church family.
May I end by encouraging you to spend time this summer praying for SLCF and its road ahead.
- Please pray for the KSBC team working together to make connections with new students coming this fall.
- Please pray for God to raise up student leaders.
- Please pray for effective outreach to Purdue' campus.
- Please pray for good interaction with the KSBC family and the students God is bringing to KSBC through the ministry of SLCF.