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Incarnational Leading on Campus

WITH Incarnational Leading on Campus

Edited by Shekaina Domingo and Michaela Lawrence Jeffery

Co n t e n t s Preface


Gwen’s Way, Massiel Davila-Ferrer


God with Us, Dilys Brooks


Being Incarnational on Campus: The Enticing Life of Spirit-Maturated Students, Andreas Beccai


Incarnational Learning, Zane Yi


Human Bridges, Morganne Patterson


A New Spiritual Gift, Kymone Hinds


Ed’s Tohlet, Don Keele, Jr.


Going Out While Staying In, Ryan Loga


Go for It, Rob Lang


Everyone Will Know, Rebecca Davis

11. Discipleship: The Goal Of Incarnational Ministry, Ron Pickell

12. Let, Andrew Innocent


Like Me, June Price

P re fa ce Some people seem more gifted than the rest of us at being present—they just faithfully show up. When they leave, it’s not because they’ve got a task to run to but because we’re done venting, crying, or whatever the reason for their presence. We look at them with defeat in our eyes. “They’re naturals!” we say, exasperated and jealous. Those who have learned to be with others in an incarnational way have joined hands with Jesus, embracing His example. “The Word became flesh” so that we can make the choice to live eternally with God one day soon. And until that time begins, we get to begin living out the incarnation here on earth. As a student, this means that how you show up on campus matters, whether in the classroom, the cafeteria, or the quad. The following pieces reflect some of that incarnational perspective and have been crafted with you in mind. Written by students, campus ministers and others who know that the call to incarnational living is real, our hope is that you’ll not simply read and be challenged but desire that God completely transform you into the incarnational leader He wants you to be. Leader? Did someone say leader? Yup! That’s you. So why not embrace this challenge: become an incarnational leader, someone who intentionally connects first with God and then (with the Spirit’s guidance) with others, in ways that matter beyond the moment. That’s the power of the incarnation—it moves us forward to the kingdom. That’s good stuff! Michaela Lawrence Jeffery Director, Adventist Christian Fellowship Georgia-Cumberland Conference

G we n ’s Wa y

By Massiel Davila-Ferrer I wouldn’t know what to call her leadership style. I couldn’t tell you her mission statement or her core values because I don’t remember her ever sharing them. But I watched her. For seven summers under her leadership, I watched her. Until her passing in 2008, I continue to learn from her. I saw what sleep deprivation did to her. I made her cry once with my words. I was demanding and needy and she still poured time, effort, and love into me. She called me to more than I thought I was capable of. She showed me her humanity. I saw her frustrations and her anger. And I absolutely adored her. Even though our relationship was not perfect and she not the classic textbook stuff of a leader, I saw someone that I never ceased respecting and longing to be like. She told me about the great losses of her life and showed me that you can continue. She showed me her vulnerability. And she set me free and aware of my humanity. I was 17 the first year I worked for her. I didn’t know who I was, or what the future held for me. She, however, saw the kind of person I could become. When the time came, and I drove away to my first position as a pastor, with the directions she wrote out for me clutched in my hand, fighting back tears, I knew that waving me off was one of the great teachers of my life. I have never been a polished person. My clumsiness and inability to filter everything gets the best of me too often. I can’t pretend. It leaves me one choice as I work with people, to show them who I am. So, I’ll try it Gwen’s way. I’ll be honest when I’m tired. I’ll be honest when a project is overwhelming me. I’ll change plans last minute and grab a coffee with my Bible study person, and end up learning more about them in a half hour drive than hours in my 8

office can reveal. I will show them that you can struggle and lead. Get grumpy and lead. Be silly and lead. I’m certain that Jesus did this. He slept and led. Ate and led. Cried and led. Asked people to pray for him, and still led. It’s easier to lead in my own skin. I just have to be brave and let people see me.

My big takeaway from this piece is: __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________


G o d W i t h Us By Dilys Brooks

I’m not sure when it was that the phrase, God with us moved from being a phrase synonymous with the Christmas story to becoming the lens through which I live as a Christ follower. This knowledge has had such a transforming impact on my perception of purpose and place, and has become my passion. Immanuel: God with us, is recorded first in Isaiah 7:14, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”1 The first time we read this phrase Immanuel in scripture, it is uttered in a prophecy addressed to one of the wicked kings in Israel’s history. King Ahaz led the children of Israel into idolatry and apostasy—away from the commitment to serving only Yahweh. God reminded the people through the various prophets, including Isaiah, that the consequence of idolatry would be the displacement of God’s chosen people under the rule of foreign kings, away from the land that God had given to Abraham’s descendants. Isaiah’s prophetic declaration would be a promise, the sliver of hope, which would comfort them during their exile. That’s the thing I love most about God. When we sin against or disobey Him, while we have to live through the consequences of those choices, He never abandons us or leaves us without hope. He is always Immanuel—God with us. We know the promise given to Ahaz through Isaiah was fulfilled because we find recorded in Matthew 1:23, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.” God came to be with us to show us the Father and save us from eternal separation through Immanuel’s death on a lonely cross. Yet His death was not the end of the story because, All scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, Wheaton: Good News, 2001. 1


three days later, Jesus rose again from the dead conquering sin, Satan and hell.

God with us is not simply a phrase we sing or read about during the Christmas season. Instead, it should be the soundtrack to the life of every Christ follower. It’s the Eden experience fully enacted and restored. We get to be with God again, every moment of our lives. God with us doesn’t end after we hear the lights are put away and presents are opened. It is to be enacted 24/7…365/6 days in the life of the disciple because indeed when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior God is with us! In my own experience, I often find myself being distracted by the challenges that come along with being human. Sometimes I find myself tempted like Ahaz of old to create “idols” out of my ambitions, goals, fears and desires. I spend time focusing on them instead of responding to the invitation from God to seek Him and His kingdom first. The concerns about serving as a chaplain or being the wife and mother that my husband and children need me to be, while balancing the expectations of so many others, can often leave me feeling displaced and alone. As a Christian leader, I find myself praying that Emmanuel is expressed through my conversations and interactions with colleagues, students and children. It would be dishonest of me to say that there is no internal struggle to react as Jesus would have me to when I feel that I am being unheard, overlooked, maligned or slighted. Yet, Isaiah and so many others in scripture remind me that when our Creator sought to be in relationship with us, He became a servant to us. In the economy of the kingdom of heaven, leading is serving whether or not we are heard, acknowledged, praised or honored. God chooses to take the subordinate role in order for us to recognize Him as sovereignty, so we should follow the leader.


Ahaz forgot that he lead Israel at the behest of Yahweh, the true King of Israel, which caused him to trust in himself, practice idolatry, and disregard the counsel of the prophets sent to turn his heart back to God. One way to ensure that we don’t grow deaf to God and lose our way is to daily reacquaint ourselves with Immanuel so that we rightly represent Him to others. Thankfully because of Immanuel—God with us—your story and my story won’t end in exile. We are drawn by the Holy Spirit to come and remember that He is within us. We go sometimes sheepishly, boldly or even reluctantly, in acceptance of this promise that He will never leave us or forget us. HE is Immanuel!

My big takeaway from this piece is: __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________


Be in g I n ca r n a ti o nal o n Cam p us: The Enticing Lif e o f S p i r i t - M a t u rate d Stu d en ts By Andreas Beccai

In Seattle, conversations about spirituality and religion are less pugilistic and more fraternalistic. Students arrive on campus expecting to joust about the truth of their theological claims. Instead they encounter nonchalant shrugs or affirmations about commonly held values. A Pagan, a Jew, and a Baptist will politely listen to an explanation of your faith. They will then travel in the conversation and find a shared ethos between your worldviews. So, how then, do we create space in our interactions to share the unique treasures of Adventism? Before we explore that, here is what we shouldn’t do. We shouldn’t cloister ourselves in an attempt to remain pure. Holiness grows in the soil of life—it is there that it is exposed to wind, rain, and sunshine. It is in the compost of human achievements and debasement that we are privileged with concrete opportunities to be the bearers of God’s grace. We should intentionally incarnate ourselves with those we hope to bless. In a posture of humility and authentic goodness-seeking, we share our lives with them. We are open about our values without being judgmental about theirs. We rejoice with them and weep when they weep. We attend social events, family events, everything and anything as long as no moral lines are crossed. We “do” life with them. Living as incarnational students means a shoulder-to-shoulder relationship, and not a head-to-toe relationship. We journey side 13

by side with others, watching for God’s past and present activity in their lives. There should be an acute sense that we are not other people’s Saviour. Their Saviour was already working in their lives before we met them and will continue to work in their lives after we part ways. In some cases, we will experience the joy of witnessing their new birth into the family of God. In others, we will be responsible for disabusing them of a negative stereotype of Christians, and softening their hearts. Whatever our experience, it is important to remember that it is God’s work and not ours. A correct view of our position in relation to God is crucial in living authentically incarnated lives on public campuses.

My big takeaway from this piece is: __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________


I n c arn a t i o n a l Le arn i ng by Zane Yi

Many Christian college students approach their education with a healthy degree of suspicion. Socially and intellectually, the vast and diverse university campus can seem like a place hostile to faith. Professors, some suspect, are out to undermine the faith of their students by sharing ideas that undermine what they have heard growing up in church; one can’t be too careful. While, as I once heard, there’s always the danger of “opening one’s mind so much that your brains fall out,” there’s also the danger of closing one’s mind prematurely—either rejecting an idea before really understanding it or compartmentalizing the life of learning and thinking from the life of faith. Jesus challenges us to approach learning differently. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” (John 1:14) 2 the Bible tells us. This way of thinking of the divine stands in stark contrast to those who understood material existence to be evil, something to be escaped, and, at best, merely tolerated. According to an ancient religious group called the Gnostics, salvation involved the soul’s release from the confines of the wicked body. John offers an alternative, using language his audience would understand: The Word was God and God became a part of and binds himself to what God created. The incarnation of God in Jesus is an affirmation and embrace of creation and material existence. This involves more than the physical (i.e. Jesus “having” body and doing everyday things like eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom). Jesus was born into a culture, initiated into a language, and educated into a way of thinking. Like all humans, he had to learn, and used what he All scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, Wheaton: Good News, 2001. 2


learned to communicate to others in ways they could understand, in order to take them beyond their current understanding of God, themselves, and each other. One might say Jesus critically affirmed and embraced the ideas of his time and place. This same attitude is evident in the way the writer(s) of John talk about Jesus. “The Word,” literally “the Logos” is actually a term derived from Greek philosophy and a common way the intellectual and religious talked about the divine at that time. Rather than rejecting it, the gospel of John uses this term to communicate truth about God. Jesus’ incarnation has important implications for the way Christian students approach their learning. All too often, students fall prey to the temptation of, shall we say, “educational Gnosticism.” The world of ideas is viewed as evil and something to be tolerated for a period of time or argued against before escaping at graduation. What if, inspired by Jesus, more students took the attitude and approach of affirming and embracing their learning, looking for what is true, just, and beautiful (Philippians 4:8)?

My big takeaway from this piece is: __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________


H u m a n B r i d g es

By Morganne Patterson Once upon a time, if anyone had asked, I might have described incarnation in technical terms. Or, I might have described incarnation vaguely, as something that God did in a little hillside town many generations ago to save humanity. I might have described the birth of Christ as the mystery that no one can explain, concluding with a statement on how it has changed the world forever. And that would have been the end of it. Incarnation would have just been a divine event. But incarnation is not just about what took place in a little hillside town, generations ago, to save humanity. Incarnation is more than the divine event; it is also the personal, human experience of salvation by faith. Incarnation is what happens when God makes the flesh (i.e., humanity) His dwelling place (“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” John 1:14). 3 Stated another way, incarnation, for us, is adopting the “mind” of Christ (Phil. 2:5) and becoming “transformed” by that mind into the image of God (Romans 12:2). If, at the end of this life, gaining Christ is our objective, incarnation becomes both the mechanism and the ultimate goal. And, like true worship, incarnation takes place every day in the heart and mind, ultimately shining through our interactions with others. The apostle Paul knew what he was talking about when he said of his own experience, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live,” and further, “yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). But it doesn’t end there. When you think about it, the incarnation-illustration becomes awesome and perfect where ministry is concerned. In fact, All scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: New King James Version, Nashville: Nelson, 1982. 3


incarnation is all about bridging the gap: between God, ourselves, and our peers. Jesus Christ, through incarnation, bridged the gap between divinity and humanity. Jesus became the bridge between us and the Father. He was, quite literally, “God with us” (Matt. 1:23). To the extent we pattern Him in our day-to-day interactions, we become like bridges ourselves: connecting the ones we know with the God we know. We actually live the advice Christ gave us in Matthew 10:8, when He said to His disciples, “freely you have received, freely give.” This is incarnational living. We can all do this by making ourselves available to others. For students, this can be anything from the pick-me-up smoothie you buy your friend when they believe they’ve bombed a test, to the less than subtle invitation to attend campus Bible studies. Or perhaps it is an intercessory prayer, an encouraging phone call, or a much-needed hug. However we do it, extending ourselves in the same way God extended Himself—like a bridge—makes it possible for us to bridge the gaps we see around us.

My big takeaway from this piece is: __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________


A N ew S p i r i t u a l G i ft By Kymone Hinds

Let me tell you a bit about my son. He likes to eat. At home, he’s considered the human vacuum cleaner. If you don’t want the rest of it, he’ll eat it. If there’s more food left over, he will finish it. If you get up and walk away for too long, he will assist you with your plate. He likes to eat. One day we were talking about spiritual gifts and he determined that his gift was, you guessed it, EATING. Well, we found a Bible verse to back up his claim. “Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you” (Luke 10:8). 4 He certainly lives by that verse! But what’s interesting is that Jesus said this verse to His disciples in the context of sending them out on a mission. Eating is central to mission. The method of Christ to engage others as we seek to share the Gospel and expand the kingdom of God includes the practice of eating meals together. There is one big reason I believe this practice is one that is relevant and needed today—eating offers belonging. In times past, the progression of how someone came to faith in Christ and connection with other believers followed the pattern of Believing, Behaving, then Belonging. People would agree that the new teaching was right (Believe), then align their lives with that teaching (Behave), then be accepted into the fellowship of Believers (Belong).

This scripture quotation is taken from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, Wheaton: Good News, 2001. 4


Today the order has been reversed, and many people are seeking to Belong before they Believe or Behave. Eating with someone offers them Belonging. It communicates that no matter what you believe and what your actions are, I accept you for who you are. At times, that can be a challenging dynamic for us as Christ followers. We confuse acceptance with affirming someone’s actions and so we shy away from interaction with those who may be different from us. But the call of Christ on us propels us to not stay isolated. And it challenges us to be like Christ and accept people just the way they are. Few things can communicate acceptance and offer belonging more than sharing table fellowship—inviting someone into your home and accepting an invitation into someone’s home to eat a meal together. Eating allows us to lead with relationships rather than information. We build relationships with people who we want to introduce to Christ, whether it’s their first introduction to Him or an opportunity to deepen their connection. In the context of relationship, information and transformation can take place. At the table, people feel accepted. People feel that they matter. At the table, people feel they belong. And that’s how we can do mission through eating—invite people you are seeking to connect with God to eat with you. Why not make it a habit to intentionally eat with someone outside your faith community each week—a neighbor, coworker, friend? Let’s exercise this new spiritual gift: EATING!


My big takeaway from this piece is: __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________


Ed’s To h l e t

By Don Keele, Jr. It was a frosty October morning. A thin dusting of snow was on the ground as we drove up “Four-Mile Holler.” Along the way sat rusted, bullet-ridden shells of old cars from the ‘20’s, ‘30’s and ‘40’s. Black coal smoke came from several of the old shacks on each side of the road. It almost appeared as if we were going back in time as we drove the winding road in this rural part of Kentucky. Some of the teens with me huddled further down in their warm coats as they imagined what life must be like for the people who lived in such run-down, rickety places. We were on our way to see Ed and to work on his house as part of our ongoing Appalachian Outreach project. As we entered his house, the smell was almost an entity of its own. The next problem was finding a route through the junk. From the front door, a trail led between stacks of old radios, magazines, eight track tape players, tapes, a car transmission and other sundry items, to the kitchen. Another trail led from the main trail over to a TV that played in two colors, red and offset green. Another trail went from the TV to the coal-burning stove over in the corner, and then from the coal-burning stove back to the main trail. In the kitchen, things weren’t much better. Actually, they got worse. I did a double take as I looked at the dishes in the sink. The top ones looked alright, but as I looked deeper, I saw black and grey mold growing out from between the dishes on the bottom two-thirds of the stack. I learned they had been in the sink for about 13 years. The back wall of the kitchen was completely gone—rotted away— with the remains lying on top of a broken down porch floor. All that was left was the screened-in walls of the porch, inside of 22

which Ed had stapled black plastic as a shield against the cold. The floor of the porch was rotted through, and to one side of the porch was another “bedroom.” Actually, it was more of a storage area for more junk, with rotting floors. I marshaled the troops, about 15 high schoolers and a couple of adult sponsors, and prepared them for battle. We would clean the living room, clean the kitchen (even wash dishes and clean out cupboards) and carry out all of the garbage. We would also build a new wall into his kitchen. The porch and back half would have to wait. This would probably take us all day. Once everyone was busy, Ed had one more request. “I’s wunderin’, preacher, couldja do somthin’ ‘bout mah tohlet? It kindly peenches.” “Your what?” “Mah Tohlet. It kindly peenches.” “I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying, Ed. Why don’t you show me,” I suggested. He then led me around the corner to his bathroom. A whole new smell emerged. Old urine and waste smells lurched out and pierced my nose. He pointed to the toilet. A quick glance at the seat and Ed’s problem was obvious. Apparently Ed had slipped and fallen onto the seat, and the front half of the ring had broken away from the back half, which were only joined now by pieces of Plexiglas and superglue on the underside. So every time Ed would sit, it would “kindly peench” him. Glancing around the rest of the bathroom revealed a nasty looking sink as well as a tub and shower enclosure. The tub and sidewalls were a deep rust color that looked to be layers thick. The glass 23

doors were also covered in whatever it was. It was apparent that we needed to do something about that as well. One of the adults headed to town to find a toilet seat, while I went to the back of the trailer to find some long rubber gloves and strong cleaning supplies—a few brushes, some steel wool pads and whatever else seemed potentially helpful for the task at hand—then headed back in, looking for a teenager to redirect. In the meantime, Ed said he was tired and shuffled off to the back of the house to lie down for a nap. I spotted a student not doing anything and called for him to follow me. I led him into the bathroom and showed him the nasty shower and tub enclosure. He swallowed hard and started turning pale. Obviously fighting back waves of nausea, he began to try to speak. Nothing came out, so he motioned for me to follow him. He ran outside. I followed. “Pastor Don,” he began, “if you want that shower cleaned…” he paused, choosing his words carefully and taking a deep breath, “you’re going to have to do it yourself, ‘cause I ain’t touchin’ that thing!” With that, he turned and ran back to the job he was supposed to be helping with before I had called him. “OoooK,” I thought to myself, “it’s up to you, big guy. You’ve got to buck up and show them a little servant-leadership.” Back inside, I slid open the shower door and peered in. It was worse than I had imagined. A brown, encrusted goo hung on the sides of the shower. I aimed my spray bottle of strong chemicals inside and began pumping furiously, thoroughly saturating the sides and bottom, and then quickly retreated to the fresh air outside. Returning, I attacked the shower with the scrub brush and the 24

goo started peeling off in layers. Layer after layer came off as the strong cleaning agents worked overtime. As each layer glopped to the bottom of the tub, I scooped it up and plopped it in a heavy-duty garbage bag. Then it was spray and repeat. The toxic combination of cleaning supplies and incumbent smells necessitated taking frequent breaks to gasp in some fresh air. Three hours and eight layers later, it was beginning to look better. My runaway student abruptly reappeared at the bathroom door. “Umm…” he began. “I’ve been thinking about things, Pastor Don. And I’ve been feeling a little guilty for running off. So, if you really…” there was a long pause, “…um…want me to…” he swallowed deeply, “…work on that shower…” he paused again, much longer this time. “…I guess I will…so you can get started on that toilet,” he added rapidly. I had almost forgotten. He handed me a new toilet seat and I relinquished the scrub brushes and chemicals. Still wearing my heavy gloves, I tried to lift the seat. It was stuck fast. There was a black and brown substance holding it tight. I went out to the trailer, procured a long, thick screwdriver, a wrench and a Makita cordless drill, and set out to find the screws that kept the lid attached. Using the screwdriver, I pried the seat loose and as it popped up, suddenly a whole new smell emerged. The kid and I both ran, gagging and retching. Regaining control, we entered once again for an all-out assault— he to the shower and I to the “tohlet”. I chipped and scraped the offending substances into the toilet and flushed, repeating the process until I was down to the porcelain. A few borrowed chemicals and scrub brushes soon had it looking good. Now to the seat. Scraping down, I located the screws and carved out a slot on 25

top. Then kneeling down, I realized that there was no dignified way to change a toilet seat. You simply cannot accomplish the task without hugging the bowl. Working furiously, again with “air breaks,” I tried to pry the nuts loose. The first took about 45 minutes, the second about 25. (I learned some tricks on the first one that helped with the second.) It was one of the most nauseating, disgusting tasks I’ve ever undertaken. As I knelt there hugging that bowl, suddenly the thought struck me: “Is this what it means to be a servant of Jesus Christ?” And as I reflected on the life of Jesus, coming from all of heaven’s glory and splendor down to the dump Satan has made of His creation (the toilet bowl of the universe, if you will, with the ugly mold and goo of sin growing from our hearts), I had to concede that I was probably closer to being a disciple, hugging Ed’s “tohlet”, than I had ever been. For we are never more like Jesus than when we serve. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). 5

My big takeaway from this piece is: __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ This scripture quotation is taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011. 5


G o in g O u t W hi l e S tayi ng In By Ryan Loga

“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” “As you sent Me into the world I also have sent them into the world.” (John 17:16, 18) 6 “In the world, but not of the world.” These are familiar words. Whenever I am having a day where I feel drowned by the world, I cling to such a message. But then I remember that I have been sent out into it all. So what do I do? How do I share my faith and talk about God while remaining true to Him? I grew up in a community of Adventists. For me it was Collegedale, TN, home of a wonderful school system that I attended from kindergarten through high school. Then it was off to Southern Adventist University, enjoying the benefits of the “Adventist Bubble.” I was definitely NOT OF the world, at least geographically, which is what I felt it meant. I now see that I was not IN it, either. After completing undergrad I began graduate studies at the University of Tennessee. I finally left the bubble and was forced to face my perceptions of such a reality. Yet I was also ready to share about the reality of eternal life found in Christ. However, there was one big obstacle to overcome: me. We all have a part of ourselves that keeps us from effectively sharing Christ. In my case, it was pride. Pride as an individual who was smart and talented, so I thought. More seriously, pride as a Christian, a member of the “true faith,” as it were, and thus the “gateway” to others seeing the truth. In this light the world was not scary; it was mine to evangelize. This scripture quotation is taken from The Holy Bible: New King James Version, Nashville: Nelson, 1982. 6


When I first shared my faith the results were less than ideal. There is a critical moment when people are receptive to what you have to offer. Unfortunately, my pride showed through and I left several people with a taste of Christian conceit. As I came to the realization of what I had been doing, I grew afraid to share my faith at all. I was also afraid to befriend anyone lest I become a “worldling.” For me it was about the battle of wills—if I let in someone who doesn’t share my faith, they might somehow fill me with their own beliefs. In this way, pride gave way to weakness. So how was I to proceed? How do I share my faith and talk about God while remaining true to Him? The answer should seem clear, but has taken me all of my life to see. Christ must be in us and we must let Him shine. We are not of the world; we have Christ in us. In the same way, our bodies go out into the world, but it is Christ who shines forth. Things began to change. I realized that I had been going it alone as a professed Christian. Pride was a mark of this solo journey and, in time, began to fade away. My fear of going out started to become a distant memory. Now I am not afraid to talk to others. No human will can compare to the truth of Christ’s character. We are called to witness and we do not have to go it alone. Christ gives us the ability to speak when we need to speak and to stay humble when we are looked to as an example. Christ transforms me as I seek to transform others. We must go out while staying connected to Him.


My big takeaway from this piece is: __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________


G o fo r I t

By Rob Lang In scripture, the directive from God is to “go.” There are many examples of this. We see God encouraging Abram to step out in faith and go from his own country, and we see God inspiring Moses with His message to Pharaoh, “Let my people go!” Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). 7 We find it in the gospel commission, “Go ye therefore….” So God is continually asking believers to ”go for it!” The invitation is for His truth to become incarnate (in us) so that we are carrying it to our world. Wow, this is quite a challenge! For many student leaders the response is, “I am not ready! I have too many things I want to do first. I am not finished with my degree yet and I have no experience!” And yet God’s word is clear. God is calling all of us to engage now and become part of the greatest adventure of all! I want to encourage you as a leader to go ahead and engage. Step out, don’t wait until everything feels right or until you have all the answers. As you “go for it,” here are a few tips: Don’t carry the whole great controversy on your shoulders! Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt 11:30). He wants you to have a healthy life and He also wants you to be fulfilled by being a part of the great victory over sin and death, and sadness! But He does not expect you to save the world. Just go do your part with the gifts He has given you.

All scriptural quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: New King James Version, Nashville: Nelson, 1982. 7


Living and growing through a consistent life in Christ, day by day, is oftentimes the preparation for your greatest and most significant contribution. It took 40 years for Moses to grow close to God as a shepherd in the desert. He went from being the prince of Egypt and a revolutionary to a nobody. But here’s what’s encouraging to me. During those 40 years, I’m sure Moses had a lot of questions. He had a lot of doubts. And while he may have felt like he was doing nothing with his life, God was busy in at least two ways—on the outside, and on the inside. On the outside, God was busy preparing Moses to know what life was like in the desert, which would come in pretty handy when he spent the NEXT 40 years of life wandering around there! The stuff he learned about finding water, sleeping arrangements, wildlife, plant life—you name it—was invaluable. On the inside, God was also busy. He was busy helping Moses become the sort of person who would humbly walk into the court of the most powerful man in the known world and say, “Let my people go.” He was preparing him to be someone who could depend on God and walk deeply with Him. And Moses didn’t even know it. He was becoming someone in the desert, and he thought he was just herding sheep. Going for it does not always mean going to another country or a far away place, though it can. Going for it is really about carrying God’s grace into our everyday realities and letting the light of truth shine through us. If we do this, His truth goes from person to person and, ultimately, to the ends of the earth. That’s right—if we do our part, right where we live, right where we work, and right were we go to school—then we are on the “go” for God! Finally, when we “go for it,” God has promised to be with us every step of the way until our task is done or until the day He comes!


He does not expect us to conjure up our own power—He has promised to accompany us with Holy Spirit power as we step out and live and lead for Him. So, “go for it” and be blessed beyond your wildest imagination!

My big takeaway from this piece is: __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________


Ev e r y o n e W i l l Kn o w By Rebecca Davis

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). 8 Francis Schaeffer says, “Our relationship with each other is the criterion the world uses to judge whether our message is truthful—Christian community is the final apologetic.” That’s easier said than done. In practice it is far easier to stay on an island and literally abandon the idea that any other reality even exists other than the one in your own head. It’s not difficult to walk on campus, eat in the café, sit in a classroom, or even just retreat to your own apartment and never talk to anyone else, especially those who do not look like you or believe the way you do. I’ve been there. I’m sure you find yourself there, too. Honestly, it becomes easy to lose who you are in isolation because your belief system is never challenged. The mirror that community and relationship afford is never held before your face. Deep down we have to ask ourselves what the point is. Right now you may be asking yourself if you even believe in what you say you believe, which in turn forces you to wonder, at the core, who you really are. Who you are is a Christian! What does that mean? It means that you are and represent something and Someone bigger than yourself. Does it mean that you are without mistake or that you will never question another biblical truth or dogma ever again? No! It means that at your core you have experienced the love of God and, as a byproduct, pour it out to others. This love and this experience with God is where everything else meets: your belief system, your relationship with others, and (believe it or not) even God’s law. It’s by this love that others will know that you are a This scriptural quotation is taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011. 8


follower of Christ. And let me challenge you—love cannot exist on an island by itself. However, the final and most important question we have to ask ourselves is: have we ever experienced and been transformed by the love of God? Throw aside the fact that you were raised Adventist. Throw aside all the years you went to church. Throw aside all that you’ve ever been taught concerning religion. Ask yourself, “Have I ever been changed by the love of God?” Once we realize that it’s not about what we do but about who we are, everything else will begin to make sense, not just to you but to the world!

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D isc i p l e s h i p : The Go al Of In c arnational Minis try By Ron Pickell

I have heard that no two snowflakes are alike. If that is true of snowflakes it is certainly true of people. Apple has reminded us all of this by the latest fingerprint recognition system on its iPhones and iPads. What is true of snowflakes and fingerprints is also true of college students—no two are the same. And in that same vein, there have been a number of times that I have been excited about a new Bible study guide or resource that was so helpful to me in learning about Jesus or growing in Christ, but failed to work as I had imagined it would with someone else. Over the years, I have discovered that discipleship is a uniquely sacred trust. Figuratively speaking, it is a spiritual dance between disciple and discipler set to the surround sound of the Holy Spirit. A meaningful discipleship experience for both parties is a true gift from above and will always supersede whatever tools or resources we have gathered. This leads me to my personal definition of discipleship: Discipleship, as illustrated by the pattern between Jesus and the twelve, is a life-on-life experience where the disciple becomes transformed by the life of his teacher. It involves a process of learning, receiving, hearing and seeing with the life goal of becoming like Christ. Some things to keep in mind: 1. Jesus is the real discipler. We are more of a birth mother gently guiding this new life into the world. Conversion and discipleship is initiated by the Spirit, guided by the Spirit, nurtured by the Spirit, and is the result of the Spirit’s promptings. We are little more than God’s instrument in His overall process.


2. Life on life. Actions speak louder than words. The part that we live will be the part that others follow. If our understanding of Jesus does not translate into actions that others can see then it’s all dust in the wind. What we must expect to see in Christ followers is the fruit of God’s Spirit. This also means that others learn as much from our mistakes and sins as from our successes. This calls for transparency and authenticity about God’s work in our own lives. 3. Learning: A new follower of Jesus is learning from scripture (propositional truth) and from the witness of our lives (truth by example). The goal is Christ on display in our lives. 4. Receiving: Discipleship works both ways. When God brings us into someone else’s life it is for our mutual benefit and transformation. With Jesus as the principle discipler, God is teaching us both and discipleship is a process of learning from each other. 5. Hearing: We are learning to hear and discern the voice of God in our hearts through the spiritual disciplines of scripture reading, prayer, biblical meditation, and Christian fellowship. 6. Seeing: As we become more and more like Jesus, we are learning to see ourselves, other people, and the world around us through the eyes of Christ.


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Le t

By Andrew Innocent Incarnate. Merriam-Webster 9 defines it as an adjective or a verb. The former usage we're most familiar with is, “having a human body” (such as God incarnate). The latter usage means to represent (something, such as an idea or quality) in a clear and obvious way. Incarnate, as a verb, is very intriguing to reflect upon because we are already in human form. However, what ideals or philosophies do we represent at home, in our dorms, classrooms, conversations, actions? Whose ideals do we represent in our daily experiences? In Philippians 2:5-1110, Paul describes the amazing mind of Christ and His ultimate exaltation by His Father. Jesus became man though He is God; is humble yet all-powerful; became poor though He owns all; died a gruesome death though He is the Life Giver—all this for our sake! Being a Christian means allowing God to transform your mind and heart daily to His beautiful image. Yes, Jesus was God incarnate and, in doing so, represented the reality of God's love for humanity very clearly. Paul challenges Christians to “let” the mind of Christ be in us—the mind of humility, service and love. At your college or university it may be a challenge to "let" or "incarnate" Christ's character in you. On your campus there are many distractions vying for your attention and trying to influence your mind. On the other hand, you may be sabotaging yourself

This definition was taken from “Incarnate,” Merriam-Webster online, 2015. All scriptural quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: New King James Version unless otherwise noted, Nashville: Nelson, 1982. 9



because of your intellect. I mean, you are at a respectable institution of higher education, right? Or maybe you think you're great because of athleticism. Others, because of your wealth, the connections in high places you may hold. Well, living an incarnational life doesn't depend on these various God-given gifts. As God said through the prophet Jeremiah, "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;" instead "let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight� (Jeremiah 9:23-24). Does your day-to-day experience represent the character of Christ in a "clear and obvious way"? If so, praise God and ask to go higher and higher in Him. If not, ask for His Spirit to come in your heart and allow Him to transform your mind, daily. That's a prayer He will never reject!

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Like M e

By June Price The view from my window displays a world of white and a sky of gold as the setting sun inches toward the snow covered horizon. “Did you live like me in this scene today?” is the question that satiates my mind. I imagine for a moment how Christ walking in this setting, in this moment, in this world, would look. What would be different? Warmth stirs inside of me as I realize the fulfillment a day spent with Jesus would bring. My imagination was not of an easy day, void of problems or pain but rather a regular day full of these things but also full of meaning, authenticity, purpose, safety and belonging, a day with comfort and power. In the middle of my imagining, I remember that these things are available to me every day, for Christ’s incarnational life is still in effect through the presence of the Holy Spirit. In fact it was the very Spirit of God that had prompted the original question to me, “Did you live like me today?” His existence in my life every day, empowers me to live in ways that not only give me purpose, meaning, authenticity, and security but also offers the same to others around me that are willing to let me walk with them as I am walking with Christ. So, just as the incarnation of Christ carries on in my life through the presence of the Holy Spirit, it can also carry on in the lives of others through my walk with them. What a profound plan! I, someone changed by Christ’s incarnational life, can now perpetuate that same life to others. Help me Lord so that the next time you ask me, “Did you live like me today?” my answer will be yes!


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Co n t r i b u t o r s Andreas Beccai, native of Accra, Ghana, lived in England for the majority of his life. A passion for youth, young adult, and campus discipleship fuels his pastoral ministry in Seattle, WA. Andreas enjoys photography, snowboarding, and good food! Guided by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Andreas hopes to continue in this calling in service to Jesus Christ, His personal Lord and Saviour. Dilys Brooks is the associate chaplain of Loma Linda University, providing spiritual care for students and staff. She is passionate and enthusiastic about sharing the Gospel, as well as equipping youth and young adults to know Christ personally and accept His call to become change agents for the kingdom of God. She is happiest when preaching, teaching or singing about Jesus. Chaplain Brooks has been happily married to Pastor Delroy Brooks for eighteen years. They are blessed to be the parents of Micah and Matea. Massiel Davila-Ferrer was born in the center of the world some time ago in Nicaragua, her family later moving to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. For the past three years, Massiel has been part of the College Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church, serving as the pastor of nurture. During her time there she met and married her teammate and best friend for life, Jr Ferrer. Massiel enjoys reading, writing, watching things that happen on stages, traveling, and sitting in cafĂŠs while wearing scarves and talking to people. Massiel loves words, people and God, and seeks to spend her life bringing those three things together. 42

Rebecca Davis, originally from Kentucky, serves in the South Atlantic Conference as an associate pastor at the Atlanta Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church. In 2012 Rebecca began Connect, a young adult ministry that has now been replicated in five other churches around the country. Rebecca graduated with the Master of Divinity from Andrews University in 2007 and is mother to Justin II and Olivia. Rebecca loves to workout and plays some serious basketball. Shekaina Domingo is a Master’s candidate in ESL Education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She enjoys spending time with friends, family, and Sam, her four year-old terrier mix. Other interests include exercise, reading, writing, and cultural inundation. Above all, she seeks continual growth in her walk with God. Kymone Hinds, his wife and their three energetic children live in Memphis, TN. He pastors two churches—Overton Park Seventhday Adventist Church and Journey Fellowship. He also speaks and blogs regularly on different life issues. You can connect with Kymone via twitter (@kymonehinds) or on his blog at


Andrew Innocent holds a BS in Accounting and MS in Taxation from Bentley University (‘08 &’09). Currently, he serves as the director of STRIDE campus ministry based in Cambridge, MA, and is the Seventh-day Adventist chaplain to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He may be reached at Don Keele Jr is the associate youth director of Young Adult Ministries for the GeorgiaCumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He loves Jesus, people and bringing the two together. In his young and foolish years, he loved speed skiing on water and once did 92 mph on a slalom ski. Rob Lang was born in Loma Linda, CA and was raised in Florida. He attended Forest Lake Academy, Southern Adventist University, and Andrews Theological Seminary. He started ministry as a pastor in Boulder, CO, and has served as a youth/young adult director and camp director in the Iowa-Missouri, Oregon and now GeorgiaCumberland conferences. He is blessed with a beautiful wife, Velvet, and four children. He enjoys trying to keep up with young people and seeing their relationship with Jesus grow into active use of their talents and gifts in His body, the church. Rob’s hobbies include water skiing, barefooting, snow skiing, golf and mountain biking. He serves as an NAD camp mentor and has mentored nearly 20 new camp directors to date.


Michaela Lawrence Jeffery serves as chaplain of Advent House at University of Tennessee, Knoxville and as director of Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF) for Georgia-Cumberland Conference. Michaela especially enjoys helping students embrace God’s mission and equipping them to lead where they’re planted. Michaela holds an MA in English Literature from the University of Illinois, Chicago and Master of Divinity from Andrews University. She is married to Justin Jeffery, a graphic designer, and the two have a wonderful baby girl. Ryan Loga is a happily married doctoral candidate in Mathematics at the University of Tennessee. He has been involved in the Seventh-day Adventist church his whole life. He has particularly enjoyed working with Pathfinders while serving as a Master Guide. Morganne Patterson is a second year law student at the University of Georgia. She thoroughly enjoys naptime, Bible studies, and taking pictures of everyone and everything.


Ron Pickell has spent most of his ministry working with students on public universities, first at the University of Tennessee and currently at the University of California, Berkeley where he pastors the Berkeley Adventist church and directs the ACF group at UC Berkeley. Since 2005, Ron has also been serving in the Youth Department as the North American Division Volunteer Coordinator of Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF/NAD). Ron is married to Carolyn Pickell. They have three children. June Price holds a Masters in Counseling with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from Southern Adventist University. She practiced as a clinician, providing individual, marital and family therapy prior to entering the Student Life field as the Dean of Women at Bass Memorial Academy. She has been involved in education for many years, teaching religion at the secondary level and psychology at the collegiate level. Most recently, June served as the Associate Dean of Women at Andrews University prior to accepting her current position there as the University Chaplain. Her passion is the pursuit of God and His transforming power in our lives through changing the way we think (Romans 12:2). Zane Yi, PhD, is an assistant professor at Loma Linda University, where he teaches courses in philosophy and theology. He has served as a campus minister and worked with campus ministries in a variety of roles across Tennessee, Georgia, California, and New York.



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With: Incarnational Leading on Campus  

In thinking about Christ's example of incarnational living, we often wonder how that can and should play out in our lives. Here are some t...

With: Incarnational Leading on Campus  

In thinking about Christ's example of incarnational living, we often wonder how that can and should play out in our lives. Here are some t...