Editor’s note: The following is a blog post from Michael Cody. Michael is a member of Redeemer Church and serves as the Director of Campus Outreach Ministries at the University of North Alabama. Listen as Michael shares his heart for college students and the great commission.
Many of us at Redeemer believe college students have the most potential impact over our culture, and they must be reached with the gospel to bring about an era of lasting change.
I am thankful that from the beginning Redeemer has sought to tap into this wellspring.
The relationship between Redeemer Church and Campus Outreach at UNA has been one of “fraternal twins” – we were born at the same time, and though we look a little different we have grown up and matured together as brothers and business partners.
When Redeemer was starting up in 1999, a team of six were sent to pioneer a Campus Outreach ministry at the University of North Alabama.
Over the years, God has blessed both ministries both quantitatively and qualitatively. As this has happened, both have been blessed by the health of the other – including the church having no less than 3 CO alumni serving as Elders and Deacons since 2007.
In my view, there are two major ways the church serves us on the campus. The first is taking care of our staff. A great danger for people who do what we do is that like Paul, we “pour ourselves out as drink offerings” to students and often do not receive the same kind of investment in our own lives.
Over the years, Redeemer has made a concerted effort to care for Campus Outreach staff at UNA. This comes from leaders’ personal shepherding and checking in, as well as offering feedback and pushback when necessary on how we are going about things. This shepherding and accountability structure is an integral part of CO’s DNA, and has been a major source of protection both personally and in ministry.
The way I think Redeemer might have most uniquely served our students over the years has been through being a church that has at its core mission: “Multiplying Disciples, Engaging the World, to the Glory of God.” We, the fraternal twin, call it “Multiplying Christ-like Leaders.”
Having a church that has this at the core above other good things helps reinforce the conviction we try to instill in students on campus, that the most significant way they can impact the ends of the earth is through sharing their faith and investing in a few faithful men and women who can go do the same for others – Jesus’ method of life-on-life discipleship.
We view our partnership with Redeemer as a core piece of our discipling students – the fifth of our 5 Core Values being “connecting to and building the local church.” Currently around 25 college students normally attend Redeemer, and my prayer is that in 2 more years there will be 50 students who regularly attend and join our church.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, I believe our culture will continue to be redeemed and exert more influence on the trajectory of our world through the church’s investment in this mission.