must have forgotten to listen to all that common sense.
For twelve years, Rhonda has served First Baptist Church of Blowing Rock, NC, first as a part-time youth minister, then a full time youth minister, then as youth minister with added responsibilities with children and the Child Development Center.
She has her undergraduate degree from Montreat College with a concentration in youth ministries.
With that education and with her
load of responsibilities, no one could expect her
to add college ministry, especially since the closest college, Appalachian State University
, is in Boone, a 30-45 minute drive from the church.
Still, about eight years ago, Rhonda
felt a conviction to disciple college students.
Starting with eight students, Rhonda
philosophy of ministry.
Now the church averages 40-50 students every Sunday morning.
Though the number of student attendees has quadrupled, Rhonda
insists, "I could care less about the numbers.
I just want long-term, day-after-day Christians.
College students have been taught by society that success is measured by what you can get rather than what you can give.
Where will the church be in 15 years with that kind of leadership coming into it?
God's plan is to reach the world through the local church, but most of us are in small churches, so we can't depend on the mega-churches to do the outreach and discipling.
We in the typical-sized churches are responsible for doing that.
In the twelve years of Rhonda's ministry, five youth from the church and twenty college students have gone into full-time Christian ministry.
begins each school year with an invitation to the ASU students who mark on their records that they want a Baptist affiliated church.
visits the Baptist Student Union
, puts up flyers and takes out an ad in the ASU phone directory.
"But mostly, it's word of mouth," she
Called ATT (for Approaching The Throne), Rhonda
notes, "This is not a substitute for the 11 AM service.
You can hear more from Rhonda Gailes
philosophy of congregationally based college ministry during breakouts at the next CBFNC General Assembly, March 18-19.