by Craig Maart
We have always felt CORE Student Ministries to be one part of the whole that makes up Hershey Free Church. The purpose of CONNECT, GROW, and SERVE along with “joining together in God’s ongoing, redemptive mission” is also what CORE is about. We want our students working to be these things as part of the greater community of Hershey Free. We love it when we see our students not only living as disciples of Jesus, but also multiplying themselves in the lives of their friends.
One example of this in CORE is a student who has led his atheist friend at school to salvation. In middle school, we had a short series on, “Why So Many Religions?” This was the hook to really teach the truth about an even more important question, “Who is Jesus?” That question gets to the heart of what you really believe, not the sign on the road by a building.
At school, Sully’s history class was on the topic of comparative religions. In his discussion group was a boy who claimed to be an atheist. Sully was able to use what we were studying at church in the group at school. He persuaded this classmate to hear about Jesus as the way to forgiveness of sin. As a result of their conversations, this boy prayed to ask Jesus for salvation from his sin. Sully then brought his friend to church and got him plugged into a CORE group. I was then introduced to him and heard his version of the story. It was so cool to hear this new believer, as a former atheist, joyfully share his life.
The best part of this story is Sully did this, on his own, outside of the walls of the church building. He did not invite his friend to church to see and hear from Pastor Craig; he did the talking and lived life alongside this boy on his own. It was not part of a program. That is real disciple making. Now Sully and his CORE group are part of helping to disciple this boy and get him to do in someone else’s life what Sully did in his life. That’s exciting.