To a college student, the idea of getting involved in a local ministry may be intimidating.
A student might say, “How am I supposed to take on an outreach when I am just trying to pass English 102?”
But the Center for Global Opportunities staff want students to see just how rewarding and fulfilling local ministry can be.
Go Greenville, a four weekend program which began on Sept. 10 and ended on Oct. 1, was designed to help accomplish that.
Nick Mauer, coordinator for outreach and evangelism at the Center for Global Opportunities, said Go Greenville was an opportunity for students to be introduced to four different kinds of ministry: urban evangelism, children’s ministry, sports ministry and nursing home ministry.
“We’re really wanting students to live out the mission or the slogan of the CGO, which is ‘Reach beyond yourself,’” Mauer said.
“We’re wanting to accomplish our mission of engaging in 21st century evangelism in our communities through these outreaches.”
Mauer said Go Greenville has come as part of the University’s renewed outreach emphasis reflected in the Center for Global Opportunities.
Mauer also said there is more to being a BJU student than just going to classes.
“Part of being a BJU student is reaching beyond yourself into the community for the sake of the Gospel,” Mauer said.
“Go Greenville creates a very easy way to introduce them to that on the front end of their experience here.”
Mauer said the goal of Go Greenville was to give students a taste for ministry that they could experience in other local ministries throughout the year.
The CGO has a database listing ministries that need volunteers where students can find a place to get involved, Mauer said.
Jacob Jones, a freshman Bible major, had the opportunity through Go Greenville to preach and play guitar for residents at a local nursing home.
“It was a great opportunity to get involved,” Jones said.
“We are learning all the time and listening to sermons all the time about missions and giving, but that information is completely useless if we never do anything with it.”
Jones said his biggest take away from Go Greenville was to stay focused on ministry for the right reasons.
“There isn’t much glory in ministry,” Jones said.
“When you serve, it shouldn’t be done looking for reciprocity from any man. An eternal focus should motivate us to serve more than anything else.”
Hudson Sanders, a freshman biblical counseling major, had the opportunity to participate in urban evangelism downtown through Go Greenville.
“I went into urban evangelism a little skeptical at first,” Sanders said.
“I really doubted that evangelism through street talking, as opposed to evangelism through personal relationships, could be effective. I was proven otherwise,” he said.
Sanders said he watched people open up to the Gospel given to them by BJU students just because the students were kind and offered them water.
Sanders himself was able to sit down with one local girl and share the gospel for about 20 minutes.
Sanders said his experience with Go Greenville opened his eyes to urban evangelism and that it was something he would love to do again in the future.