Ministry of the Week: California School Project seeks to develop individual gifts
Courtesy | California School Project
California School Project leaders envision a day when high school students are saved not only from vices like drugs, drinking and violence, but come to salvation through Jesus Christ. CSP has been a part of Biola for 10 years and currently has 65 Biola students working to help the Christian clubs of 27 high schools have an active presence on their campuses.
Before they can help the high school clubs, CSP goes through a recruiting process which involves the ministry going to different high schools and holding meetings with their Bible clubs. The introductory meetings are an initial proposition of the ministry’s product, said associate director Jose Anaya, a junior marketing major.
“We say this is a service that we can provide and what we can do for them and we extend to them an invitation to come be a part of it,” Anaya said. “They have the opportunity to say, ‘Yes, we want to jump on board with what you want to help us out with,’ or, ‘No.’”
After the introductory meetings comes diagnostics, when the ministry discovers how they can best offer their services to the clubs. Through questions such as how often they evangelize on their campus and how dedicated the club is, CSP identifies how they can best help them improve as much as possible. Two leaders from Biola are then assigned as campus mentors to show them how to use their students to impact their school with the gospel.
Organizing outreach to be effective
CSP instructs them in how to organize outreach and gospel events with their school. It’s a process that has the ultimate objective of each school hosting at least one event. It could be a targeted outreach event, a gospel event or apologetic event, according to Anaya.
In working with these different high schools, students have seen God work in many different lives.
“The greatest thing is seeing God save a high school student and, through his word and other people, equips the student to share the gospel with their campus and friends,” said Jonathan Mestas, a senior Christian ministries major.
However, Anaya realizes the breadth of gifts God has bestowed on his followers.
“God has gifted us to specialize in different areas,” said Anaya.
As such, CSP is currently working on a joint effort to host a training session led by the Apologia ministry in order to build the separate ministries up with the gifts God has given them. Apologia will communicate to CSP their knowledge of relativism which is a frequent issue for them when witnessing, and how to convey absolute truth.
Learning to balance the ministry with the rest of life
“A lot of people we run into say it’s OK for you to believe that, but I choose to believe otherwise,” said Anaya. “Apologia is going to talk to us about that, prepare and equip us so we can deal with that issue as best as possible when we go witnessing.”
Despite seeing God work in the lives of high school students, there are some difficulties in being a part of CSP.
“It’s hard to maintain the balance between CSP, school and relationships outside of that like church,” said junior kinesiology major Jessica Robert.
Student director Michelle Law, a senior Christian ministries major, agreed.
“The hardest part is how demanding it is and how hard it is to find a balance between it and the rest of your life. It’s constantly in your life and your friends become the people in CSP,” Law said. “It takes a lot out of you. It’s not like a job where you leave, forget about it and then you go back to work.”