The impact that a staff member can have on a community is incalculable. I firmly believe this. If I didn’t, I promise you, I would not be serving in this capacity today. But, I confess, more times than not, I limit the impact that I could have on my community when I narrow my efforts on the college campus. Let me explain.
Who am I to Bless?
As a staff member, and more importantly a disciple of Christ, I am called to bless the campus of Western Carolina University through acts of service and proclaiming the gospel of grace. But, WCU is not my only mission field. Genesis 12:1-2 tells us that God blessed Abraham so that he could be a blessing to other nations. So, as a disciple of Christ, I am not only called to bless WCU, but I’m also called to bless the community in which I live. That community happens to be Sylva, NC.
So how am I to bless the community of Sylva, while at the same time having an impact on the campus? Is this even possible? Yes!
As a former baseball player, I still love and adore the game of baseball. If I ever come into contact with anyone who has played, we generally hit it off and talk about the sport constantly. This happened with a fellow member of Webster Baptist (my church) and with a student at WCU. Although these conversations were happening separately, God was orchestrating a way for me to bless both simultaneously. Keith, a friend and fellow church member, recently decided to start an 8 & under AAU baseball team for kids in our community. He asked for my assistance, and I gladly accepted his offer. Shortly after, I remembered that a student who I’ve shared the gospel with also loved baseball. This student had yet to come to faith, but still spent time with Campus Outreach staff and other students who were involved with the ministry. So, I decided to ask Keith if he would be willing to let the student help coach our team. He quickly agreed. The student now helps us coach the team and travels with us on weekends. God, in his grace, gave me the unique opportunity of impacting a college freshman with the glory of Christ, while simultaneously allowing me to bless my friend Keith, the eight-year-old kids, and their parents. Keith and I get the opportunity to be a light for Christ on a baseball team with kids, parents, and now a student who don’t know him!
My calling is to bless all I come into contact with the good news of Christ. That includes not only WCU, but also the community in which I live.
- Chris Williams