Nate and Laura partner with God to see students transformed, the campus renewed, and world changers developed. They love to equip students to bring God’s Kingdom in the spiritually open and diverse campus environment, in expectation that they will graduate as skilled and visionary leaders in their homes, workplaces, and churches. Nate grew up going to College Church, and he and Laura grateful for the church’s ongoing investment in their lives.
Laura gives her perspective on the power of an obedient ask. Her article first appeared in the weekly newsletter of College Church.
“What are your barriers to following Jesus?” Every week, Laura asked Austin this question as they studied the life of Jesus together, determined not to give up on Austin.
“Austin had been with our InterVarsity chapter for about four months,” Laura recalled. “A friend first invited him to our fall conference, and since then he was actively seeking God. Austin went to small group every week, bought a Bible to study on his own, and recently began praying. Despite all these things, each week Austin had a reason why he wasn't ready to give his life to Christ.”
One week, Austin and Laura were unable to meet. Austin later shared, “I thought, if Laura and I were meeting, she’d ask me what my barriers were to following Jesus. But I wasn't sure I had any more barriers.” That night, as he wrote in his journal and prayed, he committed his life to Christ.
According to Laura,“Austin reminds me of the power of asking. Austin’s friend asked him to fall conference. My supervisor asked me to begin a seeker Bible study. I asked Austin to be in it. And I asked him regularly what was holding him back from following Jesus. Without these asks, Austin may not have been celebrating his conversion. And I certainly would not have learned so much.
“To be honest, I was terrified when my supervisor challenged me to begin a seeker Bible study,” continued Laura. “I helped students do that, but that didn't mean I was thrilled to take the risk for myself. It would take time and energy, and I’d risk failure.”
Yet Laura knew that she needed to persevere and that this was a chance to trust God. “In obedience to God’s ask of me, I opened my eyes to those around me who were curious about Jesus. And he led me to Austin.
“That’s what we see Philip doing in Acts 8:26-40. God instructs, Philip goes, God instructs, Philip goes. In response to God’s “ask,” Philip encounters a eunuch who is reading Isaiah. Philip takes the initiative to ask the eunuch if he understands what he’s reading. And from that ask, he shares the gospel.”
Laura’s challenge to us is to recognize where God is calling us to an obedient ask. “Maybe it’s asking a co-worker to study the life of Jesus with you or asking them to come to church. Or maybe it’s just asking them to work out with you in the mornings. Perhaps you could coach baseball together with another dad in your son’s class at school. You could invite a neighbor family for a play date or include someone new on your morning walks. Whether it’s obviously spiritual or just the beginnings of authentic friendship, take the initiative to ask,” encourages Laura.
From her perspective, “You never know the difference a simple ask might make. Austin is now a passionate follower of Jesus, and he began a seeker Bible study with his own not-yet-Christian friends. God was at work in his life long before I showed up and he faithfully worked through my obedient asks.”