Maya Bickham: A chain of making disciples
By Ellie Wendt | Aug 3, 2021
One never knows the impact they are having on someone’s life in any given moment. As believers, we are called to be obedient examples of God’s truth, maintaining a constant awareness of our impact.
For Christian Challenge missionary Maya Bickham, the call to ministry was a response to the examples she had seen in others and an opportunity to be that example for generations to come.
According to Bickham, ministry is a lifestyle. One that was clearly demonstrated to her by many people in her area of influence. One such person was her high school youth group leader and Christian Challenge missionary, Victoria White.
“You don’t realize the impact you are having on someone’s life just by being faithful and being obedient,” White said.
The role of a church should never be underestimated. By serving her local church — First Baptist Church of Chandler — and as a missionary for Christian Challenge, White has seen firsthand the pivotal, distinct role both the church and ministry play in shaping a young believer and equipping them to live out their faith and proclaim the gospel.
“The more I do ministry, I see that campus missionaries are important, but it’s more the whole church that is important. There are certain experiences I do not have, but someone else has lived that and there are certain giftings within the church,” White said.
“[There are] people who can encourage in different ways that I can’t,” she continued. “Having all different sorts of people come together that are the body of Christ can grow a person so much more than just one individual at a ministry.”
Taking the spiritual disciplines she gained through discipleship with White, Bickham entered Northern Arizona University (NAU) pursuing a degree in hotel and restaurant management and the desire to plug into a Christian community in Flagstaff.
“I knew that after high school I wanted to stay connected,” Bickham said. “I knew that a lot of people leave high school and go to college — especially a secular college — and they don’t stay involved and they fall away from the church. I knew I didn’t want that to happen to me.”
Challenge provided her a community invested in both her personal growth and her growth as a servant for Christ, Bickham said. She went on to serve as a student leader for two years and then became a Christian Challenge apprentice her senior year.
After completing her degree at NAU, Bickham was asked by Christian Challenge State Director Marc Hill to join staff full-time as a missionary and administrative assistant.
With serious prayer, Bickham decided serving in vocational ministry was God’s call for her season of life and boldly accepted the position.
“Even though we minister to college students, this is about preparing college students to become servants and lead others to Christ,” Bickham said.
Through the support of the local church and ministry partners, missionaries like Bickham and White are enabled to make an impact on their college campuses and church grounds.
In addition to raising their own financial support, missionaries benefit from funding from the Arizona Mission Offering.
“The Arizona Mission Offering is an important blessing for the state team because it is one of the sources that enables us to provide ministry budgets for local chapters,” Hill said.
Providing funds for local Christian Challenge chapters, such as Northern Arizona University’s, equips Bickham and her team of missionaries to serve the needs of the students on campus.
Serving alongside one’s local church and supporting the work of campus missionaries is “a way to see how your contribution can really make an impact in other people’s lives,” Bickham said.
Her testimony serves to share the importance of the body of Christ in creating lasting impact.
Ellie Wendt, a freelance writer and photographer, is a member of Mercy Hill Church in Phoenix and serves on the Christian Challenge staff at Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus.
What the body of Christ can do far exceeds that of one individual, no matter how strong. Through your support of the Arizona Mission Offering, you. as part of the body of Christ, are equipping servant leaders across multiple college campuses in Arizona to proclaim the gospel and see lives change as a result of discipleship and intentionality. Be a part of what God is doing in the lives of students by giving to the Arizona Mission Offering at your church or here. https://azsbc.org/amo/