Student Spotlight: Joseph Courter

Name: Joseph Courter

Campus: Missouri Southern State University

Ministry: MSSO BSU

Church: FBC Joplin

Major: Mathematics

Year: Freshman

Hometown: Versailles, MO

Testimony: My dad used to be an MBC pastor. I was baptized at 8 years old and I’ve believed since then that the Lord is my Savior. At the beginning of high school, my family went through a rough time with my dad’s job and finances. That’s when I started to actually develop my faith. It was a difficult time, but the Lord has provided. I really had to look inside and confirm that I believed God will take care of us no matter the circumstance. It was the Lord testing us. Now my faith in the Lord has never been stronger.

How did you get involved in the BSU? On my campus tour, we stopped by the BSU. We had found Jon’s info on the website and contacted him to schedule a meeting after the tour.

What’s been the greatest challenge since coming to college, and how has the BSU helped? Coming to the university has been a new challenge meeting people from different perspectives on campus. The BSU has helped me to put God first in conversations with others and given me close friends that make sure I keep “the main thing the main thing” (as Jon says). 

Why is college ministry needed in addition to the local church? It is very important for there to be a college ministry on campus. It gives you a sense of community with people who have something in common with you and the same experiences as you. It’s comforting to know that there are other people that think like you and have the same faith as you on campus. It helps greatly with strengthening your faith in general.

Last semester you were involved in a Minor Prophets Study with the BSU. Tell us about that. My first thoughts were “Oh, these books I haven’t read most of these.” The only one you usually think of is Jonah. That’s just because of the big fish story. Just seems like a bunch of ancient people being very mad about their circumstances. It was very strange in the beginning. “I guess I’m going to have to learn something new,” I thought. As we went through it, it was really cool how you could see all these connections from the minor prophets and how they all point to Jesus in some way. 

How did this study equip you to share your faith? It taught me that there are different ways to go about sharing the gospel. There are new perspectives from every book of the Bible. Each minor prophet has its own parallels to Jesus. Each one gives a new perspective on the gospel.

How did this study equip you to lead in other ways? The minor prophets are encouraging because they always give a hint of hope even in the darkest of circumstances. Just to learn that even though the Israelites or their enemies did something horrible or wasn’t pleasing to God, God still cared enough to give hope and give mercy through those dark times. It’s comforting to know that even though I may mess up or go through a dark time, God is still there to give His mercy and love and strength through the Holy Spirit. Minor prophets give beautiful symbolism to that idea. If you can digest a minor prophet…there’s a lot more you can digest.

How do you hope to share your faith in the future, both immediate and long term?

I hope now that I have the courage to share with other people that I meet. Lately we’ve been talking about how to look for the opportunities that God lays before us. I hope that in this semester and the future that I slow down enough to notice the opportunities God lays in front of me. I hope that the Holy Spirit gives me that urge and I have the courage to speak up to give light to somebody that might be in the darkness. In any place I end up, I want to have the courage to be a light in someone’s life and to share my testimony.


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