As we look to a new semester, we
have some amazing things to report at the Springfield BSU.
First and foremost, we are excited
about reaching 400 students a week with our ministry to both the football team
and the band! We have been able to establish relationships with these students
through providing meals weekly (sometimes twice a week) this semester.
Secondly, we are excited about our trip to Butte, MT over spring break! We have partnered with a BSU there at Montana Tech University and BSU director, Mark Arbaugh. We have a host of things that we will be doing while we are there. You can read more about why MTU and what we will be doing below.
Also, the building project is continuing to move forward. If you didn’t know, we found a time capsule behind the 1956 cornerstone. It was amazing to see all the things the previous generation left for us as our very own Dr. Wayne Bartee explained. You can see the video on our Facebook page (@mostatebsu; scroll down to November 3, 2022). These things will be on display in the new facility once it is built. Please pray that this project will continue to move forward as it stands now.
Long Term Partnership: Montana Tech University
Why Montana Tech University?
As I reached Butte, MT in the summer of 2022, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that our
Missouri Baptist Convention had partnered with Montana Baptists to share the gospel of Jesus
through church planting and campus ministry. I had met the director of the BSU at Montana
Tech, Mark Arbaugh, the year prior. After speaking with him, I was compelled by his vision. As I got to know Mark, his wife Rachel, and his kids Caleb (wife Bailey) and Joel (wife Lauren), I
knew there was something unique about how they lived their lives.
That summer, I really got to see the fruits of Mark and Rachel’s labor. They had been there for
over 30 years, planted a church, and were well respected by those around them in the community. I got to see several campuses within the area as well. We shared the same desire
to see new ministries started on other campuses. It was on one particular evening that I knew I
wanted to partner with Mark and Montana Tech University BSU. We sat in a local BBQ joint at a long table with Mark sitting at the “head” of the table. I looked around and the majority of people were in their 20’s. After Mark prayed for the meal, we started to eat, and the discussion began.
“What are we thinking about this next year?” he asked.
I knew then that I had been invited into one of their strategy sessions. What I saw around that table was “buy-in”. EVERY one of the people around that table offered their input, how they planned to reach the campus, and what they could do to make it better. It was incredible. I was thinking, “our students could benefit by being at this table”.
Since that summer, I have been there 2 other times. I’ve had the opportunity to meet all the student leaders as well as church leaders. The college schedule is in the DNA of the church. It was a collegiate focused church before collegiate focused churches became popular. Missouri State University students need to be a part of this, I thought. They need to see how these students are “bought in” to the life of the church which ultimately leads them to the college campus as missionaries.
Butte, MT is unique compared to the rest of the state. Most will learn more of this when they
arrive. It’s a rough mining town with a tumultuous past and a history of alcoholism, debauchery, mass deaths in the mines, and Catholicism. At one time, it was as large as New York City. Doc
Holliday, Evel Knievel, and JFK have all visited or were born there.
The First Baptist Church downtown is now a YMCA. Southern Baptist Churches are scarce, but there’s a cannabis dispensary on every corner and a casino in every gas station.
Vision of Partnership
Our goal is simply to serve Mark Arbaugh in his vision to reach Montana Tech, the campuses around Butte, as well as Butte itself. We will do this by “conducting ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27). This will require flexibility, patience, and a strong commitment to serve, regardless of what that service may or may not look like. We believe that repeat short term mission trips will help us achieve this goal.
These trips may include:
1. Praying over the campus
2. Talking to students on campus and inviting them to the BSU
3. Talking to faculty/staff on campus
4. Traveling to other campuses to do steps 2 and 3
5. Church work that could include leading bible studies
6. Leading worship
8. BSU building work
9. Church building work
10. Whatever else is asked of us
In turn, we believe that our partnership with Montana Tech will empower our students to share the gospel on their own campus here at MSU, challenge them to see themselves as a vital part of their church, and allow them grow spiritually as they serve in an unchurched culture.