Delivering future leaders to the Church
The goal of our ministry is to deliver to future churches the gift of adults who already have a paradigm for engaging, serving, and leading the church,” says CCO staff member Ben Capps. “My hope is that college students will encounter God at the Church of the Good Samaritan in a way that introduces them to a vision of God and the Gospel that is bigger and more true and more beautiful than anything they ever dreamed. We cannot fully introduce students to the Gospel without holding the message in one hand and the church in the other.”
Ben and his CCO colleague, Nicole Arthur, have worked together at the Church of the Good Samaritan in Paoli, Pennsylvania, reaching out to area college students. The church has had a long-standing history of ministry at Eastern University and committed itself to outreach at Immaculata University two years ago, recognizing an opportunity for unified ministry on both campuses through the CCO.
“Very early on, we knew we wanted to create a ministry where students are not just sitting in church on Sundays, powering up to face the world someday,” Nicole says. “Students have gifts and talents locked inside them in the here and now, and we want to invite them into the life of Good Sam knowing that reality. So you’ll find students doing everything from organizing all-church meals on Sundays to helping with the youth group, from writing and leading prayers to assisting in the tech booth. We recently had an upperclassman become the youth and college representative to the church board!”
As students graduate, they are connecting to new congregations and putting what they experienced during their college years into practice.
Morgan Hess is now leading music at her church and working as a piano instructor. Mike Creamer is serving as a youth director at one church, and Tori Hoff is serving as a junior high youth leader at another.
“At Good Sam, we put a lot of emphasis on whole-life discipleship,” says Ben. “As students explore their callings and vocations, they are doing that within the context of the church. The Church is not just another sphere—it’s what holds us all together!
“We emphasize being a part of a local worshiping community from the very beginning. We want students to have a really solid paradigm for what it looks like to serve the body and to use their giftedness for the edification of the body. Our hope is that our students can be a true gift and a blessing to whatever worshiping community they end up in.”