Hello friends and supporters!
Has it been a month already? These are the times of year that seem to flash before my eyes as they fly by. It's incredible to think we're halfway through the Fall semester. Let me focus my attention on two main updates: Park Day and our great corefas!
As a campus ministry it's easy to have a lot of students simply coming and going to and from our big group meeting on Thursday nights. It's hard to get students plugged in and have them buy in to community and friendship at the level necessary for them to be greatly affected by God's work through the body of believers. That's why we have Park Day every Fall. Park day is a whole day we spend at a local park eating together, having fun, getting to know one another purposefully, and worshipping God together. We had a great turn out this year and it was a blast. My favorite part was the "walk and talks" we did. At two separate times we asked the students to pair up with a same-gender person they didn't know and get to know one another. It was neat hearing the different times students had on those walk and talks, and it definitely helped accomplish our goal of building friendships in the community.
Our student leaders, we call them core facilitators because they help facilitate our core groups, are developing rapidly. It's always hard for first year leaders to develop the discipline, perseverance, and discernment necessary to lead well. One of my main prayers for our student leaders was/is that they would develop depth and discernment. It's funny the way God answers prayers. We tend to think that when we pray for something God puts it in our back pocket and sends us on our way. But often he places difficult circumstances in front of us with an offer to help us accomplish what it is we've asked for. We prayed for depth and discernment among our corefas, we got a number of difficult situations that corefas had to work/suffer through in order to gain that depth and discernment. But they were opportunities, not problems, and it's been really encouraging to see those corefas developing ministry sense and depth in having to handle those situations.
That being said, pray for our corefas! Many are facing packed schedules they've never had to experience, many have numerous demands they don't know how to respond to, and many struggle with circumstantial difficulties. The number one issue they face, however, is trying to get people onto God's agenda. It's so easy in ministry to get discouraged when you invest so much time and energy into people only to see them make the same bad choices, be uninvolved, and miss the point. Many of them are facing those hardships for the first time as ministers. However, one can scarcely be more like Jesus than when they are trying to get people on God's agenda and experiencing failure and frustration. This has been the story line for God's people since the beginning. God tries to lead us in the way we should go, we are stubborn and unresponsive, God bears with us in love and grace as he tries to bring us to the right path. This was Jesus, too, wasn't it? But ministry is difficult. Pray for the resolve of these corefas, pray for strength in the face of failure and frustration, pray they would rely on God and not worldly success. Pray for them what Paul said to the Galatians, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Gal. 6:9).
Yours on the campus,