Posted by: naccm | March 17, 2010

A Movement…A Personal Reflection by Jenna Wright

I asked Jenna Wright, Women’s Minister at University of Central Missouri to reflect on how she has received, understands, and applies the ideals of the Restoration Movement to ministry.

Jenna was a student at UCM when I was campus minister, and she has been an outstanding campus minister to dozens and dozens of young women at UCM over the past 7+ years.

I sincerely appreciate her honest thoughts, as they represent not a refined theology, but a practical love for Jesus and people.  And, as such, represent a third generation reflection of campus ministry.  Jenna grew up in a Restoration Movement church in addition to being a part of our ministry at UCM.

Thank-you Jenna!

What does the Restoration Movement mean to me and our ministry?”  I was puzzled by the question and then feelings of embarrassment arose when I was asked to write a posting for this blog.  Because honestly, I could not tell you the last time that I even thought about the concept of the Restoration Movement – and let alone what it means to me or our ministry.  I understand the general information related to the movement, but I don’t know that I could sit down with someone and have an in-depth conversation.

I know that our ministry, the Christian Campus House at UCM, was began and supported by local Christian Churches in 1970.  Much of our funding today continues to come from Independent Christian Churches, along with gifts from alumni and other individuals.  Unlike other ministries on our campus, we do not encourage denominationalism.  I find it interesting that most of our students do not even come from Christian Church backgrounds.  If asked, most of them would say “I’m Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic.”

As a ministry we unite in Christ and exalt Him alone, we teach from Scripture, we practice baptism by immersion and partake of communion as a community each week at our service; all of which I believe are principles of the Restoration Movement.  These practices often bring about many questions from those students who do not come from a Christian Church background, but we are able to walk them through Scripture to see that this is what we believe the New Testament church was all about.  We exist to help students find their way back to God, to teach that restoration comes through Jesus and will revolutionize the way we live and interact with the world.

I am sure that there are many other ways that I, and our ministry, are influenced by the Restoration Movement and I just do not realize the connection.  This simple question has challenged me to read, research, process, and actually take the time to look at our history and how it has influenced who we have become.

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