As we grow to at least 10 total campuses in 2017 (SMU, here we come!), we have bigger administrative needs. An image that's in my mind is that of a train and its tracks. If our campus pastors are the train bringing good news to students, then our admin team are the ones laying the tracks so they can get there. We are planning to bring on our first full-time administrator in January (to work with a couple of other adjunct people) to help support our growing staff of nearly 30 pastors.
We also will need extra resources to reach out on our newer campuses. We don't do nearly as much free food and such as most other ministries I'm aware of, but some of these campuses have very little in the way of campus life, and putting on events can be a great way for us to meet new students who need to know Jesus. And as we expand, having a little extra in the bank allows us to bring on incredible new staff and not worry about whether they are able to be fully fundraised by August 1. We want them on campus full-time as soon as the students arrive, not spending those precious first weeks of the school year meeting with potential ministry supporters.
I know many of you have given to this fund in past years and I am so thankful to you. Without this fund, we would be having a much smaller impact. I ask each of you to pray about possibly giving an extra gift this week, whether it be $3 or $300 or $3000. Everything you need is at anyfocus.org/next20. I also ask you to pray that God will provide everything we need. He always has and I'm confident He will.
I wanted to wrap up with something one of our students, Stephanie, shared with the UTD ministry about why she gave to keep FOCUS growing:
|Stephanie, one of our UTD student leaders|
"Like countless others, I see this community as my family. What it stands for, I stand for: inviting people to find a home for their souls with God and his people. Families are reciprocal: each member contributes what they can for the good of the whole. Somebody cooks, somebody washes the dishes, somebody takes out the trash. Not everybody does equal work, but that’s ok and you do your best. Everyone is cared for. This is one way to think about giving: providing for your spiritual family for the good of the not only individuals but the whole. I see the “keep FOCUS growing” initiative as providing the extra for the strangers who are not yet part of our family. It’s adding extra seats to the table and making extra food for those family dinners."
I love that image--adding extra seats to the table and making extra food for the family dinner. I pray that we all have that effect on God's final banquet.