Monday, March 15, 2010

Gleanings from the Pastor's Perspective: Reflecting on the work of Reformed University Ministries

The Pastor’s Perspective
Vol. 32 Num. 38
“Reflecting on the work of Reformed University Ministries”
First Published: November 2, 1999

As we approach Commitment Sunday this week, I can think of many reasons to pledge ourselves to the support of the church. It is an act of wise stewardship. It helps us count the cost before we get into the ministry of the coming year. It moves us to deliberate about what we will commit to the Lord’s work at First Presbyterian. We could name many other reasons. But one of the best reasons to pledge and give to First Presbyterian is because of the tremendous Christian ministries that our tithes go to support. Reformed University Ministries is one of those ministries.

Consider the following excerpts from the Mississippi Joint Committee on Campus Work (MJCCW) report. “The 1998-1999 school year for Reformed University Ministries/Mississippi was an exciting year filled with many blessing from our God. With pleasure, we report to you what God has been doing on the various campuses which we serve. . . . Campus ministers served on seven campuses supervised by the Mississippi Joint Committee on Campus Work. The Rev. Jeffrey Lancaster completed his sixth and final year as campus minister at the University of Mississippi. As of June 1999, Jeffrey is now pastoring a church-planting ministry in New Orleans. We are grateful to God for the years of effective and faithful service that Jeffrey has given to campus ministry. The Rev. Les Newsom completed his fifth year as campus minister at the University of Memphis and is now campus minister at Ole Miss. We anticipate having a seminary student fill the position at the University of Memphis for one year, during which time a more permanent candidate will be sought. The Rev. Brian Habig completed his fourth year as campus minister at Mississippi State University. The Rev. Ricky Jones completed his fourth year as campus minister at Delta State. The Rev. Jeremy Jones completed his third year as campus minister at the University of Southern Mississippi. The Rev. Robbie Hinton completed his second year as campus minister at the University of Tennessee at Martin. The Rev. Corrie Pelton completed his third year at Belhaven College. James (Bebo) Elkin completed his sixteenth year as coordinator of the Mississippi/West Tennessee campus ministries. Other staff includes Ruth Falls, as the office manager, and Beth Whitney and Heather Ferguson, who assists Mrs. Falls.” Furthermore, “Five full-time interns and two part-time interns served in the Mississippi area,” including our own Roger Fakes at Mississippi College.

“The staff of Reformed University Ministries is breaking ground in the secular culture of college and university campuses through student-led ministries that reach out to other students. These ministries work to accomplish their goal in four major areas: Evangelism and Missions, Growth in Grace, Fellowship and Service, and a Biblical World-and-Life View. Weekly large group meetings, small groups for study, prayer, and fellowship, and one-to-one staff-student sessions provide the framework for campus ministry. Through these, students are fed a steady diet of Bible exposition, examination and discipling, evangelistic encounters, and the building of relationships. The work of Campus interns makes possible a much broader outreach on campus. Interns attend large group meetings and other fellowship activities individually, and train students to reach out to others. On the campuses that we serve, attendance at the weekly large groups ranged from 30-300. Topics of study included the Parables of Luke, Judges, Isaiah, The Ten Commandments, Hebrews, Proverbs, the Gospel of Mark, and topical studies on Dating and Marriage, The Cross of Christ, and “Why Do We Do What We Do?” Approximately 30 small groups sponsored by local Reformed University Fellowships were held this past year. These groups studied a wide range of topics, including Basic Theology, the Hard Sayings of Jesus, Mortification, Psalms, Evangelism, and A Godly Woman.”

Your giving to First Presbyterian Church helps vital ministries like RUM do the work of the Gospel. And that’s a great reason to give.

Your friend,

Ligon Duncan

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