"We usually just have events at our church, or we pass out flyers about one of our events," Davidson said. "Churches often think that's all they have to do to get people to come to church. We don't try to go to them."
As students visited neighborhoods and apartment complexes in the Triad, church planters taught them to observe the culture around them and to always be ready when God provides opportunities for spiritual conversations.
Students said they learned they don't have to take a trip somewhere to engage in missions -- God is bringing people from nations all over the world to North Carolina. They also learned that if a church isn't willing to change and do whatever it takes to reach the people in their community, the church eventually will die.
The students are working on creating a strategy to reach people in one of the Triad communities they visited. At the end of the three years, they will have developed a strategy to reach an unengaged, unreached people group with the Gospel.
"We have to get over ourselves and get out of our comfort zones," said NGMJ student Rebecca Nivens. "It's not just a one-time conversation. You have to invest time."
Each NGMJ class will spend the first year learning about church planting in North Carolina and their responsibility to help fulfill the Great Commission.
In year two of the journey, students focus on North America and spend three weeks in the summer serving in New York City. In their final year they learn about reaching the ends of the earth and serve in Southeast Asia.
Melissa Lilley is research and communications coordinator for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. NGMJ students are eligible to earn 13 credit hours from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.. Spots are still open for the fall. Applications are available at ncbaptist.org/gcp.
Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net