Wayland BSM sees salvations, recommitments during student orientation

by Bonnie Hirschfeld on September 7, 2023 in News

The first Monday night worship of the year for the Wayland Baptist University Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) started off with the highest attendance JR Dunn had seen in his three years serving there.

“It was buzzing, it was loud, and the students were responding really well to the worship and the message,” Dunn said.

The worship service was a culmination of the amazing ways the Lord had been moving at the Wayland BSM over the past week. Before the first day of school had officially begun, 19 students had already accepted Christ through the BSM.

On August 11, Wayland was full of energy as new students began pouring onto campus for Koinonia, which means fellowship in Greek. It is a time for the new students to connect with on-campus organizations and get comfortable in their new home. The BSM took part by setting out tables and planning activities to meet the new students and build relationships with them.

Dunn explained that the first few weeks of the school year revolve around building connections. When students wrote down their contact information at events, a staff member or student from the BSM reached out almost immediately, inviting them to coffee or lunch.

“We hold the conviction that if we don’t have a relationship with them, they probably won’t want to do much with us,” Dunn said. “If we’re going to share the love of Christ, we need to build those bonds.”

The BSM hosted a variety of events to get to know students, including passing out popsicles, hosting an Italian dinner, distributing free laundry detergent and more. Over 110 students attended the dinner, where they learned more about the BSM and heard a gospel message. Eight students accepted Christ at the various events. The staff also held a worship service with the freshman football players, where 11 players accepted Christ.

“Throughout every event we’ve done, we’ve shared the gospel and seen response,” Dunn said.

After a week of connecting with students and putting on special events, classes began and the BSM geared up for its first Monday night worship service of the year. They stocked up on food, drinks and free t-shirts to make students feel welcome as they arrived.

Dunn explained, “We revisited how we show our hospitality and how we welcome people to our building.”

The new students, who had all been personally invited by BSM staff and student leaders, were met at the doors of the building by greeters and led over to the welcome booth. From there, they were offered the food and shirts that the BSM provided. The goal, Dunn said, was to make sure they felt loved and valued.

There was a time of fellowship after the service, where students could grab late-night pancakes and mingle.

Now that the initial back-to-school excitement has passed, Dunn is eager to see how the new students will grow in their faith during their time at Wayland BSM.

“I’m excited to see this group of students get plugged into a group and get discipled,” Dunn said. I can’t wait to see them become the new leaders in the spring semester and next year.”

God is doing an amazing work through BSMs on college campuses across Texas. You can learn more about how to support this work and get connected to a BSM at txbsm.org.

Texas Baptists is a movement of God’s people to share Christ and show love by strengthening churches and ministers, engaging culture and connecting the nations to Jesus.

The ministry of the convention is made possible by giving through the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program, Mary Hill Davis Offering® for Texas Missions, Texas Baptists Worldwide and Texas Baptist Missions Foundation. Thank you for your faithful and generous support.

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