Often times when people ask me what I do, I respond one of two ways: “I’m in campus ministry at the University of Texas,” or “I’m on staff with Christian Students on Campus.” It’s amazing—sometimes after saying that people still have no idea what I do. You’d be surprised how many times this happens while I’m even at an event put on by Christian Students, and it’s a student who is asking the question.
The conversation goes like this.
Student: So what do you do?
Me: I’m on staff with Christian Students.
Student: Oh okay. … Wait, so what do you do?
Me: I’m a campus minister with Christian Students. I spend my time in Bible studies with students, preaching the gospel, one-on-one discipleship. I help coordinate and plan events like the one you’re at right now.
Student: Oh… So wait, do you like, get paid for that?
Me: Yeah. Believe it or not this is my full-time job.
This may or may not seem funny to you. Don’t worry though, I don’t take much offense to it. Often times people just can’t imagine ministry to be something someone does with all of their time, as a job. Or if they do, they can’t understand why I’m on a college campus and not in a church office somewhere. It’s not that big a deal. People are either unaware or simply value things differently than I do.
On the outside I’m just hanging out with college students, teaching them some Bible, hearing a lot about what’s going on in their lives. Many times though, I sincerely wish I could tell people what I’m actually doing.
Intrinsically, I’m searching for faithful and competent men to entrust with the gospel.
I use the word “entrust” on purpose. In 1 Thessalonians 2:4 Paul writes he was “approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel.” The gospel is no ordinary good news; hearing the good news of the gospel is not the same as hearing the good news of your burrito being ready at Taco Cabana. Any Joe Blow off the street can announce that your burrito is ready. That’s still good news, but not headline worthy to say the least.
The good news of the gospel is altogether different. It is the weightiest, highest, and most profound message that could ever be communicated to man. The incarnation of God, the redemption of all mankind, His resurrection from the dead, and enthronement as Lord of all is not something to be handled lightly. The gospel is to be treasured, cherished, taught, and passed on through the lives and words of those who receive it.
2 Timothy is the last recorded words of the Apostle Paul that we have today. In it we find Paul’s direction for his spiritual son Timothy, what he should do as a minister once Paul is gone. It is a good and helpful for all those who would serve the Lord:
“And the things which you have heard from me through many witnesses, these commit to faithful men, who will be competent to teach others also.”
— 2 Timothy 2:2
One day, I will not be here. A time will come when I am no longer carrying the message of Jesus to this world. As a minister of Christ, the best thing I can do is make my 70-80 years on this earth effective. The best way to do that is to commit what I’ve received to faithful and competent men, who will teach others also.
- Commit - because I’m giving them the most valuable thing I have. Like I said before, the gospel is the highest and weightiest message in existence. Life and death literally hinges upon its utterance and acceptance. It is the highest honor to receive the gospel, and it is the highest honor to communicate the gospel. It is something God entrusts to those whom He has mercifully chosen.
- Faithful - because God’s flock will be counting on them. Jesus describes the blessed slave in simple terms: one who is “faithful and prudent” to give His household “food at the proper time” (Matt. 24:45). How can one be entrusted if he can’t be relied upon to show up? God’s people need to be fed, and feeding comes at regular times.
- Competent - because he’ll be teaching others what he’s received. As useful as technology is, it has all but sucked away our ability to critically process and communicate information. 8 out of 10 American adults will read 0 books in the next year, while 1/3 of our internet usage will go to Netflix. The direction of the grace of God is not “to me, for me.” It is “to me, for you” (Eph. 3:2). To teach others requires competency.
It is not enough to be faithful. It’s wonderful if God can always count on someone to be there, whether it be a Bible study, small group, or church meeting; it’s not wonderful if God can’t count on them to bring anything to the table after they arrive. It’s also not enough to be competent. It’s nice if a person has the whole counsel of God and can share it in a clear, concise, and palatable way; that does no one any good if they can’t consistently love Jesus, reach out to others, and show up to meetings.
God is looking for some faithful and competent persons to entrust with the best news ever given to man. As a minister of Christ at the University of Texas, I’m a part of the search.