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New 'Quest Initiative' looks to train more workers for the harvest
February 07, 2005
By Bryan Cribb
The students and faculty at Boyce College are on a quest. No, it's not a mission trip or a jaunt to the park or even the journey to complete a degree. It's a quest to send out more workers for the harvest. But to send them out, more workers must trained. And to train them, they must be found.
Enter Boyce College's "Quest Initiative" recruitment campaign.
The quantitative goals of this ambitious initiative are to bring in 140 prospective students for Boyce's spring Preview Weekend and to enroll 280 new students this fall, making the total enrollment more than 700. The hope is to continue the phenomenal growth the college has experienced since becoming a four-year institution more than six years ago. But the initiative is more than just numbers and names on contact cards.
"We feel we're on a holy mission, quite frankly," said David Adams, associate dean and professor of youth ministry at Boyce College, who developed and defined the initiative last fall at the authorization of Boyce College Dean Jimmy Scroggins. "It's beyond the numbers and relationships and goals and the campaign. This really is not a campaign. We think this is a spiritual imperative."
To reach such lofty goals, it was necessary to engage the entire Boyce College community. And thus, under the leadership of Scroggins, seven teams totaling 56 people have been appointed. The teams are actually led by students, including Todd Thomas, Ronnie Parrot, Paul Butterworth, Brad Kepler, Zack Thurman, Chris Bumbalough and Brandon Boone. Each was chosen to represent their respective majors at Boyce.
The seven student leaders have each recruited six other students. And the seven teams of seven are each joined by a Boyce College faculty member. And, of course, all the work will be done in cooperation with the school's admissions department.
"[The initiative] is getting our students involved in doing this work," Scroggins said. "Our students are enthusiastic about our campus and our school and what's going on … and so, it's very easy to get students fired up about what's happening here."
Each team has as its goal to bring 20 prospective students to Preview Weekend and 40 full-time students for the fall semester — thus amounting to the numbers listed above.
The recruitment tasks for each team include prospect development, mailings, phone contacts and visits. The philosophy is simple. Each person on the team has a sphere of influence and each person can make contacts — at home churches or associations, with friends and relatives, etc. — that lead to the identification of prospects. Prospects will also be generated from events such as Youth Ministry Emphasis Week, Aletheia concerts and professor speaking engagements, and from churches on the Center for Youth Ministry church list and local approved site churches.
Though the Quest Initiative's most visible goal is to bring in students, the underlying motivation is reaching the world. In fact, the initiative grounds its inspiration in Jesus' directive to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the field (Matthew 9:37b-38).
"I'll tell you what we started [this initiative] with," Adams said. "We believe it's the will of God that the Gospel is preached to over six billion people on this planet and most have yet to hear."
The way to reach these people is to train workers, he said.
"[Jesus is] directing us to participate in getting them to the field," Adams said. "But they have to go by way of training."
And one way to train workers is by bringing them to Boyce College.
"We really do feel like God's raised this school up to train ministers," Scroggins said. "We think we do a great job of it. So we're praying that God would raise up more men and women to go into the harvest, to work in the field of the world. And we at Boyce College are uniquely positioned to do an excellent job of training ministers.
"...But we also think we're one of the best kept secrets in the Southern Baptist Convention. So that's one our goals -— to get the word out."
The labors of the teams are already producing results. According to Adams, some 100 prospects have indicated a desire to come to Preview Weekend in mid-April. And almost 20 are interested in enrolling in the fall.
Students wishing to add prospects to the list can have them call and ask for the admissions office.
"As the dean, I see it as a matter of stewardship," Scroggins said. "We believe we have a stewardship responsibility to use this school to maximum effect for the Lord's sake."