Barry: Hello, BRN Family. It’s good to be with you today. We just finished up a celebration party for the retirement of Robert Turner for nearly 30 years of faithful service to the BRN in collegiate work. He served so faithfully during that time as our collegiate ministry director, which we now call our Next Generation director.
Well, I have Reverend Stanley Williams with me. He is the new collegiate director, or the Next Gen director for the BRN, and we are so excited that as of July 1st, Stanley’s going to start this new journey with the team, working with the directors that are currently in place, and looking to expand our collegiate imprint, if you may, and the work that we’ve been doing across the BRN that Robert’s been doing for the last 30 years. So, Stanley, real quickly, can you just tell us what you’re looking forward to doing and that first step of this new journey, beginning July 1?
Stanley: Thank you, Dr. Whitworth. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to follow Robert Turner. And those are big shoes to fill. And so I’m just going to come over here and just wear my socks for a few and just kind of walk prayerfully into the role. We know by the grace of God, we can only do what we do by His strength but we do hope and pray that as first steps go that we will champion those who are on the frontline of the work: the tip of the spear and those are our self-funded missionaries, all of them serving (whether we’re talking Kim Carson, Scott Underhill, Eric Reiber, Kayla [Smith], Autumn [Miller], Brian Musser, Brady Rennix) wherever they’re serving. These are self-funded missionaries, so we want to make sure that we champion our missionaries and make sure that our churches know that these are your missionaries that you can pray fort. You can support, come alongside perhaps, even link shoulders and help them as they seek to engage their campuses in this post-COVID reality. All of them, like many of our congregations, are in reboot mode and so they could use encouragement in every form and fashion possible. Number one.
Number two is to engage our churches. As many of our churches are opening their doors, perhaps now they can see afresh the campus down the street, the campus across the county, and and see a brand new opportunity to engage the next generation. We’re excited about that opportunity and I look forward to how we can as Dr. Whitworth said, expand our footprint and get more of our churches involved in what it means to engage the next generation. We’re excited about the opportunity with young men and young women like Bao Pham and Denis Sichkar and a variety of other young adults who are coming at the next generation, not through campus-based ministry, but through their local churches and the affinity they have for the populations that are there.
So we want to look for more persons like Bao and Denis and undergird them, support them, and cause them to know the ways in which the BRN can celebrate them, resource them, and help them to move forward. I’m very excited about a young man named Austin, who is going to be coming from one of our churches, Friendship Baptist Church, and he’ll be the first intern that I have the opportunity to coach into serving into the work.
So we’re excited about young men named Austin, Austin Burton. And so we covet your prayers for him. We look for other young men and women like him who are going to be interns and begin to test drive, if you will, what it means to engage the next generation. And we want to be a part of all of that. So those are kind of the main first things that we want to see begin to happen. They’re really extensions or continuing what Robert was doing and we hope to just keep the ball rolling.
Barry: Well, thank you for sharing that, Stanley. We are really excited! You know, Stanley is a byproduct of 20 years of mentoring from Robert Turner for him to be ready to step into this role. And as you’ve heard his heart, reach out to him, pray for what we already have in place. Pray for what God will raise up for the future, calling out more interns and future campus ministry directors, right? So if you’d like to know more information about how you can support the work that’s been going on, is still happening today, and will happen in the future, reach out to Stan, firstname.lastname@example.org, and he’ll be glad to get back with you. We’re looking forward to this journey, my brother. So, welcome aboard and will be supporting you in every way we can. God bless you!