Georgia college students commissioned for summer service


FORSYTH, Ga. — Last Saturday, April 20, some 250 Georgia college student leaders gathered at Maynard Baptist Church in Forsyth for Equip, a day of equipping leaders to be on mission on their campus, in their community and around the world.

The event, organized by the Georgia Baptist Collegiate Ministry, focuses on preparing students for the upcoming season of their life including summer ministry and job opportunities, the role they will have on campus next year, and for a lifetime of service.

Beverly Skinner, the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s college ministry catalyst, said, “We take leadership development seriously in Georgia BCM. We invest a lot of time and resources in helping students understand and step into God’s calling in their lives. Equip is a great opportunity to pull together leaders from all of our campuses and invest in them collectively. The day is an important piece of a much larger work happening every day in BCMs across Georgia.”

Maynard’s student pastor Gabe Thomas and volunteers from the church welcomed the students and their parents. Between worship and teaching sessions, students engaged in outdoor sports and games, fellowshipped with each other, and enjoyed lunch.

In the first two sessions, Paul Gotthardt, pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., told students that Christ must be the center of their lives. “Everything God desires to do in and through your life,” he emphasized, “He will accomplish out of the overflow of your relationship with Him.”

Maintaining and focusing that relationship is the key to successful ministry. “Your first calling is not to ministry,” Gotthardt said, “Your first calling is to intimacy with God.” Ministry, he continued, will flow out of that intimacy.

Every student received a set of four books from the This is the Gospel series on discipleship that Gotthardt has published to help them go even deeper into the topic and begin to implement the principles in their lives.

Outgoing state BCM president Brooke Childs was recognized for her service, and incoming president Daniel Holland was introduced.

After lunch, the students were joined by their parents for the Georgia BCM annual commissioning service for Send Me Now missionaries, camp staffers, church interns, and BCM leaders.

Pastor Stephen Byrd of Central Baptist Church recounted to the attendees his and his wife’s experience as college students serving on missions before praying over the students.