North Carolina Baptist churches are engaging students with the gospel on one-third of the college and university campuses in the state, and North Carolina ranks among the national leaders in several key collegiate evangelistic and missions categories.
“What God has been doing through the local church in North Carolina is pretty amazing,” said Jonathan Yarboro, who leads the Collegiate Partnerships Team of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC).
Yarboro gave an update on progress toward fulfilling his team’s vision of having no campus left in North Carolina without a church-led gospel movement during the September meeting of the BSC Board of Directors. Yarboro reported that 50 of North Carolina’s 148 college, community college and university campuses are now being engaged by local churches as of the end of September.
When the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina shifted its collegiate ministry strategy to focus on equipping churches to reach college campuses at the beginning of 2014, only nine campuses were being engaged with the gospel by a ministry affiliated with the Baptist state convention, Yarboro said.
With 50 campuses now being reached, that represents a 456 percent increase in engagement in less than four years, Yarboro said.
Additionally, Yarboro reported that college students from North Carolina rank in the top six states nationally in four different evangelism and discipleship categories based upon a survey conducted by LifeWay Christian Resources with all 42 Baptist state conventions across the country.
North Carolina ranked fourth in the number of students who have come to know Christ in the past year and fourth in the number of students who are being discipled in a small-group community, Yarboro said.
“These are students who have moved from death to life,” Yarboro said.
Additionally, North Carolina ranked second in the number of college students who are being mobilized for mission trips and projects during the summer months. North Carolina also ranked sixth in the number of students who are being developed as leaders and missionaries. “These are students who are being trained by their local churches,” Yarboro said.
Yarboro also praised the North Carolina churches that have embraced the call to reach college students and engage college campuses in their communities.
“It’s small churches just as much as it is large churches who are getting this done,” Yarboro said.
And while one-third of the colleges and universities in North Carolina are now being engaged by the local church, Yarboro said there’s still more work to be done.
“There are still 100 [campuses] that are left unengaged,” Yarboro said. “We need churches that are on the sidelines to get into the game. We would love to help you engage the campus nearest you.”
For more information on the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s Collegiate Partnerships Team, visit nocampusleft.org.