I am starting a little “tour” about every other week of some of the BCMs in Oklahoma, so I plan to write about some of my general observations from these trips. I am going to be talking with small groups of students about their BCM experiences for a research project I am doing.
For those who are unfamiliar, BCM stands for “Baptist Collegiate Ministries,” but most people just call it BCM. Among Oklahoma Baptists, BCM is one of the most popular of our shared ministries. In a 2019 survey conducted by Oklahoma Baptists, 77 percent of the convention’s lead pastors said they had a favorable view of the BCM.
Lesser known perhaps by some, BCM is also a leadership pipeline for our state’s churches and convention ministries and mission boards. As we can see below, that is not by accident, it is part of the design. One of the most impressive parts of the current BCM strategy in Oklahoma are what they call the “Essentials,” these are six priorities you will find in place at any BCM in our state.
And in just a few conversations, I can tell you from the students I have met so far who are involved in BCM leadership, all six of these missional pistons are firing!
Creating a culture of evangelism in the ministry and on campus that results in “God” conversations happening naturally and often.
Moving students forward in their relationship with Jesus in a systematic and consistent way no matter their beginning point.
Student Leadership Development
Identifying, enlisting and training students to effectively lead specific areas of the BCM ministry on campus in order to make the greatest impact possible.
Creating as many ongoing entry points as possible into the ministries’ influence for students in all stages of their educational process.
Building relationships with administrators, faculty and staff on campus in order to minister to them in significant ways.
Involving students in mission opportunities locally, nationally, and internationally. Impacting the nations by connecting with international students who have come here to study.
For Oklahoma Baptists, “essential” is a good word to use in reference to BCM, especially in reference to missions. In another survey conducted in 2019, we asked currently serving IMB missionaries about what ministries of the state were influential in helping them discern their calling to missions. More than 34 percent of the missionary respondents said BCM was influential in their calling.
How about that? More than a third of our missionaries trace their understanding of God’s calling to reach the nations, to their experiences with BCM!
More thoughts to come. But, I leave for now encouraging you to visit the BCM on the campus nearest you. The BCM is an extension of your church, and you will find dedicated partners in the directors and students there in reaching your area campus. You can find a map with a list of all the BCMs here.