Hello friends and supporters!
Happy New Year! Although the last few weeks haven't been as eventfully packed as a typical month in campus ministry, I have plenty to share with you! I'll start with the Collin and Preston Ridge campus ministries and then get a bit personal towards the end when I share what I've been learning.
You've gotta love college students; 54 people signed up for our annual Christmas party at Collin College and over 110 showed up. Needless to say, the food went fast, the place was packed, and we had tons of fun! One of the things I've notice about people my age and older is that we place a lot of attention and emphasis on the environment we're in as much or more than the people we're around. College students and youth don't really do that. As long as you get them around people they love, they couldn't care less about how hot, cramped, or run-down a place is. I think we can learn something from them in this regard. Christmas party was a blast, and a fun way to end the semester.
School has been out, yes, but my job as a campus pastor doesn't stop simply because school does. These past few weeks I always make it a point to meet up with students who I normally don't get a lot of time around, my donors, old students who are in town visiting, and Focus staff I spend less time with. I see it as a neat opportunity to break my normal schedule, with a bit more flexible time, and yet still be an effective minister. It's been really fun to meet up with these people and find out what's going on with them, as well as just connect with them on a friendship level. The people that are a part of my past, and the students that are very connected to my present are dear to me, each individually so, and I cherish time with them over the holidays.
Over the break our senior staff was charged with reading a book by Eugene Peterson called Working the Angles. In it, Peterson calls to attention the need for pastors to focus on three things: prayer, Scripture, and spiritual direction. This book has been meaningful and impactful to me on numerous levels. It's easy as a minister to get caught up in the sheer mania of trying to lead over a hundred people in the direction of Christ (let alone thousands; poor Moses!). It's easy to focus my time and attention on the people clamoring for it, and on the details and administrative tasks that can never quite be put to rest. It's easy to wear a facade of calm collectedness, and say the right things, and even think the right way. But it's difficult to truly keep Jesus in the center of it all, at the helm of it all, and as the reason for it all. Peterson's words have reminded me that I am in desperate daily need of the direction of God so that I can befriend and guide the people he puts in my path. It has been a breath of fresh wind from the Spirit of God, and I can't wait to discuss it at our staff retreat this week!
In keeping with Peterson's suggestions on prayer, I want to ask that you take some of these prayer requests before God:
- pray for our Focus staff retreat which begins this Sunday and ends Wednesday. Pray that the Spirit will direct us and guide us into God's will.
- pray for Winter Camp January 15th-18th where we bring students from all the Focus campuses together for a weekend to grow and learn together.
- pray for our Corefas (student leaders) as they come back to school and Focus; that their paths would be clear, their feet strong, and their eyes steady as they walk the way of Christ.
- finally, pray for Focus in general this semester, that our impact on the campuses would be powerful for Jesus, and that we would reach people in every corner of the campuses we attend.
Please email me with your prayer requests so that I can be praying for you as well, brothers and sisters!
Yours for Christ,