I like a bargain. Doesn’t everybody?
Pretty soon, college campuses across our state might be getting more than they bargained for to start the fall semester. Most colleges are days away from starting, and students will be moving into dorms and apartments to start classes in person.
As BCMs, we have planned for months to welcome new students on our local campuses. Usually, we have planned for a freshman class that is new to the campus and expect several transfer students that will be on our campus for the very first-time attending classes.
This fall semester is different.
Not only are we preparing for freshman and transfer students, but we are also getting ready to welcome sophomores who will be attending their very first college classes in person.
Trying to learn all the new people can be overwhelming, but what a wonderful opportunity it will be.
Our last academic year was like nothing current campus ministers had seen before. We changed plans – often. We followed rules and changed events and strategies on the fly as things changed constantly throughout the year, but we never changed our goal of reaching our campuses in the name of Jesus Christ. We met in person, we met online and just about every combination in between.
We had students who lived on our campuses that only attended classes online. There were other students attending classes online that lived in other states and didn’t set foot on campus last year. We reached out to them all and did what we could to make their college experience a good one.
Mostly we shared Christ as we provided an outlet for community among students. There were students who came to Christ, those who deepened their relationship with Christ, and those who found our ministry as a way to have something to encourage them in their faith and daily lives during the year.
This semester, we are planning to have many more students on campus than last year. We plan to see students in person more this year, with or without masks along with social distancing depending on our campus rules.
Our goal of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ will be the same. Our excitement and attentiveness to details will be the same, but there is nothing like the energy you get when college students are together, in person, in community living out their faith on campuses.
Keep us in your prayers. Pray that campuses stay open. Pray that COVID doesn’t run rampant. Pray that students hear and respond to the Gospel and are made new in Christ. That’s the bargain that I am looking forward to.
State Missionary Edwin Hocutt serves as the Baptist campus minister at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and at the Huntsville campus of Calhoun Community College.