Posted by: Brian Musser | July 17, 2017

Missed Connections

One of the priorities in campus ministry is to help students stay connected with the local church.  At Drexel we are adamant about this.  (As this story will illustrate, sometimes maybe a little too much.)  One of the flagship events on the Drexel Christian student organizations calendar is Find-A-Church.  It is a partnership event between several Christian student organizations at Drexel and several local area churches.  Usually for the first four weeks of the fall term early on a Sunday morning new freshmen have the opportunity to meet upperclassmen, hear them describe the churches they attend, get logistical details about their services and be invited to join the upperclassmen as they go that day.  There are many Drexel students who name Find-A-Church as the moment they got plugged into the Christian community at Drexel.

This is event is one of the few that was in existence before I arrived on campus 12 years ago, and I have had the privilege to be involved in it for over a decade.  Usually, I will just be an extra that helps with transportation to one of the represented churches or if needed I will be a fill in representative for a church whose main person is out of town for a weekend.  I also help answer any random questions that may surface.  On one occasion, it was the scene of one of my greatest ministry mistakes ever.

After the initial introductions and descriptions of churches a new freshman approaches me with a question.  He is from out of town but his pastor and home church recommended he attend a specific church in the city.  Did I know of a Victory Christian Fellowship?  I knew of one that a few Drexel alumni and one Drexel staff member attended several blocks away from the campus in the heart of West Philadelphia.  I thought it was too far to walk so I offered to give this freshman and his friend a ride.  I had to make it quick though because I needed to get back to campus and provide some transportation to another church as well that morning in the opposite direction.  But the service start times were different enough that I believed it to be logistically possible.

So, I proceeded to drop these two brand new Drexel freshmen, one who was even brand new to Philly, off at a church in West Philadelphia about 20 blocks away from the campus they had just moved into.  I head back to Drexel and pick-up a second car load and head off to a second church in North Philly.  On my way to the second church I realize that I never told the freshmen how to get home from the church, I didn’t get their contact information, I didn’t even give them my card so that they could get back in touch with me.  Basically, I took two students to the middle of West Philly, dropped them off without any information about how to get back.  I got excited that they wanted to go to a specific church and wanted to help them get there but didn’t think through the logistics.

The church I attended in North Philly started and subsequently ended much later than the one in West Philly.  When I got the second group of students back to campus, I started trying to figure out how I was going to connect with the other two I had left.  But there they were in the cafeteria waiting for me.  It turns out that they were able to figure things out on their own.  They ended up walking back to campus after church and enjoyed getting to know that part of the city.  It was the wrong Victory Christian Fellowship, however, and wouldn’t be attending it in the future.  Both students remain my friends to this day even after one graduated Drexel and the other transferred to Temple.  I’m not sure why.  But many times we have told the story about the day we met.


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