Reflections on College Ministry at Purdue

Most spend 4 years on the Purdue campus. They come, they learn, and they go – off to make the world a better place (ideally). I spent the better part of 13 years at Purdue (no, not solely as a student!). I’m not sure if when I get a cut if I’d bleed red or black and gold. Not because I’m a diehard Purdue sports fan (let’s be honest there were plenty of years where there was no reason to be), but because I am a BoilerMaker. Because, during my 4 years on campus, during my undergraduate days, God did a mighty work in my life, bringing me to a greater understanding of who He is and what His Word says about life. It was at Purdue that I learned that God’s Word had answers for the struggles that I faced in this life. It was there that I learned in greater detail about the hope that I have in eternity and how it affects me here and now. It was through the teaching of faithful men like Steve Viars, Brent Aucoin, Rob Green, and others that I began to grow more firm in my own faith and learned what it meant to be a man of God.

Ever Grateful, Ever True

Fairly succinct and accurate words to describe my response to my Purdue and Faith Church communities. To have been able to be influenced and now an influencer on campus and in this community for so long has been a tremendous privilege. It’s overwhelming to consider the number of students’ lives with whom I have been blessed to cross paths. I don’t know the math, but even a conservative number would be 1,000+. What an entrustment. What a stewardship. God help me to be found faithful! May I increase what you have given me and do it for your glory.

The Winds are Changing

It brings tears to my eyes to know that these days are fading fast. That the door to this chapter of my life will soon be closing and a new one will be opening. I praise God for his sovereign plan. I couldn’t write half as good of a story as the one he has been planning long before I was born. I am thankful to be able to be a part of it though. I’m thankful for the other players and characters that have been brought into this story along the way. From the 100 hours crew, to my PBF and Faith family, to my own family and the many other friends along the way, each has been a tremendous blessing in my life. I certainly look forward to what God has in store next as we move to a new church family in Des Moines, Iowa, but I know I will leave a piece of my heart here in the Greater Lafayette community.

Sources of joy

It brings me great joy and peace to know that there are many godly churches and campus ministries at Purdue. To know that the work will carry on whether I am here or not. I realize I’m not a necessary part of God’s plan to reach Purdue, but it sure was fun to be a part of it while I was here. I hope to be faithful to pray for these ministers and the students they’re ministering to in the years ahead.

I look forward to the day when I will reunite with all of these dear brothers and sisters without the pangs of sin and death lurking over us. When we can reminisce and laugh at God’s work in our lives and glory in our Creator face-to-face. What a day that will be. A day that goes without end. What a hope and what a delight! I pray that those who read this would have the peace and hope and comfort that comes from knowing that they will be a part of that day. If you don’t, I’d love to talk to you more about that.

Lessons to Learn

One of my own personal struggles will be to own the hardness of this transition. My preferred way of dealing with change is to ignore it (or at least its implications) until it’s here. That’s not really loving to those who are going through the change with me, so I know I must… you guessed it, change. I am thankful that God is stronger than my stubbornness and he gives me moments like today where I could meet with a college student on campus to be reminded of all of these things. To be hit with the nostalgia of the years spent seeking to reach college students for Christ. I believe Tim Keller spoke about the need for Christians to be involved in centers of cultural influence, speaking of big cities and college campuses, and I definitely agree. I am thankful to have seen immature boys and girls coming to Purdue and Ivy Tech choose to pursue the Lord during their time there and graduate as mature men and women who are intent on serving him in the local church for the rest of their days. What a blessing to be a part of that process. I know it will continue. I pray it will continue. I hope that it will continue. Jesus is building his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Mt. 16:18). He will bring to completion the work that he has started (Phil. 1:6). And that is a source of great hope!

EVER GRATEFUL, EVER TRUE,
THUS WE RAISE OUR SONG ANEW
OF THE DAYS WE’VE SPENT WITH YOU,
ALL HAIL OUR OWN PURDUE!

Boiler up!

Nick LeesNick Lees
Pastor Nick Lees and his wife, Micaela, have been a part of our staff since Fall 2010. Nick oversees the College, Wedding and Faith Church West Children’s Ministries, as well as Faith West Ministry Housing. Nick is also an ACBC certified counselor. He and Micaela have four daughters, Anniston, Eden, Haddyn and one still in the “oven”.