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“Making M.U.S.I.C. with B.E.L.L.S.”

Over the past few months, the acronym M.U.S.I.C. has provided a theme to focus attention on some key components of student ministry. 
  • M” is a reminder of our MISSION of “Engaging Texas College Students to Follow Christ and Transform the World.” 
  • U” emphasizes the UNITY among believers which will be required in order to impact the campus. 
  • S brings to mind two powerful ingredients which provide direction and force—SPIRIT and SCRIPTURE
  • I points to four INVESTMENTS which staff and students will need to make, namely, TIME, TALENT, TREASURE, and TRUTH 
  • C” underscores the crucial importance of COMMUNICATION, “speaking the truth in love” while utilizing various mediums to keep students, churches and your support base informed and involved.
As we focus on “investments” and consider how to maximize time, talents and treasure while sharing truth, another acronym, attributed to Michael Frost (adapted from his book entitled “Exiles”), will prove helpful.  B.E.L.L.S. provides a practical strategy for investing in others without adding extra time requirements to busy schedules.
B stands for Bless.  The Hebrew idea of blessing carries the meaning of “strengthening, honoring or empowering another.” Why not ask your students how they could “bless” other people (students, faculty, people on staff, and family)?  How can you provide a consistent example with your speech and action?  Jesus told us to bless those who persecute us (Matt. 5:44), suggesting that we can honor and encourage even our enemies.  Psychologists suggest that speaking positively about people we dislike causes us to think more highly of them.
E signifies Eat and serves as a reminder that since we already make time to eat on a regular basis, by being more intentional, we can arrange to meet with and get to know students who are not Christ followers.  If you and your leaders begin to meet with students over “coffee” or lunch, others will likely introduce their friends and follow the example of using mealtime as a way of expanding and deepening relationships.  Think through next week and make a plan to eat with someone with whom you can become better acquainted.

L serves as a reminder that often we need to Listen more than we need to talk, especially when we are beginning a friendship or relationship.  To have a few questions in mind could help to facilitate the conversation.  For example, you might ask, “How has your experience at college compared to what you expected?”  “Have you settled on a major or concentration?” “What have you enjoyed most?”  “What has been difficult for you?”   Also, sharing what you have enjoyed or found difficult will be important in establishing openness and trust.

L also stresses the necessity to Learn.  Very few periods of life are as ripe with opportunity for growth in knowledge and spiritual maturity as one’s time in college.  Here are a few of the most important venues of learning—Jesus’ life and teaching, Scripture in general, time with other believers and the church, exposure to sources of scholarship and wisdom, time in prayer and reflection, and participation in missions.  One of the most important examples a BSM leader can provide is the model of a disciple or apprentice, consistently growing in dedication and faithfulness.

S reminds us to Share. “The love in your heart was not put there to stay; Love is not safe ‘til you give it away!”
Love demands that we share our resources and God’s truth.  How can you assist your students in being able and motivated to share the Gospel?  The fact is most students involved in BSM need help in communicating the Gospel in a clear, concise manner.

So as the semester is coming to an end, utilize “B.E.L.L.S” to enhance the music your students are making on and off campus.
You can read the other issues in this MUSIC series at “It’s all about the MUSIC”“MUSIC to God's Ears”, and "When the MUSIC Fades".


  • There are two videos of Robert Hooker, the BSM state evangelism coordinator, sharing the “Bridge Illustration” which would be very helpful in equipping students to share their faith in Christ. Find them here (#4).
  • The state website has many other helpful resources covering most of the issues a BSM leader will address.
  • The BSM at UT Arlington has a great website with lots of resources to help with campus ministry.  One tool is this PDFIt uses SALT as an acronym for sharing the Gospel.
The BSM Staff Website is full of resource ideas, Bible Studies, up-coming events, and other material.
If I can be of help, please feel free to contact me at 512-497-3240 or
Past editions of KeySources can be found at
Copyright © 2016 Texas BSM, All rights reserved.

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