[caption id="attachment_441" align="aligncenter" width="944"] "Samford University, Birmingham, AL" by Chuck Grimmett / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Cropped[/caption]
Yvonne and I have learned after 23 years of marriage that college ministry is our “sweet spot.” We met while in college, served in college ministries throughout our married life, and remember how married couples invested in our lives, which has made our marriage and relationship with Christ stronger to this day. We have had many students pass through our home over the years.
After a brief season of respite, Yvonne and I believed the Lord was leading us back into college ministry. I shared this desire with Lee S., our college minister at Brook Hills, and we were back in action. We were given a few freshmen students’ names from Samford University that had expressed an interest in being discipled.
Following an initial contact, we began getting to know our students (five guys and two girls). It was slow for the first semester. Trying to find a common day to meet together with our crazy schedules (mine and theirs), was tough. Yvonne didn’t seem to have the problem with her girls. The guys were experiencing their newfound freedom and I was getting frustrated. I felt like the only course of action was to do my best to consistently be in their lives by meeting them for dinner, stopping by the campus to visit, and having them over to watch TV—it was erratic. There wasn’t much planned Bible study or prayer time during the semester. But I wasn’t going to give up.
After the Christmas break, I believed it was time to get intentional in the Word and consistently meeting. They shared the same desire. We are now meeting on Sunday evenings at our home. We are working our way through Colossians. We utilize an accountability sheet weekly for a spiritual check-in. Yvonne cooks dinner and we eat BIG! The guys are very comfortable in our home, even going back to the refrigerator for more milk and calling Yvonne, “mom.” We love it! They’ve been to one of our son’s soccer games, Snap Chatting, and we follow one another on Twitter. We now miss them when they are not at our home. This is what we’d hoped for…
It’s our desire to be “home base” spiritually for them in their season at Samford. As they lead others to Christ and disciple them, we want to provide for them a home where they can spiritually recharge and be encouraged. It’s not just a once-a-week meeting that we hoped for with these students. We wanted a relationship built on the love of Christ. It’s been about taking time to go to the campus. It’s meeting them one-on-one. It’s late nights. It’s like any other worthy task—it takes your life and energy to invest in the lives of someone else.
Our motivation to invest in the lives of these college students is found in 2 Timothy 2:1-2 and Matthew 28:18-20. Jesus commanded us to do this great work. Yvonne and I had a similar college experience where an older couple invested in our lives. That is why we love doing the same. We know the value of that couple’s investment in our lives and how it has benefited our marriage and walk with Christ. We hope these students will multiply themselves in the lives of others for His glory and enjoy the discipling relationship as much as we do.
Riley Green and his wife, Yvonne, have three sons: Whitten, Mark, and Will. They have been members of our faith family since 2005. For more info or to become involved with our college ministry visit collegeblog.brookhills.org/ or swing by the College Ministry kiosk in the lobby.