Every October, our college team has the bittersweet responsibility of sitting down with an incredible group of college leaders who are about to graduate. Many of these students have been a part of our Mercy Hill Kids team, or they have served on our first impressions team, or they have babysat for our community groups (my family even). Furthermore, many have helped start new community groups in order to reach more students with the gospel. We’ve watched these students get baptized, lead friends to Jesus, and grow in leaps and bounds in their faith.
And everything in me wants to give them a solid list of 7 reasons they should stay her at Mercy Hill (7 just seems to be a super holy number). The cool thing is that these students don’t want to stay. That sounds bad, but it’s not like that.
These students love Mercy Hill, but they love the mission of God more. And through their time with us, they have caught the vision to leverage the first two years of their lives after College to be a part of what God is doing in another city (or another country).
Specifically, over the past two years, we have seen Mercy Hill students go out to help plant both Jesus Our Redeemer in Baltimore, MD and Mercy Church in Charlotte, NC. Recently, I asked the pastors from each of those churches to talk about the impact these students have had in the short life of these churches.
From Brad O’Brien at Jesus Our Redeemer in Baltimore…
“One of the clearest demonstrations of God’s grace has been the number of recent college graduates that joined us on our mission to Baltimore. These graduates could have gone anywhere in the world, but they demonstrated the ability to listen to God’s calling, as well as the willingness to walk in obedience. When I was on staff at the Summit Church, in Raleigh Durham, we would always say ‘do what you do for the glory of God and do it somewhere strategic for the mission of God.’ Baltimore may not be the most influential city in the world, but with over half a million people that don’t know Jesus, it is certainly a strategic place to see the Gospel advance. If you believe that the gospel changes everything, then why not join us as we seek to live that out in this city that is desperate for what only Jesus can give?”
From Spence Shelton at Mercy Church in Charlotte…
“We are so grateful for the graduates from Mercy Hill who joined our launch team. This group just “gets it” when it comes to carrying out a gospel-centered approach to the mission God has called us to. One is already in leadership in a ministry at our local university, and a couple others are leading community groups. I hope we follow in these footsteps to raise up the kind of graduates that Mercy Hill is sending out!”
This month, our college students have the unique opportunity to go and to serve alongside of one of these churches. We are offering two (simultaneous) trips in March to partner with Jesus Our Redeemer and Mercy Church in serving their city. The goal of these trips are two fold.
First, we want to love well those we have sent out. And we want to help extend their reach and their influence in their city by serving in whatever capacity needed. Secondly, it is going to give you (as a college student) the opportunity to see what it would look like to leverage your life after college by joining a church planting team. It may not be Baltimore or Charlotte and you may only be a sophomore, but what if you begin to see now how God could use you then?
The cost of the trip is $150 (which includes lodging, transportation, and meals). Applications are available here on our website and the registration will remain open until next Monday, March 7th. There are only 8 spots open for each trip, so don’t wait! Apply today and allow God to use you in whatever way He has gifted you and go wherever He may send you.