This year's Annual Meeting theme is "Live the Difference." We asked several individuals what it looks like to live the difference in their day-to-day lives. Here's what Jay Leibold, campus missionary at the University of North Texas, had to say:
What is culture? Culture is defined as the beliefs, customs, and values of a particular society, group or place. I came to the UNT BSM my freshman year and have been here just long enough (starting year 5) to see a shift in our culture. We have begun to see a shift in what we value as a campus ministry and what our attitude should be as christians at a large public university. Our culture here at the BSM is shifting from a "me" focused ministry to a "them" focused ministry. Our students are seeing that eternity matters most in the lives of their peers.
Our mission statement at the UNT BSM is To Know Him and Make Him Known. In order to go out and tell people about God, we must first know Him. In the past, we have had one event every day leading up to the start of school in order to reach the campus and invite new students to the BSM. This year, with difficulty scheduling our events with the university's events, we kept it simple. We went out everyday and just invited people to join our small group bible study. As a result of so many of our students going out of their way to be intentional, exchange numbers, and invite their peers, we had around 100 students attend our first week's study.
With the growth in God's word, this has begun to lay a foundation for what we do after we begin to follow God. He calls us to be witnesses and make disciples (Tweet this). Because of the importance of that call, we have challenged all of our student leaders to disciple at least one new student this semester. Our students are beginning to see the big picture; they are beginning to have a heart for others and wanting to see the gospel transform lives.
With the shift that is beginning to happen in our culture here at the UNT BSM, I have begun to see our students yearn to share the good news of Christ with the people they walk by every day. Every Friday at 1, there is a group of students that gets together to go out on campus in pairs to share the Gospel. Our student leaders are the ones who help with the training and debriefing for everyone who goes out, and encourage the newer and younger students to get involved. This last week we had more than 20 students go out and half of the group that went out were new students being discipled by leaders at the BSM.
We aren't here to get in and out or hide in a "holy huddle." God didn't bring us to UNT just to get an education. At the BSM our mission is for people to be transformed by people being transformed (Tweet this). Praise the Lord I am seeing this with my own eyes and that I get to be a part of this culture change. It is an honor and blessing to be able to love, encourage and lead these students.