Connecting students to the church
“The prayer of our church for many years has been to find opportunities to engage in ministry to college students at Brookdale,”
says Dennis Pryzwara, Executive Pastor of Lincroft Bible Church. “The campus is right across the street from our church! We’d been trying to figure this out for years, and the CCO finally helped us do that.”
Since 2009, when Dan Terracciano joined CCO staff in order to work in partnership with Lincroft Bible Church to focus on ministry to college students, more and more students have been connecting to this local body
Approximately 30 students gather weekly for fellowship meetings on campus and for mid-week worship services at the church. “Core Groups” meet on campus so that students are able to connect more deeply with one another around the Scriptures, learning to reach out to their peers with the Gospel message. Dan also meets with several students one-on-one or in triad groups for further discipleship and leadership development.
And students are getting involved in the life of the church.
“There are a lot of members of our church who have hosted gatherings for college students,” says Dan. “They have led Bible studies for students during the summers as well as during the year. Our student worship team leads twice a month on Sunday mornings. We have students who serve in children’s ministries, and now we are seeing former students transitioning in greater degrees into full body life by engaging in the community group ministry of the church.”
In addition to inviting and involving students in the life of the congregation, the church decided to offer up a house on their property for students to live in, providing a handful of young men with residential Christian community, and something even more rare for community college students—a dorm-like living opportunity. This year, they brought on a CCO intern, Matt Carpenter, to live with students and serve as the house coordinator.
“I do campus ministry because I want to see people’s lives transformed by the gospel,” says Dan. “I think the college campus is one of the most strategic places to be about God’s mission. It is one of the most formative times of people’s lives and it is a place where ideas are freely exchanged, making it a ripe place for evangelism.
“Our prayer both on campus and in the church is to see students transformed by the gospel—to be rooted in Christ, connected in community, and engaged in mission.”