Each year, an advisory composed of pastors, the presidents of our student organizations (President’s Council), and public campus ministry coordinators of the local church discuss the direction for ministry on our college campuses. The PCM Advisory is always held Sunday afternoon after the Winter Retreat at Camp Au Sable.
The agenda included evangelism funding, pastors hosting meals for students, collegiate Sabbaths, communication between campuses, and creating a joint meeting with the President’s Council and the CAMPUS governing board.
The students were excited about the possibility of both current student leaders and incoming student leaders meeting in Lansing the first weekend in May. This weekend would service as a time to study the Bible together and help in the transition of the new leadership. On the first Sunday of May, these leaders will then meet with the governing board. However, we will adapt the face-to-face meeting since almost all of our students are not back home due to their campuses being closed for the remaining of the semester.
In order to build relationships with the local pastors and the students, Pastor Ramos proposed a small budget to give to pastors for a meal once a semester to have the students in their home. This was passed and will begin the following school year (2020-2021). Also, to connect the universities and the local pastors, a WhatsApp group was created to share events that are open to students from other campuses.
Each semester a collegiate Sabbath is held at a university. However, planning ahead for the collegiate Sabbath has often been difficult. Therefore, we proposed that we set regular weekends. Students suggested dates and locations for next year. The fall collegiate Sabbath is slated for the third weekend in September at Grand Valley State University. This campus has begun a small group Bible study and hope to have a registered student organization by the fall. The collegiate sabbath will be at the end of a public evangelism to be held on campus.
In Proverbs we are reminded that “a man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” We do not know what the future holds for public campus ministry. The COVI-19 has ended public ministry on campuses for reasons of safety. We have set these plans and will continue to minister to where God opens the door. Please continue to pray for the students who are finding platforms to minister in other ways as they are separated from those interested in Bible study.