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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Saving our own kids

From NCN News Facebook Photo page.

This map shows an interesting statistic.  In 2009, Global Ministry Center asked the following question:  Quickly: This info was taken from the local church perspective. Of your students in college, how many are in Nazarene schools? Non-Nazarene?
While it is not surprising that the districts with the highest percentage of Nazarene students attending Nazarene schools is the host district, it is surprising how low the overall percentage is.

This graphic helps me see the great mission field right before us.  Most Nazarene teens in local churches do not go to Nazarene schools.  Two thoughts come to mind.  1)  We must do better at encouraging our students to be discipled at a Nazarene school.  2)  What are happening to the over 70% on average that are not attending regional universities.  What an amazing opportunity.  

What's more amazing to me is that the Church of the Nazarene has less a ministry presence on less than 25 campuses.  The United Methodist Church has nearly 600.  And, if you take away local churches (i.e. Sunday School Classes, etc.), our number goes down and the number of UM ministries rises.

While many who see the above graphic are saddened by the number not attending Nazarene schools, I am burdened by the responsibility and opportunity to reach these "other" students.  

And that is why we are here at Boise State, and why others are on the mission field at other universities.  More thoughts on this will be coming later...but until then, I close with this thought from Benson Hines:
"If we reach college students well for the next 5 years, and then stopped, we would effect the culture for the next fifty years."  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ask and I'll give the nations to you.

Today was missions Sunday at our home church.  We have a favorite song that we sing, called "You Said" by Reuben Morgan.  It's based off of Psalms 2:8.  Here are the lyrics.

You said, "ask and you will receive whatever you need."
You said, "pray and I'll hear from heaven,
and I'll heal your land."

You said Your glory will fill the earth
like water the sea.
You said, "lift up your eyes;
the harvest is here, the kingdom is near."

You said, "ask and I'll give the nations to you."
oh Lord, that's the cry of my heart.
distant shores and the islands will see

O Lord, we ask for the nations
O Lord, we ask for the nations
O Lord, we are asking for the nations

You can hear a version by Hillsong here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvuoCrDfru4

During the song, I found myself thinking that this is my heart for Boise State.  Around here, Boise State is sometimes referred to as Bronco Nation.  During the last section of the song, I found myself singing, "O Lord, we ask for the Bronco Nation."  I'm praying that God will provide for us and this ministry, that God will heal the land of this institution.  I'm praying for the distant shores and islands in people's hearts to see.  I'm praying that God's glory will be known here. God is saying to me and Tami, "Lift up your eyes, the harvest is here at Boise State.  The Kingdom is near at Boise State."  And I came away renewed in passion for a people and place that desperately needs to know Jesus.