This article was written by Jeremy Woodall, BCM Minister for the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
My college years were some of the most transformational years of my life. I did not take the typical path when it came to college. I worked for 15 months with a ministry out of high school and did not start college with the rest of my graduating class. Then after 3 semesters, I joined the army.
After serving as an Army Ranger, I came back to college to finish my degree. A semester away from graduation I moved to Chicago, Illinois, and then to Krakow, Poland before returning home to wrap up my last course before graduation. I experienced and learned many things during those 10 years, but out of all of the lessons learned and experiences had, it was a lesson my campus minister, Jeff Noble, taught me that has transcended time and has impacted my life as a disciple and disciple-maker.
Jeff taught me that the word of God was essential for my life, and he taught me to pursue a passion for it. This happened through the process of discipleship. Discipleship is the term that we use, but to me, he just hung out with us, took us to breakfast, had us in his home, played video games, but in the middle of all the hanging out, we developed a relationship. That relationship ultimately centered around the Word of God, learning it, applying it, and teaching it to others. Being disciples who made disciples.
One of the first scriptures we studied and memorized was 2 Timothy 3:16. Paul is writing to Timothy, encouraging, and challenging him, to continue to pursue Jesus with the word being essential to that goal. That verse says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness,”. Jeff instilled something in me that stuck. The Word of God is essential for a disciple of Jesus to live in constant pursuit of him. I came to college thinking that church attendance, attending youth activities, going to camps, even going to mission trips, was the way a person grew in their faith in obedience to the will of God. I didn’t realize apart from the Word of God we could not know His will or be obedient to follow it.
One of the first things we do with our students that get involved with our ministry is to teach them to study the Word of God and how to apply it to their life. One of our goals is that they study, apply, and teach others about the things of God from the Word of God regularly. I look back on the impact developing that passion for God’s Word had and continues to have on my life. It was passed on to me by a faithful servant, serving as a campus minister. I pray one day that many of our students can say the same.