Providing a Home Away from Home
Our mission statement at Heritage reads, “Spreading the unsearchable riches of Christ broader in the world and deeper in the church.” In light of HBC’s mission, Impact’s aim is “to help college students know God, treasure his gospel, serve his church, and claim his mission.” This is the foundation of who we are, and it serves as the directional arrow for what we do. Since the college years are formative years, we want this season to be formative for the glory of Christ and the good of his church. This is why we call our college ministry Impact. We’re committed to gospel-impact among our students in these strategic years.
At Heritage, we are blessed with a large number of college students who choose to call our church home. These students represent a wonderful injection of life into our midst, and with that injection God’s given us a significant responsibility to love them in the gospel.
It is to that end that we invite you to participate in our Adopt-a-Student program. At most, we have four years with these students, and it is our desire as a church family to invest our lives in them with the hope that they grow as disciples of Jesus. We do not simply want these students to come on Sundays for worship and be content merely to participate as consumers. They bring a unique perspective, their own giftedness, and individual stories of grace that the Lord can (and will) use powerfully in our own church family. As a result of their participation in our Adopt-a-Student program and in worshiping with us at Heritage, we hope that our college students will graduate as more mature disciples of Jesus who know God more deeply through the gospel, serve the church with greater intentionality, and participate in gospel global advance with unwavering commitment.
What does this mean for members who wish to adopt a student?
More than anything else, what we are asking of you is for your intentionality as you welcome these students into your lives, into your relationships, and into the story of grace that God is writing for you. If our purpose is to see these students grow as disciples, then we need your help. Discipleship growth does not happen only as a result of their attendance at our Sunday gatherings. It doesn’t merely happen through small talk in the lobby before and after the service. It happens through your intentional life-on-life investment and honest engagement. We aren’t asking you to be theologians or professional counselors. We’re asking you to be authentic, faithful, gospel-voices in these students’ lives.
What are the expectations for adoptive members?
- We ask that you strive to connect with your student(s) in some meaningful way at least twice a month. To be clear, this could be as simple as calling/texting your student(s) to ask about their week, grabbing lunch after a church service, having them over for dinner during the week, inviting them to attend a Heritage Family Meeting with you, etc. It’s not on you to force them to respond, but we want you to commit to maintaining points of contact with these students.
- We ask that you invite these students into your home. Obviously, based on your schedules and living arrangements, having students in your home on a regular basis could prove to be a challenge. So, we ask that you invite them into your home at least once per semester.
- We ask that you pray intentionally for your students by name on a regular basis. Ask them to give some thought to a few ways you can pray for them. Once they share their requests with you and you begin to pray for them, you will have some natural points of contact as you touch base with them throughout the year.
- We ask that you strive to invite these students into the ways that you are growing as a disciple of Jesus. For example, if God is using particular verses in your life, you could share those verses with them via text or email and include a brief explanation of how God is using them to minister to you. Or you could do that over breakfast or coffee. In any case, we want them to have opportunities to see what it looks like for a maturing disciple to sit under and apply Scripture.
- Encourage your students to participate in the life of Heritage. As already mentioned, this includes inviting them to attend a Family Meeting with you. It may also include you encouraging them to join you on a Sunday when you are scheduled to serve on a volunteer team. We want them to be an active and vital part of who we are and what we do.
- We also ask that you join them for a 5:30 PM Impact Meeting in The Cave a couple of times each semester. You will be surprised at how deeply your presence will encourage them, and we’re confident you will leave encouraged as well.
- If you commit to adopting a student, we ask that you participate actively in the program for the duration of both semesters of the school year. If extenuating circumstances require you to step back from participation in the program, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can make arrangements for your adopted students.
At the end of the 2019-2020 school year, we will reassess our adopt-a-student ministry to learn which families wish to remain in the program, which students have gone elsewhere, and to discern how we may better serve our students in the coming school year. This will allow us, as adoptive families, to determine where we might have space for any new students who join us in 2020-2021.
If have any questions, concerns, or recommendations throughout the semester, don’t hesitate to email Dan Cruver (email@example.com). The only way that we will continue to grow in loving and serving these students well is through thoughtful feedback, so please share any ideas you might have.
Get in touch with Dan Cruver at firstname.lastname@example.org