|This was the big group--well over 400 college students plus some siblings and friends in their last year or two of high school, FOCUS staff people, and some alumni and supporters who came to help minister and bless students.|
Since our students are studying at public colleges and universities, they typically don't get to study the Scriptures at a college level. Two things Iain said stick out to me: "Every Christian needs to be educated to the level of their ability" and "It's kind of scandalous to have a higher degree in something else and still be at level one in our biblical understanding." It's our intention to continue to bring in scholars as well as pastors as speakers at our various events to better equip our students for a lifetime of Christian service.
(Regent, a graduate school of Theology, describes itself as transdenominational, evangelical, and orthodox, with its first priority being to remain true to the orthodox faith as recorded in the Scriptures. One of their main focuses is on equipping and training the whole people of God, not just professional pastors. I've probably recommended it before, but the bookstore has a website where you can purchase mp3 recordings or CDs of many of the classes. If you have a commute or take long walks/runs in your regular schedule, this might be a great way to use that time to develop your ability to "love God with all your mind." You might start by searching for Iain Provan on regentaudio.com.)
A couple quick updates:
FOCUS 140 funds - We're still looking at how to best use the money raised to keep FOCUS growing in 2015. We're planning to overhaul our website and create an app to get ready for more campuses and more students in the next 5-10 years. We've been gathering an amazing team of staff and students to move to Arlington and launch the ministry at UTA, and we plan to buy them supplies for outreach and also subsidize a team-building and planning retreat sometime this summer.
Rooms at UTD - We now have rooms for every Friday night this semester...except for next week! We have some great churches in the area who have offered to host us so we may move off campus for that one night. Please say a prayer that we don't have these problems again in the Fall!
Thank you for your gifts and prayers to make all these things possible. Together, we're blessing a lot of students. I hope it's a blessing and encouragement to you as well!