When I think about my journey to become a Campus Pastor, I think about the many in Christian leadership who gave me an opportunity to practice ministry. I preached my first message (badly) at a youth rally at the age of 16, lead my first song service at youth the same year, ran the soundboard, regularly shared my testimony, lead a prayer meeting, and lead my first small group. I was not a ministerial protégé, nor was I leading exceptionally among my peers. What was unique was the opportunity in my local church for youth to be equipped and given an opportunity to lead. When I think of leadership development, I always think about being given an opportunity because of that experience.
When I came to University Christian Ministries (UCM) in the mid-nineties, one of the things that resonated with me was the opportunity and expectation that university students would lead spiritually. At UCM, students are trained and then deployed on campus into leading a small group, leading Alpha, leading intentional one-on-one discipleship relationships, leading student executives, doing personal evangelism, and leading and participating in local and foreign missions trips, all while taking their degree. A large part of their spiritual growth and service comes from being given an opportunity to lead as well as the training and supervision to flourish in these opportunities.
This Fall will be a challenge as our “on-campus” communities deal with COVID-19 protocols, but, we will continue to equip university students by giving opportunities to lead virtual small groups, virtual Alpha’s, virtual prayer meetings, and participation in virtual intentional discipleship relationships. If you have a young adult heading to post-secondary school in BC this Fall, check out our website at www.joinucm.org and select a campus to connect your student with our campus staff.