Setting an Example (1 Timothy 4:12)

One of the greatest joys of being in Dunedin has been the opportunity to befriend and build into the student leaders that represent Student Life. Their love for God and commitment to ministry is inspiring. We have been blessed to be part of their lives.

In recent weeks we have had the joy of pairing up with the students during Student Life’s “Hour of Faith” to share the Gospel on campus. It is so encouraging to see the students so capably witnessing to their peers on this half of the globe while our own students are doing the same thing back home. Just two days ago, one of the student leaders paired up with a first year student that she is discipling and they shared the Gospel with a woman in the student center who prayed to receive Christ as her Lord and Savior. What an exciting display of God’s goodness and of the process of spiritual multiplication!

Many of these same students have been joining us in the evenings for extra training sessions so that they can learn to create experiential programs of their own to engage students in Biblical application. Jasmine is one of the students who has taken these ideas and run with them. On Tuesday she called me up after her Action Group, giddy with excitement over the activity she had created for her girls to better understand the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice. She has been thrilled about the response from the women in her group—they are eager to attend and more invested in the topics—and Jasmine herself is more passionate about leading.

Jim Rayburn, founder of Young Life, wrote: “We believe it is sinful to bore kids with the Gospel. Christ is the strongest, grandest, most attractive personality to ever grace the earth. But a careless messenger with the wrong method can reduce all this magnificence to the level of boredom… It is a crime to bore anyone with the Gospel.”

It has been a delight to watch these students move from delivering a message, to creating opportunities to practice The Message. Jasmine didn’t bore her peers with a lesson on sin. She had them actually write down their sins and tape them to a heavy water bottle that they had to “bear” above their heads while they read about Jesus’ grace and redemptive work on the cross. Then the women took the sins they had written down and tacked them onto Jasmine’s bulletin board that she had covered in white paper. The women prayed in repentance and then took off their sins, tore them up, and threw them away. Finally, Jasmine took off the white paper covering to reveal a picture of Jesus, now filled with piercings from the ladies’ tacked-up sins. The discussion that followed was much more somber and significant and gratitude-filled than any Jasmine had experienced in the past. Jesus’ salvation and forgiveness are nothing to yawn over—they are deeply moving, compelling us to live lives worthy of the Gospel.

The same day of Jasmine’s Action Group, our Dunedin staff women invited us to teach the content for the weekly student leaders’ meeting. The topic was “Consecration.” To teach the concept of being set apart for holiness and service to God, we brought in a pile of scrub brushes and my toothbrush. The women all laughed when I pulled out my neatly capped toothbrush, and they were quick to point out the differences between it and the other brushes—not just in how it looked, but also in it’s purpose, and in how differently it was treated. The message was clear—God has set them apart to glorify Him alone. These student leaders are doing just that. They truly are living as a light on campus.

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