Although a person enters into new life in Christ by a process the scripture speaks of as the new birth, this is only the beginning of the process of growing in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Viewing the Christian life from this perspective, BSF provides varied opportunities for Christian students, who by background and/or preference, adhere to Baptist doctrines to experience those disciplines that will encourage spiritual growth, and the sharing of their faith. Spiritual growth opportunities are designed to meet personal needs for worship; the study of God’s Word; fellowship; and the practice of Christian discipleship in all aspects of life. Christian outreach provides opportunities for sharing one’s own experience of faith in Christ, and helps to develop a Christ-like concern for ministering to the total needs of others.
The common need of students are; the need to worship, pray, be inspired, and express their devotion to God in a setting with their peer group. Such a setting may more readily attract non-Christian students, who may be influenced to receive Christ as Saviour and Lord. Thus, campus meetings for inspiration, prayer, testimony, and sharing, help to meet the needs of both Christian and non-Christian students to express faith in God through meaningful experiences.
Prayer is individual and corporate communion with God. Through prayers, we confess our sins; intercede for others; and supplicate for ourselves. Prayer is the life of BSF programmes. Prayer is to a Christian life what blood is to the body.
Students who seek to know themselves and God must first of all be students of the scriptures. The Bible is the record of God’s self-revelation to man, expressed ultimately in Jesus Christ.
In addition to Bible study periods, the BSF organizes other programmes to include talks and seminars on Bible subjects, or on relevant issues from a biblical perspective.
In the context of Baptist Student Ministries, discipleship may be defined as the process of growing in relationship with Christ by learning of Him, living under His authority, and applying His teachings to every area of life. The call to discipleship is the ultimate demand Christ makes of believers. True discipleship will make Christ not only the Saviour, but also the Lord of life. Discipleship includes everything Christians do. It applies the knowledge of scripture to relationships, stewardship of time and resources, career choices, values, and moral standards.
While BSF is an organization, it is also a Christian fellowship. The students who participate in BSF experience a sense of oneness in community. BSF plans activities in which students may experience meaningful relationships with fellow students; senior friends, and other Christians through which the experience of Christian community is deepened. In fellowship, BSF members come to know themselves, as they belong to each other and to God. The campus fellowship is a favourable example of a broader fellowship within the community of the local church.
Students are members of a specialized academic community. They are also members of a larger and more diverse community beyond the campus. It is in the context of relationships and situations outside the campus that most students will live and work for the greater part of their lives. Thus, the BSF ministry is closely linked to the local church.
As responsible, participating church members, students become God’s instruments on campus, and also share in the church’s responsibility to bear witness to the community; to the nation; and to the world, of what God has done for man in Jesus Christ. Encouraging students in the life and work of a local church is an integral part of BSF.
BSF considers witnessing a key outreach ministry. Evangelism is an area of outreach which calls for Christians to share that which they have experienced in Christ. Evangelism involves living a life that gives credibility to one’s testimony. It means sharing verbally in the power of the Holy Spirit one’s personal experience in Christ in order to help others to know Christ as Saviour.
Sharing one’s experience in Christ is not limited by time or place. Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit it may lead students to witness on campus, in villages, in towns, throughout the nation, and to the uttermost parts of the world using every available contemporary means.
Mission is the heartbeat of God. Practical involvement in missions activities. Each BSF group is encouraged to network with local Baptist church and other Christian organization using available resources to realize the goal of global harvest. Every year the SMD shall be responsible for planning, mobilizing and executing mission activities.
Christian life is a call to be Spirit-filled, controlled, and empowered. Christians are stewards of God-given resources. Christian students are also called to be faithful and responsible in the use of their body, time, influence, material possessions, gifts, etc. to the glory of God.
Visitation activities are those functions of BSF which are directed towards meeting the needs of others. It may involve visiting the lonely, counseling students in matters of personal morality, crisis situations, decision-making times, grief experiences, or assisting in tutoring those with academic difficulties.
In visitation, a healthy BSF seeks ways to locate, enlist, and involve new students in its activities. The BSF programme offers something others students may need. The visitation programme is the medium for enlisting them for full participation in BSF programmes. The BSF visitation programme may include opportunities to establish new fellowships, and to strengthen weak ones.
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