Sunday, July 5, 2020

What to Expect this Fall

One of the biggest questions that comes up in my conversations these days is, "what will ministry look like this school year?" The truth is that only God knows! As COVID-19 continues to surge across the country, there is a lot of uncertainty for UTD and for all of our campuses across DFW. Right now, UTD is planning to allow all students the option of in-person classes, online classes, or hybrid classes. They're saying that all on-campus classes will have an online option. Student housing and dining will be open, but the administration hasn't given any guidance yet for student organizations and events, the part that directly affects what FOCUS can do. 

I'm projecting that we will have very few of our regular events (for example, we've already canceled Fall Camp), but will be focusing in on one-on-one discipleship (including our new version of FOJ) and cores (our small mentoring groups). These are already the main thrust of our ministry; cutting events will just give us more time and energy for them! The challenge will be that events have historically been a major way to draw new students into the ministry and get them connected. We also don't expect to be able to host Friday Night Fellowship, our main weekly service. We're considering various options as to how we might replace that important teaching time through this season.

Given all that, we've been praying and strategizing to be ready for whatever comes our way!

We're currently in the middle of selecting student leaders for the school year. Even though we didn't get to go to SICM, our biggest leader training event of the year, and with so little clarity on what the school year will hold, so many students are stepping up to make the commitments required of a corefa (core facilitator = small group discipleship leader). Making commitments to consistency in example and leadership and care for others, these young men and women are reaching forward to create pockets of stability in an uncertain future, places where other young adults can encounter Jesus and mature in their faith. And it's looking like we'll have more than ever before make those commitments! Praise God!

God is doing and will do good things, and we want to be ready to participate in that. Please pray that we can be creative and discerning in how we invest our resources on campus this year. Pray also that the Lord will bring a great harvest in these unusual times!

Feel free to reach out to me with questions or ideas. Thank you for your prayers and steady support!

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