Discipling & Mobilizing Students
George Siler has invested his life in the local church and specifically in those who are younger than him. As a faithful member of Parkway Baptist Church (Moseley) for the past 14 years, Siler has served as deacon chairman and as a small group leader. His passion is to see students discipled and mobilized for the Gospel. Siler quickly began volunteering with students and, for the past eight years, has volunteered with the college ministry of Parkway under Mike Camire, Parkway’s pastor for Next Generation Studentz and SBC of Virginia’s Student Ministry strategist.
“[Siler’s] heart for students and missions is truly contagious,” said Camire. “God has used him greatly in the lives of student leaders—to encourage, challenge, and mobilize students for the mission of Gospel transformation around the world.”
Siler extends his calling to his day job as student mobilization manager of the International Mission Board. Siler explained, “IMB Students is part of the bigger whole of the IMB, connecting and empowering churches to engage in the mission of God. We ask the question to churches, ‘How do we help you to fulfill the mission of God with your students?’”
Siler believes that no church gets a pass. “We cannot lose sight of the Great Commission as our core belief and passion.” Every church needs to be intentional about college ministry, even churches nowhere near a major college campus. There are so many students online and at community colleges. “It simply takes an intentional investment. Churches need to be specific in their goals. Before they leave your ministry, the DNA of missional living needs to be planted in students as sent ones. If your bottom line is sending, then the smallest investment in the life of even one student can have eternal fruit.”
Students can and should play a major role in reaching the world with the Gospel. “At the IMB, we are unapologetically focused on lostness…we cannot give up the footprint of evangelism and church planting. If you’re not focused on those things, the other areas of ministry will lose their focus.” The missionary task of entering fields of lostness through prayer and entry strategies, evangelizing, discipling believers, forming churches, and training leaders is central to the work of the IMB, and students have a major role to play.
“We need more missionaries,” Siler exclaimed. “We need a pipeline of a new generation of missionaries for the next generation of missions. Every church can engage in this pipeline. A church might not be able to send a big team or a lot of money, but even the smallest of churches can send one person or be praying for who God would raise up from within their midst. Each church needs to ask how God has uniquely equipped you and your church to raise up the next generation for missions.”