Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thinking about next year

It sounds a little crazy, but I'm already doing a lot of thinking and planning for next school year.  Our main event for student leader development is the SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry) conference that we take students to in Washington State each May.  Between our four campuses we have invited over 60 students to attend!  These are all students who have not been before and in whom we see the qualities necessary to lead in our ministry.  Actually appointing student leaders may still be months away, but the ball is rolling!  I'll have a lot more to say about SICM in the future.

February 29 was the deadline for graduates to apply for the FOCUS internship for the 2012-2013 school year.  We've had a number of graduating seniors interested in the internship and have had a lot of conversations about whether being on staff with us for a year is a good fit.  After all the applications are in, we'll start interviewing them this weekend.  We've also been having conversations with our five interns from this year about what next year looks like for them.  One of my main roles now is leading the staff, so thinking through who will be on our senior staff and who we will accept into the internship (and also which campuses each person will work on) is one of my primary strategic decisions for the year.  I'd love for you to join me in praying that God will give me clear direction on this.

A couple cool things from February--First off, I had the opportunity to attend a couple of baptisms.  My intern Andrew had the chance to study with and baptize one of the guys in his group last week.  Taylor is a great example of how ministry can work.  He was invited last year as a freshman by one of the girls in our group.  He came around some but more than anything began forming friendships with some committed Christians.  This year he came around more, but it was at Winter Camp that he decided he needed to be a disciple and asked Andrew to baptize him.  So they've been doing some intense Bible study these past few weeks about what it looks like to be a disciple and about the meaning of faith, repentance, and baptism.  He's counted the cost and decided make Jesus his Lord!  He is serving on our tech team and planning to live in my house next year so he can be surrounded by strong Christian influences.  Ministry is a process and can take a long time, but the good news is we have lots of people in that process!

Andrew got to baptize him.  He did a great job!

Taylor's family got to be there for his baptism.  It was great having them join us on campus.

We also had a joint worship night with some of the other campus ministries at UTD.  It was awesome to join together and share what the Lord is doing.  Every year, more people are catching the vision of reaching these university students with the good news.  I got to meet a young man who just moved here after college for work.  He has a heart for campus ministry from his years as a student and has hooked up with a local Korean church who wants to reach Asian-American students on campus with the gospel.  He emailed me some thoughts about seeing our fellowship that were encouraging and I want to  share them with you:

First off, I want to say it was truly a blessing to meet you and attend the praise night last night. I was encouraged to see God moving through your fellowship and I really felt like God was doing something great at UTD.

I also wanted to relay that your members were awesome. I was so blessed by Jonathan, Kendall, and the young man that introduced me to you (I forgot his name!). They made me feel welcomed and really showed the love of Christ to me.

Last night, gave me a nice burst of energy to continue to serve ... with a fervent heart.

This was our combined praise team from three ministries that night.  They enjoyed working together and I was pumped about the diversity (Only 2 white people! :-) as we work to reach a diverse campus.  

Thank you for all your prayers and support.  The Lord is doing great things!

Developing Our Pastoral Team

We are back in August and ramping up for the school year! We have an amazing pastoral staff, and an outstanding group of student leaders. At...