When Students Are The Church
People are so fascinating. I am equally as amazed by how different we all are as I am at how we carry similar traits across huge swaths of population and even time. For instance, some people recall memories by bringing to mind specific scenes, actions and facts. If asked about the meeting last week, they think of charts, agendas and minutes. Others, like myself, use a completely different system to catalog and recall memories. This segment of people remembers things through feelings, colors and emotions. I can tell you exactly how I felt watching my family drive away after dropping me off at college on freshman move-in day, but I cannot tell you what I did that day or even what classes I took that year. I process through emotion.
That is why I can say, without a doubt, there is a buzz in the air at UBC. Things feel different – like an electricity is being dialed up within our community. Walking through the church building last week felt much less like walking through the sterility of a hospital and much more like walking into the warmth of a home. Now, please do not misunderstand me. We still take public health very seriously and are doing everything we can to take care of ourselves and one another. Also, we have served as “home” to many throughout the pandemic. However, the energy around things has shifted.
Sunday morning classes are starting back. The smell of coffee fills the halls. The hum of conversation and prayer fills the hallways. Parents chase care-free children as they run down the hallways – too excited to be back with friends and in Sunday Connect classes to remember social norms. (Besides, this is a great time to re-evaluate whatever it is we define as “normal” anyways. Let the children play! :-)
Along with our Sunday Morning classes starting is the fact that schools are getting ready to start, too. From pre-school to university level, these schools are still actively wrestling with how they will come back in the fall. Some are taking a hybrid online and in-person approach. Others are going fully one way or another. Regardless, though, they are coming back, and their return provides the perfect opportunity for us to remind ourselves what role students play at UBC.
In short, at University Baptist Church we believe that Students Are The Church.
Typically, students are referred to as the church of tomorrow. However, Scripture teaches that each of us have a role to play in the Church. Right now. Whether our students are blissfully skipping through childhood, battling through adolescence, navigating the choppy waters of young adulthood, or anything in between, they all have specific gifts and passions given to them by the Creator of every good and perfect thing. The Holy Spirit enables them to function as members of the Body of Christ through these gifts and passions. Today! He has written a song on their souls that no one can sing but them. What a responsibility. What a gift!
Proverbs 29:18a says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” At UBC we have a vision for our young people that comes straight from Scripture. It is that God will work not only in them but through them. We are committed to being a church who sees the value of youth to the causes of God.
As we return to more rhythmic student lessons at UBC (we have adjusted A LOT over the last year), the feeling is one of joy, determination and hope. I think a good term for it is “Holy Expectation.” It is an expectation that God will do exactly what He says He will do. Namely, that He will pour Himself out on those who hunger and thirst for Him. These students are learning to live that out daily. We covet your prayers for them.
Lastly, if you prayerfully feel led to lean in through more intentional prayer, regular discipleship, financial support or a myriad of other ways the Lord may lay on your heart, please do not hesitate to reach out to me! We love developing leaders to lean in and see how God is using the students of this church to impact the Kingdom in amazing ways. - Jason Simon, Minister to Students