Thursday, July 25, 2013

Spiritual Energy

This past weekend a new friend of mine (Todd Sinelli) shared this idea: think of money as spiritual energy that we can pour on whatever we want to see grow and flourish.

Think about that for a second.  We invest money in our kids, in our retirement, in grand causes, and in petty vices, sometimes even in sin.  And whatever we pour it on gets that much stronger.

As a ministry, we've consistently made the decision to invest the funds God gives us in people rather than programs or facilities.  That's because we hold the firm conviction that raising up leaders for the harvest is what the Kingdom of God needs most; what the world needs most.

I remember talking to a missionary to Peru last year.  He shared that he'd learned that he could get thousands of people to show up at any event he had just by giving stuff away at the event.  But guess how many people showed up at the first event where there wasn't a handout?  He had to scrap years of work and start over with a new approach because he realized there was no lasting fruit.

Campus ministry can be like that.  You can throw big events, give away free food and cool stuff, bring expensive attractions and students will show up!  These things do have some value in drawing people in. But what are we drawing them in to?

Real community is what people really need, whether they realize it yet or not.  And real community requires real disciples, real leaders, real friendships.  You would be so encouraged if you could pull back the curtain, so to speak, and see what lies behind the large groups of students we draw on these campuses.  Not a lot of advertising; not a lot of free stuff; but a lot of authentic one-on-one relationships.

That's why we put so much time and energy and so much of our budget into the FOCUS Internship. Training our brightest young men and women disciples to think critically and Biblically, to love and care for others in more helpful ways, to lead communities and reproduce themselves as leaders--these are what the Church needs!  We've got 9 amazing young people coming on staff as interns this year.  If you haven't been given an opportunity to invest in campus missions yet, consider investing in one of them this year as they wrap up their support raising in the next couple weeks.

Pray for these 9 as they embark on a huge year of growth in character and ministry skills!
This kind of ministry is slow going, slow growing--at first.  Some of you have been investing for a long time.  But the exponential nature of what we are doing is starting to show itself.  We have more student leaders than ever before this year (about 90 core facilitators!).  We're starting to reach out at Texas Woman's University and the Collin College Preston Ridge Campus.  And even with all this growth, we are exporting leaders into the marketplace and into families and into local churches every year as students graduate and move outward.  It's an exciting time to be a part of FOCUS!

What all are you pouring spiritual energy on?  Let's see some great things grow and flourish in the years to come!

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