KANSAS CITY – “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” With over 15,000 students on the liberal, urban campus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), the harvest is too plentiful for any one church or ministry to reach. That’s why from March 9-13, two college ministries, a local church, and the Collegiate Impact network partnered together on an MB Collegiate Spring Break Trip to bring more laborers to UMKC.
Eight students from the BSU at Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) and two students from Adolos at Missouri State University (MSU) spent their spring break “tilling the field” for Wornall Road Baptist, a nearby church that plans to establish a ministry presence at UMKC. Wornall Road also housed the two groups at their building.
While some student missionaries conducted spiritual surveys around campus, others engaged students in spiritual discussions through “Question of the Day” tables. As they made connections, they invited students to a free dinner and Public Faith Forum.
SEMO Campus Missionary Reese Hammond says he and his group had over 120 gospel conversations. “We had very few negative encounters,” he says, “most students were really open to talking about spiritual matters and the gospel.” His group also helped connect several Christian students who were looking for a solid church and min-istry.
Addison Groves and Levi Springfield, both MSU students, encountered more students who didn’t want to talk. However, one conversation left a profound impact on Groves. The question of the day, “In one word describe church”, prompted a lengthy conversation with an older woman. She shared her powerful testimony, encouraged their ministry efforts, and prayed over the ministry at UMKC. Groves says, “she was an inspiration to me because of the passion she has for the Lord, and I would love to have a passion like that for the Lord one day.”
Wornall Road provided free food for the Faith Forum in one of the residential halls on Tuesday, March 12th. Mike Dixon, a Midwestern Baptist Seminary student who serves as a Timothy Track intern at Wornall Road, led a discussion on faith. Three UMKC students stuck around to continue conversing about faith after the event.
Part of the intent of the trip was to equip the student missionaries to be better missionaries on their own campuses. Travis Hamm, Director of Collegiate Impact and an MBC Collegiate Ministry Strategist, led training sessions and daily debriefs to help them process their experiences. For the leaders of both ministries, this equipping opportunity is one major reason they encouraged their students to go on the trip. “I wanted them to get experience sharing the gospel so we could be better trained to do so back at SEMO,” says Hammond. “Being stretched by difficult questions from some of the students we met was really good for our students in how they learned to form their apologetic for their Christian faith,” he continues.
Chris Wilson, MSU Campus Missionary and an MBC Collegiate Strategist, wanted his students to “gain experience on what it would look like to start a ministry on another campus.” He hoped that his students would see “that campus ministry is a legitimate option after college and feeds into our Apprenticeship program for the state.”
As a result of the trip, Wilson established relationships with the inclusion and diversity staff and is continuing to converse with them through email. The student missionaries gained confidence in sharing the gospel through casual conversations. Over one hundred UMKC students heard the gospel. Thanks to the selfless partnership of these different organizations, the campus is ripe for the harvest as Wornall Road and others continue to bring the gospel to UMKC.