|UTD/Richland Fall Camp last weekend. What a great group!|
I remember walking and talking with Jalen at Winter Camp a couple years ago when he was a freshman. He impressed me then and impresses me even more now. He is thoughtful and purposeful in his ministry. He's articulate in communicating important truths. He cares about others and is a lot of fun to be around! I love his zany sense of humor and the fact that he's a freak in almost every photo I could find of him. He's a second year corefa, and I'm excited to have him in my peer team this year! He also leads our sound team and is the VP of our club on campus. I have big plans for this one. :)
I'm getting to know Quincy for the first time this semester. At first he seemed pretty quiet, but I've come to see how outgoing he really is. He has lots of friends and actively takes an interest in them. I was asking him about each of the guys coming to his core (there are a LOT) and he had things to share about each and every one of them. My favorite story from him so far is that one of the international students, who has zero background in Christianity, asked him what the word "baptist" meant. Quincy told him it was the name of a denomination. He thought for a moment and then asked, "What denomination are we?"
Rhett is another second year leader. He is completely spastic, amazing at rapping and beatboxing and dancing (maybe he can teach me :), and incredibly grounded in his faith and knowledge of God and the scripture. He ministers from genuine friendship and interest in others, and he makes everything more fun. I'm loving the time I get with him. He sets a great example for others in the ministry.
Drew is Rhett's partner. He came in to the ministry a little later in the game last year, and quickly stood out. He's smart, likable, and funny. He takes his ministry really seriously and wants to bless the guys in his group. We've had some great conversations that show me how deeply he thinks about things, to the point where I've found myself thinking, "Is he really a sophomore?!" I can't wait to see how he grows in the coming months and years!
Dave has such a cool heart for God. He's open and vulnerable, and Peter (his partner) brags on Dave's skill at coming up with and asking good questions just about weekly. He is also a PA (like an RA in the dorms) and has a very demanding schedule, but he has made his ministry a priority. Dave spoke at our Fall Camp last week and now I'm afraid I'll be out of a preaching job here in a couple years!
Peter is one of my two interns this year. He leads core with Dave, but he also coordinates and leads our entire worship team at UTD, which consists of a LOT of people. He is thoughtful and strategic in the way he leads our ministry into worship. Peter is brilliantly smart, musically talented, and initiates all sorts of fun games with people. He's really taking advantage of the internship to try to grow in areas he's never dealt with before. He's incredibly competent, so I love assigning him new things. Peter has a heart for campus ministry, and wants to continue making a difference in the years to come.
I met Austin when he was a freshman in our UNT ministry, and we've stayed connected through his undergrad and his first year out of school working in the film industry. I was so excited to hear that he was hearing God's call to ministry and wanted to be a part of starting FOCUS at UTA! It's challenging to mentor someone when I only see him a couple times a week, but he has lots of other support. Austin is an amazing storyteller (my favorite so far having to do with fake pirates firing cannonballs at him) and just so much fun to be around. He is definitely an artist, and this internship is stretching his organizational skills for sure! He asks GREAT questions and really loves the guys God has put in his life at UTA.
I mentor a number of staff ministers as well, but these are the young leaders I have the joy of pouring into this year. I can't wait to see how the Lord uses them, not just this year but in the decades to come as they put these experiences into practice. Thank you for supporting me so I can raise up new leaders for the harvest.
Jesus told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." - Luke 10:2
As a bonus, here are two songs we've been singing a lot at UTD FOCUS this year. Feel free to check them out!