Jon Smetana has been at Integrity Church for three years running. Jon came our way as part of the initial staff of Campus Outreach (CO) - East Carolina. During his time at ECU Jon has shown a commitment to meeting college men and working to gain their respect in order to share the Gospel with them personally.
Also, Jon has been an extremely valuable member of Integrity Church as well. Most often he attends the 11 o'clock service with college students he is actively ministering to and serves after service as part of the tear down team.
This summer Jon, who is now the Campus Director at ECU, had a chance to serve ECU students during their time on Summer Orlando Project (SOP). We asked Jon to share with us a little about what that experience is like for both himself as a leader and also the students who make up the SOP.
Why are you serving in this way?
I am serving college students because I believe they are the most strategic demographic in the world. College students are the future leaders of tomorrow, and our 20's are called the "Defining Decade" of our lives. It is imperative to have a gospel presence on the campus because this is the window of time that people are becoming who they will be in the future. Additionally, I was converted on the college campus my freshman year at NC State, and everything about my life changed. Since that day, God has given me a burden to see students just like me come to know the surpassing worth of Jesus Christ.
Who are you serving?
I am specifically serving college students from ECU, NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Wilmington, Campbell, Meredith, Jacksonville, and Embry Riddle. (Campus Outreach Raleigh is in a 2 year partnership with Jacksonville and Embry Riddle, as I'm sure it's confusing that they are on the list.)
What are you doing?
They are being trained in the basics of the christian faith: how to study the Bible, how to share the gospel, how to honor God with our time, money and talents, and how to invest in discipleship relationships. They are in Orlando, FL for 8 weeks attending training sessions each day and working full time jobs at Universal Studios and SeaWorld. The environment is specifically designed to be conducive to maturity in the gospel. Each student is being specifically thought for and prayed for and challenged for their spiritual growth.
How can we pray for them and the team?
The SOP schedule is very rigorous. You are being pushed to the extreme in almost every category; physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. It is intense. Please pray God would grant everyone endurance to finish the summer strong, as we are now over halfway done. Pray that God would use this summer to raise up laborers to go back to campus in the Fall to reach their friends and classmates.