The mission of BSM Montgomery is to, "Walk with students as they take their first steps or next step of their faith journey."
Last May I diligently planned a "Big Sketch" of what the of the upcoming 2019-2020 ministry year would look like. A rough sketch from Free Lunch topics, to leaders meetings dates, a Monthly Bible Reading Challenge, a small group focusing on the Christian Classic: The Celebration of Discipline, and the dates of our student planned events on campus.
While my plans were well meaning, as the fall semester drew closer I realized that I might have been over zealous in my planning and under appreciative of the time it would require of me to prepare for each event as a part-time missionary on campus. I evaluated what would allow us to achieve our "mission" and what of the ideas were "extra" yet & very do able - if I was full time.
Obviously, Free Lunch is necessary as the front door to the ministry, which allows many students the opportunity to take the first steps along their faith journey: investigating spiritual things, asking questions, and relationship with those who know Jesus.
Through the "winnowing" process my desire and prayer was that God would use BSM to "host" ministry on campus that would draw students into the "next step on their faith journey." As I prayed what shape the "next step" would take, I kept being drawn back to "just let them meditate on scripture." Since early 2019 I've been growing in my own experience of Christian mediation and if there's one thing I want students to know how to do when they move onto their next chapter it is to be able to spend time in scripture and listen to God. So, this semester BSM will host a BYOLunch Meeting God in Scripture (based on a book by the same name by my new favorite author Jan Johnson) on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month. NO FREE FOOD will be offered at these meetings in order to attract students serious about taking the "next step" along their journey together.
At our first meeting today, I introduced our journey of Christian meditation together by having the 10 students present listen to most of a 30 min podcast with Jan Johnson where she is interviewed, gives a brief overview, and then leads listeners through a guided mediation of a portion of Luke. GUEST WHAT? The students were blown away! They LOVED how easy it is to listen to scripture and hear from God. Several students expressed how amazing it was that we all listened to the same passage, yet God met each of us where we were individually and spoke directly and differently to each involved. All expressed and eagerness for our next time meditating together.
PRAY that students would not only learn the basics of meditation and be able to do so throughout their life, but also truly hear from God and be challenged to "take the next step on their faith journey."
What an honor it is to have a front row seat to all that God does in the lives of local college students. What a fantastic year! Thank you to all our volunteers and our local church partners. Looking forward to 2019-2020!
Why am I "reflecting" @ the BEGINNING of the FALL? Well, after the past week I'm curious what God might be up to as we begin our fifth semester @ Lonestar Montgomery. As of today:
1) BSM had an amazing Kickoff that allowed us to connect with 300-400 students.
2) Over 10% of the students we met @ our Kickoff chose to sign up for our weekly reminders & express interest in begin part of BSM weekly.
3) We have wonderful local local friends & churches who partner with us to make our special events & weekly lunches possible.
4) We have an incredible relationship with LSCM Student Life.
5) We have some GREAT student leaders (leading an Explore God Group) this semester!
6) We have wonderful volunteers - both on & off campus who make BSM possible.
7) UGGG! We were assigned our second choice for a room this semester. Here's that story & maybe why...
The past 3 semesters we've been in Building G. This past April, I requested a classroom in Building G again for this Fall. Building G is the "General" building on campus with a lot of foot traffic & a majority of the typical "freshman" courses. On Monday, I was told that all the classroom space (which hold up to 40 students) was completely full this Fall during our FREE LUNCH & that we've been assigned to Building B, Room 102. So I spent some of Monday evening complaining to my husband about Building B. Two years ago, our first semester @ LSCM, we used B-102. Not a bad room as Building B (the sciences building) it runs along the major sidewalk on campus. So it's not a terrible spot on campus to be. Actually it's easier to access than the 2nd floor classrooms in G we used last 3 semesters. Oh, did I mention that B-102 is a theater, which holds 75-80 students?!
During our Kickoff Event Tuesday, I found myself hoping that all 300-400 students did NOT come back next week for FREE LUNCH - we won't have room (especially in a classroom) nor enough food... that's when it hit me that we would be in B-102. Maybe God knew what he was doing after all... praying we pack B-102!
HE's in charge & I'm just along for the ride. Thank you for your continued prayers & support.
It's the time of the year for an update on BSM! We're in a good place and it's all a God thing! Here's why: BSM Montgomery is a ministry of volunteers & we are blessed to have AMAZING VOLUNTEERS! I received the following text from my friend who attends our lunch regularly to help build friendships in what can be a very fast event. It's nice to have help making personal connection so students don't slip through the cracks.
"(Free Lunch) felt so different today! I saw lots of community forming! Loved having (a student) give announcements and the Valentine prep created a fun energy! Glad I got to talk to the two new girls before lunch and SO THANKFUL to meet "Holly,"* who only came because she saw our sign on campus about FREE LUNCH and now she has exposure to the gospel for the first time! I'm already praying for her."
What she experienced is the result of what I can only be a direct answer to your prayer. If you pray regularly for BSM Montgomery, YOU are a powerful and vital part of what happens on campus. Your prayers are bringing fruit:
*names have been changed
As BSM Montgomery approaches our FIRST BIRTHDAY (March 7th) we are reflecting on how far we've come in our first year. We are a toddler - we have our feet under us, we are beginning to walk, but we have a lot of work to do before we can run! So far:
The reality is that this is only possible because of the fantastic BSM Volunteers. The details of weekly lunches are not possible without Krystal. The financial oversight & accountability of the ministry budget happens only because of Jennie. Ryan adds a layer or partnership as a volunteer Associate Director that allows more feet on the ground as well as his expertise and love for students.
Tamara is our big picture person. Her experience with college students (since 1996), her education, and her gifting allows her to know what needs to happen for the BSM to move forward. She
Tamara also raises her own salary as a Texas Baptist Missionary in order to minister @ BSM Montgomery. Tamara's currently at 65% of her salary for 2017-2018 school year. Which means she needs to raise another $750.00 per month before she is fully funded. PRAY for Tamara as she enters a season of personal fund raising - seeking a fully funded salary. Consider becoming one of her personal monthly supporters today? If you have questions regarding partnership, Tamara would be happy to sit down with you for a conversation - email her to set up an appointment.
is a Texas Baptist Missionary, raising 100% of her salary to serve on the college campuses in Montgomery County, Texas. She holds a Master of Divinity & has been in college ministry since 1996.