Summer Missionary 2023

Steven Moerschel

Where do you currently attend school? University of Missouri in Columbia (Mizzou)
Where are you serving this summer, and who is your mentor?
Anthem Church in Columbia, MO with Chris Kurtz
How did you first encounter Jesus Christ, and how has His lordship continued to change your life?
My initial encounter with God was as a child. I asked my brother what happens when we die, and he explained that we could go to heaven or hell. As for Jesus specifically, probably around 9 years old is when I could fully comprehend the person and headship of Jesus and His sacrifice. Although I knew Jesus, I didn’t care to study Him in my free time. I would attend church as much as possible and learn, but I didn’t pray or get to know Him personally in the present moment. All of this head knowledge compounded with conversely littler bits of heart action—which made me into a theological weapon with no strength to actually pick myself up and use my knowledge for the glory of God. My relationship with God has always been growing regardless of the pace, but certain things along the way have helped me grow deeper into Him. About two years ago, I volunteered at Lake Geneva Youth Camp and met a lot of really great people. I thought that their theology was not the most sound, but they bore so much fruit to the point where I had to question, “Why am I not bearing as much fruit? Where is my joy?” I spoke with a lot of people there who encouraged me to pray, read and grow that relational aspect of faith. Ever since then my walk with Christ has been dramatically closer and my rate of growth has been exponential (Glory be to God)! Through knowing Him and His character, it makes submitting to God a lot easier and His yoke (lordship over my life) lighter.
What does the church mean to you?
Church to me is an aircraft carrier. It’s a safe place where you reconvene amongst fellow believers, make plans, encourage one another, train, eat food, sharpen your tools, grow relationships, and eventually you get back into your jet plane and launch into the war again. This is not cynical, it’s how I’ve come to view the world (Eph. 6:12). Church is a place of celebration and admonishment— dichotomy that the World would not understand, but in the context of the Gospel, is incredibly beautiful.
As a student, how have you shared – and are currently sharing – your faith with others?
I am sharing my faith by doing life with my fellow students. I am generally known as “the guy who knows a lot of people.” This is on purpose; I try to remember names as much as possible because showing the character of a God who knows you by name means that we must know each other by name. I will typically ask my un-churched friends to play racquetball, go to the gym, get lunch, study amongst other things. I’ll listen to them as much as possible and if I’m lucky I’ll have a few of them ask about me. I’ll bring up God in conversation casually and then that will usually end up in them asking me. If they don’t ask me, I say, “Are you religious?” From there it’s asking them why or why not. They normally look uncomfortable for a second, but that usually goes away. If it gets to uncomfortable I’m just patient because they will usually ask on their own. I’ll set up another time to hangout and next time I’ll ask if they have thought about what we talked about. So far I have brought 6 to Anthem and I follow up with a couple of them regularly to catch up. I have had one friend accept the Gospel and give his life to Christ which fills me with encouragement! I need to not be as intimidated to bring it up to people who seem very apparently in the world, but I will continue praying for the strength to do so.
What do you feel is your vocational call (future career), and how do you anticipate sharing your faith through that call?
I anticipate that I will be a teacher of some kind. As of right now I am in the interview process to be a speed coach for children; I have also done vocal and theatre coaching. I think that being in occupations like that clients would look up to me as I am proficient in the thing that they want to be proficient in. This gives me an opportunity to give glory to God through spirited advice and encouragement. Also, it a great opportunity to let my actions be a light for Jesus.
Why do you want to be a summer missionary?
I would like to be a summer missionary because the good news of the Gospel is too good to be kept secret. I could share the good news regardless, but this position would allow me to understand the framework of the church; understanding that the church is a place that cultivates and strengthens the body to go spread the news individually. I would like to learn the delicate detail of ministry – the what, when, where and how and put through the fire to come out more patient and diligent on the other end.