Gospel reaches East and West
Center for Ministry Training sends Liberty students cross-country on summer mission trips
Many Liberty University students spent this past summer working with team members from the Center for Ministry Training (CMT) learning how to make evangelizing and serving people part of their everyday routine.
According to James Hobson, Jr., campus mobilizer and internship coordinator for North American Mission Board, Liberty students traveled to the metropolitan areas of Portland, Oregon, and Brooklyn, New York, this summer as part of the Liberty Generation Send (GenSend) Internship program, which partners with North American Mission Board.
GenSend is designed to be one of the most exciting, intense and unique internship experiences in North America, according to liberty.edu/academics/ministrytraining.
It is a spiritual venture that immerses young adults into a metropolitan area. Participants spend 10 weeks initiating ministry in the city while practitioners and leaders invest in the interns’ lives.
According to Hobson, CMT strives to instill a ministry consciousness in students who are in all different fields of study so they can carry that knowledge with them after they have graduated.
“(CMT’s purpose) is to get anybody to understand that if they are a Christian, then they are called to a life of ministry,” Scott MacLeod, associate director of CMT, said. “And so we try to educate people in understanding that it’s not always vocational ministry, as sometimes we say. But whether you’re the nurse, the teacher, the lawyer, the stay-at-home mom, the stay-at-home dad, future magazine reporter or news reporter, … if you’re a Christian, then you’ve said, ‘This is the life of ministry,’ so how can you best utilize those gifts and talents God has given you?”
According to Hobson, there were two GenSend teams that were in Brooklyn and Portland for six weeks this summer. The GenSend teams were led by Liberty students Sarah Reese and Austin Coleman, respectively.
“Generation Send has impacted the way that I view everyday life opportunities,” Reese said. “I now see the opportunity for gospel intersections everywhere I go. Missions is a mindset, not a compartmentalized task.”
Hobson’s job was to oversee the process of GenSend. He trained and equipped the team leaders, helped with team recruitment and prayed for the team before they left.
According to Hobson, the teams have raised their own support to be in the metropolitan cities. While the team members were there, they found a job or internship somewhere in the city and tried to become a regular part of that city.
“You have a routine. You find your places that you frequent. You invest time in a particular coffee shop. You invest time in a particular neighborhood and basically, you live on mission where you would naturally go,” Hobson said.
According to Hobson, when doing mission work, GenSend goes by the four I’s: identify people who need the gospel, invest your life in others as you share the gospel, invite people into disciple-making relationships, and increase disciple-making by sending them out.
“GenSend showed me how to really live missionally and engage people for the gospel in a city that is largely unchurched and in need of Jesus,” Ashley Artavia, a Liberty student who participated in the GenSend trip this summer, said.
For some students, finding a natural routine in these cities did not always go smoothly.
“There are tons of success stories, but where there are success stories, there are a ton of failure stories,” Hobson said. “Where people don’t really care about church, don’t really care about God and aren’t really interested in moving in their spiritual state.”
But for Liberty student Hannah Dixon, her experience with GenSend was a positive one.
“God used GenSend and the city of Brooklyn to show me more of the awe-capturing character of Himself,” Dixon said. “God is doing big things in New York City.”
The CMT staff is already planning for next summer’s GenSend trips and is looking for 30 students who would like to join the team.
“Next summer we’ll be in three more metropolitan cities here in North America,” Hobson said. “I don’t know what those cities are as of yet. We’ll find out very soon, though.”
According to Hobson, the three cities that are being taken into consideration for next summer’s GenSend trips are Los Angeles, Miami and Toronto.
For more information about GenSend internships and how to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.