Two weeks ago, we added a new role to my job description with the title of “College & Young Adult Pastor” at the Springdale Nazarene Church.
This church (SNC) is about 15 minutes north of the University of Cincinnati. A few months ago, we began attending this church as a family and realized they were in need of some leadership for the 18-29 crowd. After much prayer, discussion, and discernment with their leadership team, we decided it could be a great church to be our “home base” for reaching out to college students…not just at the University of Cincinnati but to several other campuses in the area as well.
Many of you have already noticed this transition via the Facebook and Twitter updates. We have hit the ground running and will be starting a new connect group with 20-30 college students at SNC on Sunday mornings at the end of this month. Later on in the summer, we will have a few worship gatherings which will be designed specifically for young adults and there’s a lot of excitement about the transformation and impact which will develop out of SNC and this ministry.
The CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach) is the campus ministry org based in Pittsburgh that makes this all possible, so to speak. I fell in love with the CCO and their partnership model about 5 years ago when I attended my first Jubilee conference.
I believe that the CCO’s core values, their excellent training, the networking and support I receive, etc all coalesce into the perfect organization for “transforming college students to transform the world.” If you want to see specific details about their values, partnership model, etc then click here.
Of course, one of the things which the CCO provides is the infrastructure, human resources, and training around the support-raising effort which accounts for half of the financial load of this ministry. We have been raising over half of our salary and support for this ministry through the CCO during these past four years. Many of you have joined our team of financial supporters and we could not have continued reaching and discipling college students without that support! If you would like more information on how to partner with us financially, click on the fundraising image above.
What is NOT pictured above is an image representing the Southwestern Ohio District Church of the Nazarene. 4 1/2 years ago it was the district, and specifically the leadership courage of our District Superintendent, Dr. Doug Van Nest, that helped create the initial partnership with the CCO as a strategy to reach and disciple students at the University of Cincinnati. Over the past four years, the denomination/district has covered the other 40-50% of the cost for this ministry. Without their generosity and commitment to campus ministry, the fundraising task probably would have prevented us from pursuing this call to ministry.
For those who may be wondering about the financial implications of adding Springdale Nazarene Church to this partnership equation, the bottom line is that it’s very helpful. However…we still need to raise a significant amount of monthly support to keep this ministry fully funded. And the more we can raise in monthly support through the CCO, the sooner we might be able to create a new CCO partnership with the SWO District in order to reach other campuses in the area. We are very excited about that possibility and hope to see this happen in the next 2-3 years.
To make this long story slightly longer, Debbie and I want each of you to know that we value your support as we continue this ministry endeavor. Whether that support shows up in a
a prayer account,
or an encouragement account
…we need it, receive it, and thank God for it! Please keep our family and this ministry in your prayers as we launch new things this summer at SNC and prepare for another season of ministry at UC in the Fall