By Matt O’Malley
[Campus Director | The Rock-UNO]
In August of 2016, just weeks after starting my job at Metro Community College, Mike Whitney, Rory Whitney, and I sat down to discuss the opportunity to consider a position working for Candlewood Church, focusing on the UNO campus for The Rock. Since that day, God has placed in front of me opportunity after opportunity to step out in faith. A fresh new step of faith, something we are all learning at some point, is precisely what God has called my wife and I towards over a year ago, for we know that “it is impossible to please God without faith.”
I officially started my position in August of 2017, and today marks my first post writing to those of you who support this ministry in efforts to try and paint a picture of what is happening on campus in the lives of these students.
When someone asks me what I do as a Campus Director for The Rock, it’s never a clear easy answer. Unlike a typical 9am-5pm day built around structure and deadlines, this position is built like a box of chocolates [you may not know what you’re gonna get!]. There is a vision and an agenda to accomplish during the day, outside of early morning meetings and emails, but I have to be ready to be flexible to meet with young men from The Rock. I spend the vast majority of my time specifically with men on campus, one-on-one to help them become disciples of Jesus Christ; this is ultimately the goal (WIN, BUILD, SEND!). On a daily basis, I can expect to spend time with these guys in a variety of ways: I might visit the library or student center to share the gospel with students, take the shuttle and walk a brother to his class, sit and work through The Bible together, go through Beginning In Christ with students interested in learning more about the person of Jesus, sit with a guy to teach him a little guitar, or even to go run errands with guys.
On a more regular basis, I help facilitate our Wednesday night Rock service, attend Small Groups on campus, participate in Tuesday night bible studies, and even play a little basketball on Saturdays and Sundays. It feels like being in The Rock all over again! June Hunt once said, “You spell Love – T.I.M.E.”. This is the vision I have been given and called to – to spend my time with these young men to coach, encourage, spur, and model discipleship!
There is far more to say about the work being done on campus, and the work is far from over. Expect to hear more from me in future blogs on a monthly basis. However, I would also like to extend an invitation to come talk with me one-on-one to tell you personally how the work on campus is going.
I want to close and say thank you to all of you who give to help support this ministry. I would not be able to spend time with these students on campus every day if it were not for your giving! Please be praying! If the Lord does not work, we strive in vain.
P.S. Here’s an encouraging group message text received from one of our young freshmen:
“I started to tear up a bit during the songs [during the November Rock Men Appreciation Night]. It made me realize how close to God I have gotten over the past few days. Since Friday night, there hasn’t been a day that has gone by where I haven’t thanked God for bringing all of you [the men in The Rock] into my life…. I have gotten deeper into my faith and God is starting to be a focus point in my life again.”