BCM director helps students transition into adult life
NASHVILLE, Tenn., 1/13/2011 — Baptist Collegiate Ministries can offer students a place to transition from student Christian to adult Christian.
BCM Director JoAnn Scaife knows guiding young adults into the world of adult ministry sometimes means taking them out of their comfort zones and letting them see a world different from their own.
Scaife took four BCMers from her campuses - Tennessee State and Fisk universities in Nashville, Tenn., to New York City to experience missions in the big city last October. They ministered and worshipped on the campus of New York University and in Graffiti Community Ministries.
It was a first mission trip for TSU junior Juels Evans, a communications major from Illinois.
"It was amazing," he said. "I had the opportunity not only to meet Christian students from other campuses, but also to experience worship at Graffiti Church with Pastor Taylor Fields."
CURES Mission Lab
The trip (click here to see a video) was part of a mission action of CURES (Committee for Underreached Ethnic Students), a mission lab experience coordinated by the collegiate ministry area of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
"The CURES Mission Lab was designed to equip college students to mobilize them to intentionally reach their campuses," said Linda Osborne, LifeWay's director of young adult ministry, adding that mobilizing ethnic Christian students on college campuses is crucial for reflecting and fulfilling the Great Commission.
"For several of these students, this was their first mission trip experience," Scaife said, adding that black churches tend to be less likely to do mission trips away from their own areas. "Getting the students away from the distractions of school, jobs and all the things that go with being a student allowed them to really open up to letting God use them."
Scaife, an African-American woman herself, is committed to providing ministry and enrichment opportunities for her own students, as well as African-American students around the country.
Living Single in Faith
Besides serving as BCM director on the two Nashville campuses, Scaife is the founder of Living Single in Faith, a conference that meets during Easter weekend at LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center, and its accompanying website. While the event is designed for urban/African-American students, Scaife insists that singles of all ethnicities are welcome.
"Living Single in Faith is a Friday evening through Sunday lunch event that celebrates the gift of living a single life with purity and faith," Scaife explained. "We bring in speakers who have the life experience that the young adults can respect. The speakers spend time talking with the attendees, not only in the conference time, but also in casual times. They [the students and young adults] can ask them anything and the speakers are straight with them."
Scaife admits she is shameless when it comes to ministry with her students and for singles in general.
"I know how important it is for my students to understand they can go against what culture and society says about sexual purity and the strength of a firm faith in Christ," she said. "I will do anything I can to get them involved in activities and relationships that are strong and healthy."
John Moore, LifeWay's director of collegiate ministry, agreed that providing college students and young adults with positive role models is important.
"Too many students come from hard backgrounds," he said. "They may not have had the blessing of a stable family life or a supportive church family. The Baptist Collegiate Ministries on our campuses can offer opportunities to interact with Christ-centered healthy churches, individuals and families.
"Joann is a good example of our wonderful BCM leaders across the country who are doing great jobs in getting our students prepared for life as strong, committed Christians."