Anderson University is taking an important step in preparing the next generation of ministry leaders.
Through Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM), AU BCM GO teams will travel to Southern Baptist congregations across the Upstate and into North Carolina and Georgia this spring.
Rev. Mayson Easterling, vice president for church engagement at Anderson University, hopes to expand the number of teams going out during the next academic year, with a particular emphasis on reaching more churches throughout the state of South Carolina.
AU BCMGO kicked off a semester of serving several congregations by leading in the morning service of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Williamston, whose pastor is Larry Baldwin, an Anderson University alumnus, and also at First Baptist Church of Honea Path.
According to Easterling, each ministry opportunity will be unique. Mostly they will lead Disciple Now events for youth groups, but they will also engage in multigenerational churchwide services. Some trips will be for a day while others will be for an entire weekend.
“Each team has at least one young man who is preparing to preach along with students who lead worship, share their testimonies, lead Bible studies and lead recreation,” he said.
“Basically, the reason we’re doing this is to be the hands and feet of Christ,” said Braden Cordero, an AU BCMGO team leader and a student in the Anderson University College of Christian Studies. “I think it’s just serving and having a servant’s heart of helping the churches as needed, whether that’s doing a Bible study on a Sunday morning with the youth, all the way to preaching on Sunday morning. We’re really there to glorify God.”
Not all students serving on the initial AU BCMGO teams are studying primarily for ministry.
“I think we have maybe two or three Christian Studies majors, but the rest are just marketing, education or nursing—things like that,” said Darcy Smith, student coordinator. For Smith, who is majoring in business and marketing and minoring in digital media, it’s about being obedient to Christ’s command in Matthew 28:19 to go and make disciples.
“Not only does this prepare us for the future; it’s something that the Lord has called us to do now,” Smith said. “As long as we fully understand the gospel and what Jesus did for us, then we’re going to want to anyway, so I think these GO teams give us an opportunity to fulfill those commands the Lord has given us.”
Easterling is excited about the initial 16 students gaining ministry experience this spring as part of the AU BCMGO teams.
“We want to serve the churches and primarily the South Carolina Baptist churches that support Anderson University through the Cooperative Program,” Easterling said. “As our students lead folks to Christ, we also hope that they’ll come in contact with prospective students and friends of the University.”
For details, contact Rev. Easterling at firstname.lastname@example.org.