COLLEGE PARK, Md. (BaptistLIFE) — Aletheia Church, in College Park, a five-year-old church plant, is not only “plugged in” to campus ministry — that’s their primary focus. Rob Stephens, the pastor of Aletheia Church, recently had an opportunity to share the story of Ruth with a University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) freshman at an international student dinner.
A young woman, in the U.S. for the first time this year, asked Stephens for a suggestion for an American name. He thought for a moment then suggested “Ruth.” Addressing the group of students sitting around her, he asked, “Do you know about the Bible?” They shook their heads. So, he explained. Ruth was a “stranger” in the land, who left her home and her “gods,” to follow her mother-in-law and worship the God of Israel. She eventually became the great-grandmother of King David and was in the line of Jesus. The young woman was thrilled. “Jesus!” she echoed, with a huge smile on her face.
Asked about such a perfect story for a young Chinese woman, Stephens later said the Holy Spirit brought it to his mind.
Stephens has had many such opportunities. “When we moved here, the reason we chose this area was to influence students with the Gospel. We started with a handful of young singles, who had just graduated and a small core group of college students. We did a lot of evangelism, and that’s how we grew,” he explains.
Alethia is not an “events” driven church, Stephens says. “Most of our evangelism is very organic, constantly challenging them to be missionaries where they are. We do have some avenues. We go out sharing every week at specific times, and we walk around campus and have conversations about the Gospel.”
They recently set up a “stress relief” table outside the student union. “I took my dog,” he laughs. As students stopped by to pet the dog, Stephens, and others offered to pray with them. “It’s a good opportunity to have a conversation,” he says.
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Source: Baptist Press