Two Wednesday evenings a year, when the Campus Church service concludes with “amen,” a flurry of recruitment begins up and down the halls of the Crowne Centre.
During the Christian Service Expo, college students with a desire to serve explore over 70 opportunities to be involved in Christian Service ministry. As students file past display booths, Christian Service leaders eagerly engage with their fellow students to help determine which ministry best suits them.
Emily Roberts (Jr., MI), leader of the Covenant Hospice Choir, shares her heart and passion by explaining how she first became interested in a hospice ministry. “My heart for this ministry was born out of the pain at losing my mother last year,” she said. “I remembered all she went through in hospice. I had been praying for an opportunity to become involved in hospice, and that year I saw their booth for the first time.”
Interest in Christian Service is increasing by the year, according to Matt Smith, PCC’s Christian Service Coordinator. “In the past three years, we have seen some 15 new ministries formed,” he said.
Past years have seen such increased interest that one service, Drivers for the Gospel, is dedicated specifically to helping transport excess volunteers to and from their Christian Service.
While many Christian Service opportunities focus on Bible clubs and children’s ministries, groups that minister to teens and adults are increasingly finding volunteers eager to join. “While some 30 of our groups are Bible clubs, the majority of our groups include individual ministries such as door-to-door ministries, Juvenile Justice Centers (boys and girls), Boys Base, nursing and retirement homes, and Deaf outreach,” Smith explained.
During the Christian Service Expo, booths such as Covenant Hospice Choir and the Juvenile Justice Center (JJC) did indeed see a steady stream of interested students. As each new prospect approached a booth, the service leaders were tasked with generating enough additional interest that students would be motivated not only to sign up, but also to show up when the time comes.
Heidi Eldridge (Jr., WA), who leads the women’s JJC outreach, explained her passion to show up each week and lead her fellow students. “I was initially attracted to it because I had a desire to work with these girls who [don’t know] of Christ’s love for them,” she said. “I want to show a ministry that when people are dedicated to it, God blesses them more than anything else.”
Heidi continued, “For anyone who may be nervous about joining, I would say do it. Sometimes the things that God would have us do may look scary on the outside, but as soon as we walk through that door, He shows us that He is more than able to equip us to complete the work He has meant for us to do.”