April 4, 2019
The East Texas Baptist University Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) sent students to serve as small group leaders at Disciple-Now (D-Now) weekend events in churches across Texas and Louisiana this spring. Throughout the year, the ETBU BSM D-Now Ministry focuses on preparing students to share the Gospel of Christ.
“The D-Now ministry of the BSM unites two of my favorite things: giving our students opportunities to use their gifts and blessing our local churches,” ETBU BSM Director David Griffin commented. “The D-Now Ministry works to gather and send out some of our strongest student leaders to invest in the lives of local youth and represent the University.”
D-Now weekend events provide an opportunity for churches to minister to youth in the community by hosting a retreat-style weekend full of Bible study, small group sessions, corporate worship, and interactive games. Serving at multiple D-Now events throughout the spring semester, ETBU students learn to lead with humility and endurance.
“I have served at three D-Now weekends so far, the most recent event being life-changing for both me and the students,” ETBU junior Wendy Torres shared. “The curriculum and atmosphere allowed students to experience real moments with God, themselves, and their peers. It is always such a blessing to watch. As a spiritual leader, the greatest responsibility for me is sharing the message as best as I can that students may grow closer to Christ. I recommend that all ETBU students participate in D-Now weekends. You learn to be selfless, run with full enthusiasm, and reach new people.”
As a leader in the ETBU BSM D-Now Ministry, senior Child Development major Ashleigh Taylor assists Griffin in training and recruiting other University students to serve at D-Now weekends. For Taylor, the ministry has helped equip her to disciple others.
“The University emphasizes the importance of discipleship by providing opportunities to serve through efforts like the D-Now Ministry,” Taylor said. “I meet weekly with David to talk about the ministry, what is happening in my life, and pray. At ETBU, I am constantly encouraged and equipped to mentor others. I have seen D-Now weekends change the lives of ETBU student leaders and youth. I love how the people of the churches we visit welcome and care about us. These weekends teach us about the Church and allow us to experience unity.”
Eighteen ETBU students served at TheRise, a collaborative conference that brought together more than 30 East Texas churches. At the event, more than 300 youth committed their lives to Christ, 50 surrendered their life to ministry, and many rededicated their lives to Jesus. TheRise featured keynote speaker C.L. “Shep” Shepherd, worship led by Stone Meyer, and a concert by Social Club Misfits.
“The ETBU students that helped are standout leaders, who I trust tremendously to lead and guide discussion and take the time to invest in teens throughout the year,” TheRise Executive Director and First Baptist Church-Longview Youth Pastor Cameron Reynolds said. “This event also led to ongoing, year-long discipleship with ETBU students and FBCL students. These events are transforming an entire community, and ETBU students, who serve are a key part of this movement.”
For churches in need of small group leaders, worship leaders, recreational staff, or event speakers, visit www.etbu.edu/dnowsupport.