Not Only The Gospel…
A text arrived from a distraught mother – “My biggest issue with no car is I have no way to get groceries or no way to get Ashley to counseling or to work on time. I’m sorry just so stressful.”
Another text arrives from a local school administrator, “Might you have a lead on a bike that could be donated to one of our kids? A freshman boy who is in need to help get him to school.”
Literally an hour ago I met with a young lady and our intern Amber in my office, she had just been discharged from a local psychiatric hospital. She carved the words, “Worthless Freak” into her arm – feeling helpless and hopeless her parents had her hospitalized.
Since I began working in campus ministry in 1998 – my wife and I have clung to words that the Apostle Paul penned in 1 Thessalonians 2:8, “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God but our lives as well.” While the Gospel of course is our mission – it’s hard to embrace it if you’re hungry, or you can’t get where you need to go, or your self-esteem is so low you’re considering ending your life.
As I read through the Bible I’m drawn to Jesus passion for the least and the lost. In Matthew 25:36-36 He states, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me…‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
Over the years the ministry has given me many privileges and opportunities but none as great as having front row seats to see Jesus provide and heal the least and the lost. I simply listen for needs – share the story and watch God’s people spring to action.
I brought these requests to some of our ministry’s supporters. “Here are some needs in our community.”
Fast forward a few days later.
On Friday night, thanks to the gifts from some generous brothers and sisters in Christ, I had the privilege of purchasing a minivan in great condition for a desperate family. Sunday morning I got to deliver it to a widow and her children – they followed me to church and thanked God for His faithfulness! Tomorrow I get to pick up a bike and deliver it to the local high school so an underprivileged freshman can get to school. Tonight, Amber and I got to pray with this young lady and affirm that she was made in God’s image and that He has a grand plan for her life.
What a blessing to be in ministry over the years and have a front row seat to see Jesus provide…over and over again. Groceries, utility bills, dental work, car repairs, school supplies, tutoring, camp scholarships and more.
Who can you call when crisis occurs or when tragedy strikes in your ministry?
What can you do out of your own wallets to meet people’s physical needs?
What doors have you seen opened to meet people’s spiritual needs when you met their physical needs?
Who are you sharing “your lives” with, just like Paul wrote in I Thessalonians 2:8?
is a 20-year youth ministry veteran who has worked full time for Campus Life for the last 14 years. He serves on two campuses weekly and runs several campus ministries both on and off campus in partnerships with local churches. Rob has been interviewed several times in Jonathan's podcasts on TheSource4YM.com and Jonathan drew from his expertise throughout his book, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation. Rob serves on the national Campus Life team at Youth for Christ USA.