In 2012, the article below went to print in our New Hope Ignite magazine. Now, ten years later, this vision continues to come to full fruition through New Hope West.
“YES!” was Chancellor Wayne Cordeiro’s emphatic response to the Stanford Medical Center when they asked if he would allow medical students from Stanford University to observe and assist with the major heart surgery he was about to undergo. Naturally, his response came after assurance that the actual procedure would be performed by an experienced and well-qualified surgeon!
From this experience, Cordeiro developed the idea of a lab church for college students. There are great college and university programs in other fields, so why shouldn’t Bible colleges offer students the opportunity to apply classroom learning in a real-world environment under the supervision and guidance of seasoned leaders? And so, the student lab church concept was born.
Two of the first people to hear from him regarding the implementation of a hands-on ministry training program for students were long-time ministry partners, Steve and Cindy Kenny. After a season of prayer and consideration, the Kennys felt that the Lord was “inviting our family to write a new chapter here in Eugene.” The new ministry idea resonated in their hearts as they reflected on the many conversations they have had with Bible college graduates who felt under-equipped for real-world church ministry. While they deeply value what the classroom has to offer, Steve Kenny shared that “there’s so much more to ministry and leadership than what can be experienced through classroom learning alone.”
The Kennys share Cordeiro’s vision for the new ministry to be, “a place where our students can grab hold of the mics, the cameras, graphics, speaking, children’s ministries, and lead them under the supervision of veterans.” They also feel highly optimistic about the impact that a student lab church here on the hill will have on this community. “I see the value of the New Hope campus church partnering with the entire body of Christ to love, disciple, and mature those newly formed hearts,” says Steve Kenny.
The student lab church is intended to benefit everyone involved. Students will be mentored in real-life ministry situations, and learn how to evangelize and help the local church as we DO CHURCH AS A TEAM and see many come to know Jesus.
Stay tuned next week for an update from Pastor Wayne about all the exciting things happening here at New Hope Church and College!