Parking lots or people? That was the question Thurston Benns started pondering during a church growth class in seminary for his degree in pastoral counseling; the conversation during class had turned to calculating the number of parking spots a church needs and how much it costs to keep the lights on. But Thurston’s was thinking about the group of students he’d been meeting with at the nearby campus of Lynchburg College as an InterVarsity volunteer, and he realized that discipling students and teaching them how to lead small groups was much more appealing to him than dealing with church administration.
Up until that point campus ministry had been a sideline activity—a ministry opportunity—as he worked toward a career as a pastor. But as he met the students and helped them grow into a community of followers of Jesus, he discovered his calling. “I always want to be doing something like this,” he told himself.