While the temperatures dropped in North Florida, things were warming up nicely in South Florida. In fact, conditions were just right to be out and about promoting a new church start in the Miami-Hialeah area. Every January, students from The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville partner with the Florida Baptist Convention (FBC) and a Florida Baptist church planter to promote a new church start somewhere in the state. Every year the circumstances are different; but the goals are the same: to provide practical experience for the students, and valuable assistance to the church planter and his family.
This year, the class consisted of eight BCF students from across the state who gave a week of their Christmas break to work with church planter Daryl Jones and his family, who launched the new Rock Fellowship Miami congregation just a few months ago. The Florida Baptist Convention supported the effort by providing housing, meals, and supplies. “It’s a great partnership,” explained BCF Missions Professor Rich Elligson. “We want our students to have practical, hands-on experience in a real ministry setting, working with a real church planter, among real people. When everybody works together, everybody benefits.”
This year, ministry activities and events ranged from door-to-door promotion, to visits to firehouses and police stations, to volunteering at a charitable community fun-run. Free time was filled with teaching opportunities, group discussions, and interaction with Jones. “This is one of those unique opportunities that characterizes learning through BCF,” offered Ministry Studies Senior Cameron Sandel. “When you put together an experienced professor, a ‘workaholic’ church planter, and a group of energetic students, good things are bound to happen.”
Church planter Daryl Jones agreed. “We saw great things happen this week,” he said. “This group of college students helped us to spread the news about our Lord and our church in ways our small congregation could not do alone. We made some great contacts, had some great teaching sessions, and shared some great fellowship. It was like a shot in the arm to me and my family.”
Partnering with the Florida Baptist Convention is just another example of how BCF is committed to equipping the next greatest generation of Christian leaders. According to BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen, “One of the great strengths of our programs at BCF is that they provide opportunities for ‘hands on’ field experience. I am delighted that our students can work with local leaders as well as representatives from our Florida Baptist Convention in order to see firsthand the added strength that comes from being a part of a larger mission family.”
To obtain more information on how you can become a part of the college that is “Changing the World Through the Unchanging Word,®” please call 800.328.2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.