Hey Friends–Welcome to my blog! For anyone who may not know me or my story yet, my name is Blakeley Winslow. I am a recent seminary graduate who has a real heart for college ministry. I have just been accepted by the North American Mission Board to be a campus missionary. I am serving through the Mission Service Corps branch of the mission board, and I am now beginning to raise my own support before I go into the mission field. My destination?? Boulder, Colorado! I am going on staff with Christian Challenge, which is the Baptist campus ministry at the University of Colorado Boulder. There, I will focusing on training students in apologetics, as well as reaching out to international students. I will also be helping the other staff members to disciple/teach the students in one-on-one, small group, and large group settings. Another key part of my ministry will involve becoming active in a local Baptist church, where hopefully I may have some opportunities to preach (another love of mine is proclaiming the Word of God from the pulpit).
The official motto of the University of Colorado at Boulder quite surprisingly references Matthew 5:16–“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (NKJV). I am sure this Biblical significance is lost on many students (how many of you know the motto/writing on your alma mater’s seal?). Yet for me it suggests that even on one of the most secular college campuses in this nation, God’s truth can be a powerful presence. When I envision my ministry with Colorado students through Christian Challenge, I think that the school motto actually sums up pretty well what my goal is. As I mentioned, one of my main responsibilities on staff will be training students in apologetics. But apologetics is not simply an intellectual exercise for seminary professors, pastors, or theologians––it’s for every Christian!! As 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear”.
When I train students to better understand and defend their faith, the end goal is not so that they can win debates with non-believers or impress people with articulate responses to difficult questions. The goal is for the Christian students we work with to become more confident as witnesses of the Gospel. Then they will hopefully be ever more bold in going forth to share their faith with others. Apologetics is a tool to further spur people on to evangelism. In fact the two are really inseparable for me—how can you defend your faith without also promoting it? In my two visits to Boulder so far, I have been greatly encouraged by the commitment to Christ I have witnessed from the Christian Challenge students I have had the chance to meet so far. They are truly living out Jesus’ command to be light in a dark world, and the opportunity to disciple these outstanding young men and women is something that I am very excited about! As I begin my support raising ministry, I will continue to provide some further snapshots of CU, Boulder, and the spiritual “climate” there. It is my prayerful hope that you will begin to see the strategic importance of the mission field in Boulder.