“World’s Best Cup of Coffee” is one of the first signs that Buddy sees in the movie "Elf" when he is strolling the streets of New York City. After seeing the sign, he immediately rushes into the coffee shop and screams “YOU DID IT! CONGRATULATIONS! 'World’s Best Cup of Coffee', great job everybody!” We are not all as quick as Buddy the Elf to congratulate (or even trust) organizations or people when we see a slogan or statement beside their name.  For instance, we all remember the Verizon guy (now the Sprint guy) walking around asking “Can you hear me now?.... Good.” However, you and I both know that our calls, even to this day, still get dropped on occasion, especially in the wonderful mountains of West Virginia. Another personal favorite would be Burger King: "have it your way."  Are we really getting it our way when Burger King puts tomato on our burger, even though we specifically requested no tomato? Organizations say things all the time to grab our attention, and in reality, we all have probably forgotten about the old Verizon commercials boasting about their cell phone coverages or that at Burger King we can "have it our way", as long as we like tomatoes.

 

Obviously, through this article, our goal is to talk about BCM. So, what does this slogan talk have to do with BCM? Since you technically asked that question when you read it, I am going to answer it. Did you know that BCM claims they are “changing lives that change the world”? Is this statement worthy of a "Buddy the Elf" reaction or should we just brush this off as yet another attempt at drawing our attention to another organization?

 

As with any organization, the leader gets all the credit, whether good or bad. In reality, the head of the organization cannot do everything, but rely on those working with them to make all the great things happen.  On Marshall's campus, Rob does an incredible job preparing and investing in students, as well as the student leadership teams. In turn, those student leaders are out working their tails off to advance the gospel on their college campus, even if some do not realize they are having an impact. They are organizing the outreach events. They are setting up and tearing down the chairs in the Campus Christian Center. They are leading iTeams (weekly small group Bible studies). They are in the worship band. They are bringing their classmates to BCM and church. They are getting involved with international missions and organizing their own mission trips. They are cooking a venison community dinner so a bunch of international students can try deer meat and potentially hear the gospel for the first time. They are discipling other students and encouraging them in their daily walk. They are just living their lives for the gospel so the rest of the campus can see. This list barely scratches the surface of all the things the students at BCM are doing. The point of sharing the list is to show how some of the things are having an impact on the students. Through these things, students' lives are able to be changed. Regardless of whether it is during the BCM meetings, during an outreach event like Broomball, a game night or just a group of students sitting out on the plaza on a sunny day, God is using the students of BCM to make an impact. I know firsthand that BCM can easily be the catalyst that God uses to change a young student’s life. To make a long story short, I somewhat went through the church motions while growing up. I went to church on Sundays and Wednesdays because my parents took me. Finally, after getting to Marshall, I was an “adult” and wanted to figure out why I believed what I grew up believing in church. Thankfully, BCM was one of the places that some friends had encouraged me to attend. Through BCM, I was able to continually see Jesus through the passion of the other students, which ultimately kept me from going astray. As time went on, I slowly began to get more involved and tried to step up and fill the shoes of those older students who had graduated, in order to hopefully do the same thing for future incoming students. BCM definitely can change lives, but can those lives somehow eventually change the world?

 

One of the best things about a college campus is that fact that it is a diverse group of people all coming together into one location. Whether the students are from Spencer, West Virginia, Spokane, Washington or Abeokuta, Nigeria, they all are spending a significant amount of time on campus. The college campus is a perfect mission field because everyone is brought together in one place for four or more years. It may not seem like it, but that is a long time, and a lot happens in a young person’s life during that time span. After these life changing years, students all move on to bigger and better things.  The beauty about their next chapter is they will be able to take all that they have learned from BCM and start changing the lives of those around them in their new “world”.   

 

Now that I am starting my career and a life of my own, I realize that God used BCM to help mold me into the person I am today.  I went to Marshall and my life was changed in those wonderful five years. I have now moved to a new place in God’s big world, and I am hopefully helping those around me change it for the better. One thing that was incredibly important to me after graduating from Marshall, was ensuring that I made giving back to God one of my top priorities. Through my giving, I wanted to give to things that were close to my heart and I wanted to give where I knew the resources would make an impact, which is why BCM is one of the places I knew I needed to support. The most important thing to take away is that when you hear/read that BCM is “Changing lives that change the world,” you need to bring out your inner-"Buddy the Elf" and rush inside! However, you shouldn’t rush inside to congratulate Rob or all the students involved, you should rush in and find out how you can assist them in changing more lives that will eventually change the world.

Corey Tornes

Baptist Campus Ministries is a ministry of the West Virginia Baptist Convention