You must be a registered user to access our website. Please complete the registration form at no cost, or login if you are already a registered user. Be assured, your registration information is secure and will not be sold or made available to others.
To learn why registration is now required, see this editorial on the website changes. Once you have completed the registration process, to include verification of your email address, a cookie will be placed on your computer to automatically complete the login process in the future.
Registered users, click here.
New users or if you have never registered before, click here.
JACKSONVILLE (FBC)—The only light in the auditorium radiated from the glow of iPads as five college students read verse after verse, communicating a centuries-old call in a truly contemporary fashion.
They called for the students to follow; they called for them to serve; they called for them to take up the yoke of Christ; they called for them to change the world.
And so, through this intensive time of Scripture reading, the scene was set as 375 college students from across the state were urged to “Re:Connect” at the annual state collegiate conference, Feb. 15-16 at Chets Creek Church in Jacksonville.
The meeting was a “convergence of college students and leaders who want to ignite the passion for Christ in their character and on their campuses,” said Rahul Agarwal, Florida Baptists’ campus minister for the Tampa area.
“Following does not mean weakness, following makes leaders and leaders can change the world,” he explained.
The call to discipleship was echoed by keynote speaker Michael Kelley, director of discipleship for LifeWay Christian Resources, who told students “the Kingdom of God is upside down. The pathway to gain is to lose; the pathway you have to walk is a path of loss.”
Kelley urged the students to play offense, and stop playing in defensive manner. “When you follow Jesus,” there is a “dramatic cost associated with it.”
Citing Luke 9:23-25, Kelley reminded the students when Jesus calls, “The call is a call to death.” He lamented that the cross today has been “toned down” as a picture on a wall, a tattoo or an object to hang around the neck or body.
“The cross is the most brutal execution of all times. Carrying a cross meant you were minutes from dying. Death is imminent,” he said.
Following Jesus “will cost you everything,” he added, “complete surrendership.” It does not mean that “Jesus is your number one priority,” he said. “It is a life where everything is altered by Jesus.”
Kelley likened discipleship to a wheel where all the spokes connect to the hub; that center is Jesus, he explained. “It is a life where everything is altered by Jesus.”
“He is the lens by which all of reality is now filtered,” he said.
Kelley urged the students to die from their selfishness, their laziness, lust, greed, anger and bitterness. Dying to “small things” is the root of discipleship in one’s life, he added.
Throughout the two-day event, Eddie Foye and the worship band from Chets Creek Church led the group of students in a contemporary worship celebration.
As she reflected on the weekend, University of South Florida student Katie French said, “I feel like more than anything, the Holy Spirit really revealed himself to me.”
During worship, she added: “I was just hearing insight into my life that I desperately needed. And I feel like I gained a lot of peace and refocusing in that. I also felt the love of Christ in ways that I can’t explain—just overcome with what Jesus does for me although I don’t deserve it.”
“Lastly, I was hit with a reenergized passion to know and love God even more,” French said.
You must be login before you can leave a comment. Click here to Register if you are a new user.