EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an expanded article based on the 2020 Cooperative Program Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. For more information, please visit www.oklahomabaptists.org/cp.
Unlike Noble Paddyaker’s original thinking as a college student, the ladder of success climbs down. Now as a collegiate missionary on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, he helps students learn the path to success in God’s kingdom.
“Freshmen are in a transition between high school and college,” Paddyaker said. “They have a lot of enthusiasm and drive but not a lot of practice being on their own, so they need help figuring things out.”
Paddyaker’s ministry assignment involves Freshmen Night every Wednesday. “It’s a lot of fun,” he said, “but we also do some pretty serious study.”
He also disciples student leaders, meeting with one or two at a time each week, seven or eight students for a semester. The idea is to build the value of the discipline, “so they do it when I’m not there,” Paddyaker said. “If I want to teach a student to have a quiet time, I’ll explain the importance, tell them how, and then have one with them.
“You need to check on them,” the BCM staffer said. “The (spiritual) disciplines are super important in walking with God. If they’re going to run the race well, they need to work at it.”
Paddyaker also goes to the gym to work out with students, and he plays board games after BCM activities with students not ready to get back to their books or bed.
The OU BCM staffer describes himself as an introvert. He regroups by spending time with himself, doing leatherwork to give to friends and family.
During that thinking time and through Bible reading, Paddyaker said, he has come to realize, “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave.”
Because of the generous giving of Oklahoma Baptists through the Cooperative Program, an amazing array of ministries are supported. This unified giving encourages fellowship with other believers all over the world. Collectively, Oklahoma Baptists are advancing the Gospel together. Learn more at www.oklahomabaptists.org/CP