As Christians, we believe it is our calling to spread the Gospel around our campus, nation, and the world. In addition to living this out every day in our personal lives, we offer special opportunities to do mission work as a body of Christ. These include various service and evangelism events during the school year and on our breaks.
Special Projects Other Than Summer
SPOTS trips are the BCM’s short-term missions trips that happen over fall and spring break. We get together a group of students and head to another city to serve, spread the gospel, and enjoy quality fellowship with one another. We partner with area churches or organizations to serve the community during our time there. Check out some posts about specific trips we’ve been on in the past!
5 things you can expect on SPOTS:
1. Service, service, service: Whether it’s scraping paint, pulling weeds, handing out lemonade to college students, or just talking to people in a new city, SPOTS provides the opportunity to do service with a Christ-focused mindset in a variety of ways.
2. Mission-mindedness: We don’t go on SPOTS just to have fun with friends or do service in another place—in all things we’re focused on spreading the gospel to those we meet and in any activity we do. This doesn’t stop after SPOTS—it’s something we try to carry back to Vanderbilt with us.
3. Exciting experiences: One of the things we try and do on SPOTS is get to know the city we’re working in. Thus, we usually take a little time each trip to see the sites, as well as talking to the people we work with about the place they call home.
4. Fantastic fellowship: On SPOTS you will develop and strengthen relationships with the Christian community around you in a variety of ways—one of these being having a whole lot of fun.
5. Scrumptious Sandwiches: Since we’re all about being affordable, we end up making a lot of sandwiches when we pack lunches. Over the years, this has created some interesting combinations like turkey and peanut butter—if you come on SPOTS, you’re welcome to try out some of your own!
If you’re still not convinced you should come on a SPOTS trip with us, just ask any of our BCMers about their experiences. These trips are often the highlight of our students’ time at Vanderbilt. Not only will you get to do work to spread the Gospel, but you will also develop stronger relationships with your fellow BCMers than you ever thought possible.
If you have any questions about what we do on SPOTS, our experiences, or why you should go, feel free to contact Amy Rushing at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on her cell at 501.545.0555.
The BCM is able to make Fall Retreat and Fall SPOTS free for all first years and transfers because of an endowment fund established to honor the memory of Skylar Haws, BCM President 2014, who died from cancer in December of 2015.
The benefactors of this endowment have shared some things they learned or experienced as part of the mission trip below. Learn more about the Skylar Haws Memorial Service and Missions Fund here.
I'm Sophia Zhang, a freshman at Vanderbilt University. This recent fall break, I was able to go with BCM to Memphis, Tennessee on the Fall SPOTS service trip! While I had been on missions trips and outreach trips in the past with my home church, we had always had a very structured layout in that we would be running a children's program, or that we would be serving at this particular event. Although the Fall SPOTS trip was certainly structured, it was different in that I wasn't one of the people behind planning the events. Additionally, the trip itself was full of new experiences for me; I was really forced out of my comfort zone. I had never done on-campus ministry or homeless ministry before, and I was surprised to see how open people were to our ministry, even if they didn't share the same beliefs. Initially, with homeless ministry, I was nervous because this was my first time going out so late to talk with the homeless, but it was enlightening to hear about their stories and struggles.
My name is Meg, and I am a freshman studying electrical engineering with a double minor in engineering management and French. I live just down 21 st Avenue in Franklin, and I attended Lipscomb Academy. Along with BCM, I am involved with Engineers Without Borders, Society of Women Engineers, and Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science among others. When I’m not busy with studying or any of the aforementioned activities, I like to spend my meal money with my friends and watch Doctor Who. I decided to attend Fall SPOTS because I was heavily involved in service in high school and wanted to continue to make a deliberate effort to serve the Lord and make my faith my own. While in Memphis, I had the opportunity to serve groups of people I wouldn’t normally encounter on our well-to- do campus: most notably, the homeless community. Prior to SPOTS, the fallacy that homeless people are homeless because they did [insert illegal/immoral activity here] penetrated my understanding of the issue. My experience bringing food directly to the homeless and spending time connecting with them opened my eyes to the reality of homelessness. Many of the people living on the streets did nothing that would warrant their current condition; they simply had too much bad luck in a short period of time. Far too often, the only difference between myself and the average homeless person is that one was born into a middle class family and the other was not. I am so thankful that I was provided the opportunity to go on SPOTS and not only show the Love of Christ to the homeless community but also challenge my own understanding of poverty.