Students launch out to ‘make Jesus famous’

Originally published at Western Recorder –

Louisville—”The Great Commission is to go and make disciples. . . . Our obligation is to take the gospel and make Jesus famous—to make Him known. I am hoping to grow personally, to see fruit, and to plant seeds,” Alexander Duvall, a sophomore at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, said.

Duvall is one of about 40 college students giving their summer to missions through the Baptist Collegiate Ministries Experience 1:8 program. The teams were commissioned May 31 at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.

“Launch week,” a week of missions training at Southern Seminary will be followed by four to eight weeks of serving on a mission field in Kentucky and beyond. Bowling Green, Corbin and Shelbyville are the first destinations for many of the students as they experience what it means to be servant evangelists. They will help Kentucky churches reach out to their communities through backyard Bible clubs, sports camps and home-repair ministries.

After launch week, teams will split up on their assignments. The team from WKU will go to Columbus, Ohio, and work with church plants. They will return to Bowling Green, where they will work with international students.

University of the Cumberlands’ group will be based out of Immanuel Baptist Church in Corbin. Campus Missionary Dean Whitaker said that UC students will be serving all the way from Alaska to Panama City Beach, Fla.

Duvall is excited about the opportunity to reach Saudi Arabian students who are staying on campus this summer. Saudi Arabia is “so close to the gospel,” he said, and “this is just an amazing opportunity to reach a people group that is really hard to reach otherwise.”

“Giving my summer to the Lord is something I have wanted to do for years,” said WKU junior Clay Watkins.”I long for the inward growth that comes along with it.”

Doug Williams, KBC Missions Mobilization strategist, delivered the challenge to the summer missionaries.

“Kentucky Baptists, we have over 2,400 churches in the state convention. Our issue is not resources; our issue is not manpower. Our issue is obedience. Let’s take this gospel; let’s go this summer; and let’s make Jesus famous in Kentucky, North America and all over this globe,” Williams said.

Williams added, “We are called to continue the mission that Jesus began.” Drawing from Acts 1:8, he identified the subject of missions as Jesus, the power of missions as the Holy Spirit, the goal of missions as the world, and the expectation of missions as Christ’s return.

“Serve the needs of the hurting, but not to the neglect of serving them the greatest need of all, and that’s the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Williams said.”This mission is about Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.”

“Know that my prayers are with you. I’m excited to see what God is going to do not only through you, but in you,” he said. (WR)