In my last newsletter, I made the point that the BSU is not a local church, nor a replacement for one. I wanted to continue that thought in this newsletter to explain what the relationship between the BSU and the local church should look like. The BSU exists as an extension of the local church, or to speak with biblical language, as a “member” of the body of Christ that has a different and complementary function. The BSU’s main functioning relationship with the local church is to be a safety net that catches young adults who are entering a time in their life where they are statistically more likely to start falling out of local churches. The BSU catches these young adults, disciples them through teaching, evangelism, fellowship, service, and worship in the BSU, and directs them back into the local church. Our goal is to make disciples who make disciples of Jesus Christ, and disciples of Jesus Christ belong in His instituted local church.
This isn’t to say that the BSU doesn’t have a specific ministry that it provides to college students. The BSU and its Director are actively involved in campus life and culture in ways that no other ministry can be. The BSU relates to college students in ways that no other ministry can. The BSU has countless more open doors to evangelism and discipleship on campus. The BSU is a place where students and staff can ask questions, request topics for study, and be vulnerable in ways that many local churches don’t offer. Importantly, the BSU’s reputation is that of a ministry that is specifically “here for the campus.” A local church serves people across different counties and is involved in various different types of ministries. A BSU is seen as a ministry that is specifically in
place for its campus, and there is real value in that.
The BSU serves its students and campus in unique and specific ways that simply aren’t available to the local church. There are two points to draw from this. The first is that partnership be tween the BSU and the local church is essential and necessary for the benefit of both ministries and for the sake of following the biblical guidelines for believers being a part of a local church. Secondly, without college ministries like the BSU, countless more students would fall out of the local church during their time at college. Our statistics for college students who stop going to church would be much higher without college ministries such as the BSU.
Local church, our relationships is essential and necessary. Let us pray and consider how we might partner for our shared calling of building up the Kingdom of God.
With this in mind, we are now heading into the beginning of the fall semester. There are many ways that local churches can partner with us. Our Back to School BBQ, Wednesday Lunch, Pie Day, and bible study nights are scheduled, and the only way I plan to change these things is to add some improvements, such as offering free coffee during Wednesday Lunch, handing out goodie bags with local church information during the Back to School BBQ, and more. I will continue to meet with churches and seek more ways for us to partner. One thing I would ask of you is to send me weekend projects that your church needs done. Manual labor jobs, evangelistic ministry events, and anything you need volunteers for, reach out to me and I’ll start scheduling times for the BSU to come your way. Lastly, I want to reiterate that my door, phone, and email are always open. Send me your opinions, ideas, suggestions, and partnership opportunities.
There are many important and valuable collegiate events coming up that our BSU students will have to pay for. If you are interested in providing financial help to BSU students to attend these events, mission trips, and more, reach out to me email@example.com
Many local churches are hesitant or skeptical about Christian groups that meet together each week that aren’t necessarily attached to a church. The Baptist Student Union is one such group, a Christian group that isn’t necessarily attached to a local church, and as such, it’s important for the BSU to speak on the matter.
The Baptist Student Union is not a local church and it’s not a replacement for the local church. BSU students are encouraged to attend a local church.
The BSU is comprised of believers who make up the Body of Christ, and we often refer to this Body as the Church, but Scripture has clearly defined the institution of the local church. Those definitions are exposited in the Baptist Faith & Message 2000. Skimming over article “VI. The Church” would have
some believe that a good and faithful BSU could be a church. The BSU is a local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, and notably seeking to
spread that gospel to the ends of the earth. The BSU also has a Director who operates in nearly all of the same ways as a pastor does.
Though the BSU could be considered a local church if one was willing to stretch the governing laws, definitions, and requirements associated with the local church, there are some obvious problems with
doing so. The first is the simple fact that the “congregation” members in the BSU are expected to leave within 1-4 years depending on the college. The second is that the BSU is not a place where “all of the
redeemed of all the ages…” are expected to meet, the BSU is only for college students. Is there biblical support for a church that only focuses on one specific people group for just a few years? Nope.
There are more serious problems that could be discussed, but these simple objections are enough to convince us that the BSU cannot be considered a local church. So, what is it then?
The BSU is an extension of the local church. As an extension of the church, the BSU should model the church in any areas that it can. Many recognize that there are five functions of the local church; Teaching, Evangelism, Worship, Service, and Fellowship. These functions encompass how a church serves its Lord and its congregation. They also encompass the lifestyle expectations that all Christians are given from Scripture. It is my belief and vision that the Crowder College BSU should model all 5 of these
functions, while acknowledging our status as an extension of the institution of local churches.
Copied from our website, here are five overarching ways that the BSU will model these functions.
Teaching – The BSU is a welcoming place where believers learn and are equipped from the Inspired Word of God.
Evangelism – Students experience the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ at the BSU, and are equipped to share that experience.
Worship – The BSU worships the Lord during every activity, and also has dedicated musical worships
nights and events.
Service – The BSU serves its Jerusalem, Judea/Samaria, and the World through local and international missions and projects.
Fellowship – The BSU is place to find community, build relationships, and simply have fun and hangout!
For more on the beliefs and mindset behind the BSU, visit crowderbsu.com, the website has been heavily updated. To the local churches, always feel free to reach out with suggestions, concerns, encouragement, or partnership opportunities.
- Austin Pfrimmer, BSU Director
Excerpt from the Shoal Creek Baptist Association Broadcaster