LEADS 2014 took place at the University Seventh-day Adventist Church in East Lansing.
LEADS serves as the launch of the academic year for student leaders, university church pastors, and public campus ministries in Michigan. The purpose of LEADS was to pray, plan, train, and fellowship. During the weekend seminar conference, CAMPUS also introduced the theme for this year: EACH ONE REACH ONE.
The program started with a meeting for pastors and chaplains who serve public university campuses. Drs. Ron Pickell and Jiwan Moon, North American Division and General Conference public campus ministry leaders, respectively, also made an appearance to LEADS for the first time. The pastor’s meeting discussed ways in which local churches and pastors on/near university campuses can organize with CAMPUS for a fruitful year in soul-winning and ministry. The Division and General Conference also provided an update on the state of public campus ministry at each level. This marks the first time that pastors in Michigan have come together to work as a team in preparing public campuses for the imminent return of Christ.
Friday morning started with a devotional thought by Israel Ramos, CAMPUS Director introducing God’s purpose in calling His people the salt of the earth.
The first half of the day was spent introducing a systematic way of soul-winning on campuses, joining local student groups, university churches, and CAMPUS through the Cycle of Evangelism for Public Campus Ministry which integrates all three entities.
David Shin, UCHURCH pastor shared what a local church can do to effectively win souls on campus. And Israel Ramos discussed how CAMPUS events can be used as a resource for soul-winning and integration across all campuses in Michigan. The goal is to establish a systematic Adventist public campus ministry program across the state.
Following the two presentations by Prs. Shin and Ramos, Andy Im, CAMPUS Associate Director held a question and answer session with students and pastors. This was a time for attendees to give advice and feedback on making CAMPUS more efficient in its interaction with local student groups and churches. When the Q&A session finished, everyone participated in a session of prayer–understanding that preparation and planning is of no effect without God’s blessing.
The second half of the day provided practical tools for making university student groups thrive. Student groups had the opportunity to participate in a Praise & Report session where they shared exciting things and stories of what is taking place on their campuses. They also shared challenges they encountered in the last year. Pr. Andy Im gave a presentation on Small Group Ministry and how to implement it on public campuses.
During the last year, CAMPUS & UCHURCH have been running a pilot program for small groups with the help of Gateway Adventist Centre based in Melbourne, Australia. This year, they are planning to expand the program from two small groups to five student led groups at the CAMPUS House and in student homes. Student groups throughout Michigan will have the opportunity to launch groups on their own campuses this year.
The final presentation of the day was given by Judy Ramos, former president of Adventist Students for Christ at the University of Michigan. Her presentation was aimed at making student groups thrive.
The day concluded with a BBQ and sundown vespers at the Ramos residence at Grace Orchard. Dr. Ron Pickell shared an insightful vespers thought on the Word of God coming in the form of salvation–through Christ and in a warning of destruction–Christ’s return. Attendees were blessed by his challenge to share Christ with others no matter the sacrifice.
For Sabbath, Amy Sheppard, Associate District Attorney in Lansing and former student leader at the University of Michigan shared on how to use Sabbath School in the context of a public campus ministry setting. The sermon was delivered by Israel Ramos on the call to discipleship.
After the worship service and potluck, student leaders participated in a training session on how to use the Chair Massage as a way to make contacts on the campus. After the training, MSU student Elva Hernandez served as a tour guide for visiting students and pastors, giving them a tour of the MSU Gardens.
Andy Im led out in a mock care group program which was then followed by sundown vespers with Jiwan Moon. Dr. Moon delivered a powerful message on the theology of discipleship and what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He challenged attendees to be missionaries on our secular campuses–following Christ in making disciples.
Students concluded the day with a game night at the CAMPUS House and met together the next morning to read excerpts from Gospel Workers by Ellen White and to have a season of prayer for a fruitful year.
We look forward to God’s rich blessings this year as EACH ONE REACHES ONE with the power of the gospel!