Friday, August 31, 2012

A LOT happens in August!

On August 20, we had our first "Corefa Class" of the school year with about 94 people in attendance.  That's 94 people who are either leading small groups or mentoring small group leaders.  You would have been so encouraged to be there.
I couldn't quite get everyone in the frame, but this will give you an idea of what that leader training looked like.
We started teaching the leaders some basic axioms that we find useful in our ministry.  If you get to be around FOCUS you'll hear these pop up.  Here's a sampling of what you would have learned that night:

1. The dullest pencil is sharper than the sharpest mind when it comes to remembering things. (So write things down!)
2. Two-on-one is how it's done. (We usually say 1-on-1, but we are stressing bringing someone along with you this year.)
3. Think pastorally.  (What's really best for the people you minister to?)
4. A disciple too lazy to plant in the fall has nothing to harvest in the spring. (Ministry is a process and the sooner you plant, the sooner you harvest.)
5. People won't always live up to your expectations, but they will usually live down to them. (Jesus has high expectations of us and so should we, tempered by grace.)
6. If you love enough people, enough people will love you.
7. Use your problem solving skills. (One my dad had to say to me a "handful" of times growing up!)
8. Be a fool for God, not cool for God. (Very few of our heroes of the faith were "cool" by the world's standards.)

Thank you for believing in me and this community I get to serve,

PS  You should virtually attend these 3 on-campus baptisms by student (or alumni) leaders!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It begins...time to PRAY!

In 3 weeks freshmen will be walking on to all four of our campuses ready to start a new phase of their life.  On one hand, they are adults--legally accountable for themselves and, for many, living on their own for the first time.  On the other hand (as I once heard Brady Bobbink say) freshmen are just high school seniors with a summer vacation.

It is our goal to be there to welcome them, invite them into meaningful community, and help them encounter the Living God.  

Please Pray for the class of 2016, that many will encounter the life-transforming grace of Jesus while at Richland, Collin, UTD, and UNT.  Pray that authentic disciples will form influential relationships with them.

Pray for FOCUS's student leaders, that they will be bold in their love and generous in their hospitality.  As they welcome new students on campus, pray that God will give them the courage and gifts to influence many!

Pray that the missionary staff and alumni volunteers of FOCUS will have big vision and supernatural creativity.  Pray that God will provide the resources, energy, and grace for us to bear much fruit.

Here are some key dates.  Could you mark them on your calendar or enter them in your phone so you'll be reminded to pray?

August 24 - Freshmen move in at UTD & UNT
August 27 - Fall Semester starts at UTD, Collin, & Richland (We'll be reaching out all week)
August 29 - Fall Semester starts at UNT
August 30 & 31 - Our kickoff nights for FOCUS

This is what our t-shirts for the year will look like.  I'm excited about our new theme--Everything New--celebrating God's promise to redeem all things, including us!

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...