Twenty-two student leaders launched 14 Bible studies at the University of South Carolina after some serious recruiting during our fall launch. We wish we could say that every time we launched something on campus or in the dorms, it would be a rousing success. The reality, however, is that some efforts work and some don’t. Of the 14 Bible studies that our student leaders launched, three struggle each week just to survive.
When it comes to advancing the Gospel on campus, sometimes the most important thing we can do is just show up. Other times, the most important thing is not to give up! What’s so encouraging about the situation here in Columbia is that I don’t have to remind the student leaders to persevere; they are persevering!
Recently, I suggested to a couple of our leaders that they might want to consider moving their focus away from a particular dorm where we weren’t seeing a lot of response. Both leaders responded, “God has laid this dorm on our hearts and we’re not giving up! We want to continue praying, believing, and go for it.”
How can you argue with that?
God is rewarding the perseverance of these leaders with creativity. They’ve taken pizza into the dorms. They’ve tried football party outreaches. They’ve taken spiritual surveys. God is helping them make inroads. And doors are beginning to open.
These two leaders called me recently with incredible excitement in their voices. They had been in several dorm rooms and engaged in the lives of the young men living there after taking a couple of pizzas to them. Their perseverance was paying off.
We love to see and report on the times when God blesses our efforts with wild success. The thing is, it doesn’t happen all the time. But we are even more encouraged by persevering hearts we see among our campus leaders—hearts that grab hold of the promises of God, pray them, and believe them. Please pray for the leaders of the other two struggling Bible studies and ask that that they, too, would remain steadfast and not give up.
Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good (Ecclesiastes 11:6, NASB).
Joel and Kelly Helms served with The Navigators at the University of South Carolina from 2009 to 2014.