Written by: Cody Ohnmeiss
Over the past 3 years, I have had the pleasure of connecting with hundreds of college students at the University of Findlay (UF). Whether it be at Revive, Bible studies on campus, at Gateway Church, or with athletes, students who are involved in UF’s campus ministry are all around. Many of these students display leadership qualities, passion, and a love for God that is evident in the way they live their lives. One thing that probably goes without saying is that each one of these students comes from a different background; they’ve experienced challenges that are unique to them, and thus, they all have very different walks with the Lord. That’s been the case for two students whom I have had the pleasure of discipling - we’ll call them Jack and Max.
After being raised in a Christian household, Jack came to UF hungry to grow in the Lord. He was one of those students that you could tell from just one conversation that he was a leader among his peers. He immediately plugged into multiple small group Bible studies, quickly became a leader for some, and has continued to seek opportunities to learn and grow. Many of our conversations stem from him asking for advice on “what he can be doing better,” as his desire is to continue to grow in his faith each day. Jack’s fire for God is inspiring to those he encounters.
Max’s story looks different from Jack’s. I met Max 4 years ago on campus and quickly realized that he was on a destructive path. Think of all the stereotypically things a college student can get themselves into trouble with and that was what Max’s life was centered around. That’s why I was shocked to see him show up to a Bible study that I was in attendance at. Then I was even more shocked to hear some of the questions he was asking - questions that were coming from someone who was clearly seeking God’s truth! Over the past 4 years, I watched God change this young man’s heart and give him a desire for good that is genuine and pure. Oftentimes when we meet, we look back and reflect on God’s goodness in what he has brought us both through in our lives, and yet look forward to the glory that is to come.
Two students, two different stories, but one goal - to live for the Lord in all they do. It’s joyful for me to see how UF’s campus ministry contributes to these students - and hundreds of others - journey with Christ. Both have small groups that they connect well in. Both are able to gather in worship with other students on Thursday nights at Revive. Both have community mentors that pour into them. And both get to experience God while connecting with other students who are all growing into the next generation of Christian leaders.