I had the recent privilege to give a devotion to North Greenville University’s board of trustees and leadership team. I decided to use Paul’s words as he spoke of those disciples that were making a difference in the world.
You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on your hearts, to be known and read by all.2 Corinthians 3:2
The Apostle Paul was teaching that he needed no proof of his work because the disciples themselves were the proof. He didn’t need to send a letter of recommendation for others to accept his ministry. The proof was in the lives of those he had invested his life into over the years.
I shared this thought with our leaders because it is a wonderful and necessary reminder for why we do what we do. When I stepped onto the board five years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. There are many days I still feel that way, but God provides the insight and help at every turn. The school was at a pivotal time of transition, and we were unsure of what the future held.
How can you prove the effectiveness of what North Greenville is doing right now? It’s simple really. Look at our letters of recommendation.
While the metrics that gauge a school’s effectiveness are in our favor, our true measure of success is in the value of the students we send out to transform church and society.
The stories are too many to count.
The influence is too wide to comprehend.
I shared brief stories with our crew just to remind ourselves what we join God in as he works through this university. While I used names, pictures, and stories with our presentation, let me summarize them for you:
- I remember the young man willing to serve in dangerous environments because those people need the gospel.
- I think about the influence that a principal has among her students and teachers.
- I marvel at the grad who started an international ministry to help children in hostile areas.
- I love the updates of the education graduate using her gifts on the other side of the world to make a change within the classroom.
- I treasure the type of heart that would move a family into a low-income area to plant a church among people who desperately need Jesus.
- I celebrate that a very traditional town has an NGU grad as the first female and youngest mayor ever to serve.
- I am amazed at the mother of seven serving on the other side of the world using her gifts to write and inspire others.
- I rejoice at our grad serving at a Baptist seminary preparing the next generation’s pastors, ministers, and missionaries.
- I become enthralled with the testimonies of the army chaplain seeing thousands of soldiers coming to Christ under his ministry.
And that’s just nine of our folks over the last few years. How many stories like that are out there? It depends. How much time do you have?
Serving on a board is challenging and time-consuming work, but is it ever worth it. It’s too many headaches if it was just for a resumé builder. If you’re bored, there’s something probably more instantaneously gratifying than a board meeting. It opens yourself up to more scrutiny or questioning, so avoid it if you are allergic to conflict.
But if you desire change, real life change, among college students, I can think of no better way to serve and no better place to serve than North Greenville University. Serving a term on a board may not get you in a better place, but are you willing to help others get to a better place?
In the midst of all the spreadsheets, motions, votes, agendas, and plans, there are students.
And these students are going all over the world in every discipline imaginable making a difference for the Kingdom of God. Why do I do it? Because they are all the letters of recommendation I could ever ask for in this life.
Make disciples. Leverage your influence. Send them out. Watch what God does.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.