More than 40 students from First Baptist Church Zachary Louisiana, have embraced God’s call to be missionaries in their schools, and subsequently have begun to see a spiritual harvest from their collective outreach efforts, Andrew Forque told the Baptist Message.
“We tell students their mission field is their school, but we never have commissioned them to be missionaries there,” said Forque, who is the church’s minister to students. “When we commissioned them, there was an excitement with them being a missionary to their lost friends at school.”
Since the new school year started in August, students have been commissioned by the church to go into their schools and share the gospel with their friends who do not know Christ. Since then, dozens of classmates have visited the church, including one teen who accepted Jesus and was baptized.
During the school year, the church’s Life Group members will team up with the student missionaries to coach and encourage them as they continue to shine the light of Christ.
Something bigger in the works
The church is part of a larger effort among Louisiana Baptist churches to implement the student missionary evangelism strategy.
The effort, launched in early August, is a guided, school-year-long training program for students to learn how to be intentional about being an evangelist on campus.
Sixth to 12th graders are commissioned by their respective churches to reach their classmates for Christ. Then each student is matched with a coach who will help him or her to grow in Christ and develop the skills needed to share Jesus with their classmates. Additionally, the student will have at least four prayer partners who will adjust their intercessions according to monthly updates from the student.
“Seeing students get excited about sharing the gospel is what student ministers long for,” Forque said. “The Great Commission wasn’t just given to adults but young people as well. They are not just the church of tomorrow but the church now, and they are being raised up to be gospel-centered.”
Additionally, FBCZ has seen students grow a deeper faith through “family groups” that meet every week at the church. Students who are called to ministry are assigned a small groups and discipled throughout the year.
Forque said this allows students to get hands-on training to lead others. Eventually some of those participants will lead another group.
“Many people aren’t asked what you learned at church tonight,” he said. “This gives students the opportunity to break down in small groups and what you thought about this. It’s not just sitting and listening but conversing about what they learned.”
Meri Hobbs Wren, a junior and daughter of the church’s pastor Eddie Wren, led a classmate, Kinley, to Christ after committing to being a student missionary. Pastor Wren baptized Kinley Nov. 5.
Though she moved to Zachary in the spring, Wren said God gave her the courage to ask those like Kinley if they have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
“God gave me the wonderful opportunity to grow close with her by putting her aunt and her in my life, to take Kinley home every day and grow close with her,” said Wren, also a family group leader. “Then Andrew started family groups, and it helped me grow close with a whole group of younger girls who I could grow close to and minister to. They have taught me so, so much.
“They taught me how to love, they taught me a lot of vulnerability. they taught me that not everyone is fortunate to be born into a Christian family,” she continued. “Family groups and the student ministry here at FBCZ has been the biggest blessing to me. It’s helped me realize that I have a call of ministry on my life. God has been so good to me with providing me with everything that He has.”