Dr. Matthew Kearns, director of student ministry, delivered the chapel message Nov. 17 in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. He shared about focusing on what matters most and how that plays into our heavenly commission.
The service was OBU’s annual fall commissioning chapel, where the University commissioned students, faculty and staff who will be serving this winter and spring on Global Outreach trips (GO trips), studying abroad or serving globally in internships. The commissioning service allows the student body to worship together and then pray over the teams of people who will represent the University all around the world.
During the service, the University commissioned 105 students, faculty and staff. They will be traveling to international destinations including Brazil, Greece, Kenya, Nepal, Mexico, Zambia, Scotland, England, Israel, North Africa and Thailand, as well as several states, including Pennsylvania, Washington and Colorado.
Kearns emphasized the importance of concentrating on what matters most: God.
“My encouragement to you, as long as I have the opportunity to breathe, will be to encourage you to fix your eyes on Jesus,” Kearns said.
He shared from Matthew 14:22-33, where Jesus calls Peter to walk on water to come to him.
“For our purpose here today, I really just want you to see one thing,” Kearns said. “The only reason Peter got out of the boat was because he believed the word of Jesus. Jesus said, ‘Come,’ and Peter walked on the water for a while. And of course, he nearly drowned when he took his eyes off Jesus.”
“What I would submit to you,” Kearns said, “is that the better we see him, the better you’ll understand who you are. And the better we see him, the more useful we will be in his hands as we go.”
Kearns then shared his prayer for those being commissioned, that they would find themselves in places that remind them that God is all they need, places where all they have is the desperate plea, “Lord, save me.”
With this, Kearns blessed the chapel attendants with a final statement.
“My dear friends, faculty, students…may God be gracious to you, may he cause his face to shine upon you as you make him known.”
Following this blessing, Kearns closed in prayer and invited the worship team back to the stage. Then, students and sponsors taking part in Global Outreach (GO) trips gathered on stage holding flags representing the destination countries for each of their GO trips. As they gathered, attendees worshiped with them and prayed over them. OBU President Dr. Heath A. Thomas then closed the chapel service with a final blessing prayer over the students and their sponsors.
Kearns joined the OBU staff as director of student ministry in August of this year. He earned a Bachelor of Science in mass communication/public relations from Southeast Missouri State University. He then earned a Master of Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary before completing a Doctor of Ministry in discipleship, missions and leadership from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Before coming to OBU, he served as transitional and senior pastor at Woodcrest Chapel in Columbia, Missouri. He previously worked for the Missouri Baptist Convention as student evangelism, leadership development and making disciples catalyst. He has prior experience working as a student evangelism associate at the North American Mission Board and also as both an associate pastor and youth pastor as well. He has been a speaker at Falls Creek, Super Summer, One Team International and chapels at Hannibal LaGrange University and Southwest Baptist University.Learn more about Global Outreach trips at OBU.