Blessings from the breathtakingly beautiful Lynchburg College! It is a glorious day and the campus is abuzz with the Class of 2021 (yes, 2021) who are here for a scholarship competition. Next week we will host two more competitions. One of my responsibilities as an employee in spiritual life is to interview scholarship candidates for the Julius Siglar Competition. These students come with excellent service and leadership experience with the hopes of snagging one of the coveted awards. It is a fun time on campus.

At the same time seniors are making decisions about their next step. GRE/MCAT tests, grad school application deadlines, finding jobs…. all added to academic schedules. Exams begin December 12th and while that seems far away; it is not. It is a stressful time on campus.

This week I had the pleasure of meeting one on one with student leaders. These are intentional structured discipleship/mentoring times with the leaders of LCF (bible study community) and InFaith Community (worship community). What a joy it is to develop these leaders. My heart breaks for their challenges and swells for their determination to let God have God’s way in their lives. One of our leaders is involved in planting a church. Church planting is not for the faint of heart. Another is applying to grad school. In her field grad schools are highly selective. Still another works two jobs, attends LC fulltime and runs her family’s household. A 20-year-old pays her family’s bills.

The LBA financial investment in the students at Lynchburg College matters. For every one of the students I mentioned above there are ten others with different stories. Having a trained minister on campus matters. Someone who dares to ask hard questions matters. One of the students whose appointment was today said, “you are just bringing it all out of me today.” Absolutely, that’s the role of a discipler, mentor, coach, equipper, empowerer… a fellow Christ follower. BTW: I had just dared him to be open to walking away from the church plant he’d invested the past eight months in should God asks that of him. He’s been wrestling with whether or not the plant is still God’s plan.

Thank you for the gift of traveling with these students as they wrestle with life and its challenges. Know that campus ministry is both fun and stressful. Know that your prayers for them and for me matter.

Happy Season of Thanksgiving,