How excited I am to share with you the call our family has received to a new position! Throughout the summer, we have been able to communicate or visit with many of you, but in good journalistic fashion, this blog post will answer the essential questions concerning our ministry and how you can be a part of it!
Who: The Ashbaugh's.
Well, technically Mark is the one who has been hired, but we strongly believe our entire family has been called to this ministry!
|Here we are at RUF Training with our new intern, Jaimie!|
What: Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) Campus Minister
RUF is our church's sending agency to the college campus. Essentially, Mark will be a pastor for college students. However, there are a few things that make RUF distinct.
- RUF hires seminary trained, ordained campus ministers. All these guys have graduated seminary and have been affirmed by their churches and sessions as fit for ministry.
- RUF views its role as an extension of, and not a replacement for, the local church. Our goal is not just to reach college students for the sake of our organization, but to fully integrate them into a local church body.
- RUF's ministry is for the campus and not merely on the campus.
- RUF is a place of rest and exploration, welcoming all and allowing college students to be college students. We don't want to overwhelm their lives with events and meetings. We desire for our students to have balance in their schedules.
Where: Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina
Winthrop is located 30 minutes south of Charlotte, NC. Most students come from SC, actively choosing Winthrop as an alternative to other traditional state schools. Both its education and art departments are large, which excites us. We see gospel opportunity to reach the next generation of teachers for Christ and equip them to serve him in the public schools. Similarly, Winthrop is raising up cultural trend setters, and we would love to see students approaching art and music from a Christian worldview, influenced deeply by the love of Christ.
Mark has officially been working for RUF since June, training, raising support, and preparing for the semester. However, students arrive on campus August 20! We are in the process of buying a house and moving our family to Rock Hill. Would you pray for the details in this process? It seems as if a lot of moving parts need to come together to get us into our house in time for the semester start!
Why: We love Jesus. We love his church. We love college students.
College is a crucial time in a person's life, as students leave home and are open in a new way to conversation. They are asking fundamental questions about life and its purpose, and we see this ministry as an opportunity to enter in and discuss the centrality of the gospel for answering these questions.
Additionally, today's students are under incredible pressure. The prevalence of anxiety, loneliness, and depression in this group makes us sad. And yet, we believe in healing that comes through knowing Jesus Christ. We hope to open God's word with students and share a message of great hope.
How: Prayer and Financial Support from Local Churches and Individuals
RUF is entirely supported by the prayer and financial support of local churches and individuals. Would you consider supporting us in one or both of these ways?
- Pray for a faithful ministry that is Christ-exulting, one in which we trust and rely on him alone for strength, wisdom, and provision.
- Pray that God would renew hearts and draw students, faculty, and staff to him.
- Pray for our family as we transition to Rock Hill, and specifically in our house buying endeavor.
RUF campus ministers are required to raise their campus' entire ministry budget, including salary, housing, and ministry expenses. We are looking for new ministry partners and would like to ask you to prayerfully consider giving financial support to Winthrop RUF.
- Recurring monthly contributions.
- One time gifts.
- To support our ministry go to www.givetoruf.org (Subtle, right?!?) You must select the option for Mark Ashbaugh – Winthrop University in order for your donation to go into Mark's account.
Additional Ways to Help:
- Spreading the word. If you know an individual who might be interested in hearing about and/or potentially supporting our ministry at Winthrop, would you connect us?
- Receiving Newsletters. If you like to receive an email or hard copy of our newsletter, please send Mark an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address.
We are so grateful for this new adventure. The Lord is building his church, his kingdom is advancing, and we are humbled by the opportunity to serve in this way. Please pray for us.
Lesson Learned: Blogs ... good for passing on information to large numbers of people!