Sharing one’s faith is encouraged at Oneida
I am often blessed to visit the homes of some of Oneida’s faithful friends and donors. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, that is something I have not been able to do since early March.
I always leave the homes of these fine people uplifted and encouraged.
As I reflect upon my visits from the past year, there is one particular visit that comes to mind. Earlier this school year, my wife, Angie, and I were privileged to visit a 1949 OBI graduate and his wife. Our visit lasted about 90 minutes and consisted of much OBI storytelling and recollection of memories, but one thing in particular stuck with me. As we said goodbye, our friend said, “Keep preparing and training laborers to send into the field.”
In the months since our visit, I have thought often of what this friend said. Our mission statement references ministering to students in four areas — mentally, physically, socially, spiritually. While these four little words may not seem like much, I can assure you our staff works tirelessly to accomplish this.
Oneida is such a personal schooling experience and we encourage each of our staff to integrate the Bible in everything we do. We want our staff to share their faith from their perspective and life experiences with the students they encounter. Coupled with the work of the Holy Spirit, it is this living example provided by our staff that leads to many of our young people giving their hearts and lives to Christ. In theory, those young people will then go tell their story and point others to Christ throughout their lifetimes.
For many Christians, sharing their faith seems like a daunting task — but it really is easy and simple to do. It simply has to be made a priority and done with great intention. Upon coming to Christ, our students are given great opportunity to share their faith with others on our campus. Our faith-based campus ministry programs are great tools to teach our kids how to live for Jesus and, in my opinion, telling others about our faith in Christ is a tremendous part of living for Him.
I can’t help but wonder how many OBI students will one day be in heaven because of what the Lord enables us to do here. However, I don’t have to wonder if sharing our faith on a daily basis with our students is the right thing to do. I know it isn’t just the right thing to do, but it is also our calling. If you know Jesus, it is your calling as well. Go ye therefore and make disciples … and send laborers into the fields for the harvest.
Larry Gritton is president of Oneida Baptist Institute in Oneida, Ky.