Friday, September 2, 2016

The Beginning of the School Year

There's not another time of year like this one in campus ministry. Never are the hours so crazy, the stakes so high, and the job so difficult as the first few weeks of school. For the past month I've been training a new staff team, who is training a new student leader team, who is reaching out to new people all over our campuses.

The goal is a simple but difficult one: love God, love people. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, this was essentially his response. All the law and prophets hung on it he said. Trying to stay true to that way of thinking and living we sent out new students and staff to try and rebuild a ministry that typically loses around 75% of it's students every year (such is community college!). God has been more than generous. He's working powerfully through our students and staff and bringing so many new people into loving community. My heart is full, my spirit nourished, my body tired, and I couldn't be more thankful for how the Spirit has moved so mightily on our campuses.

I told you about our new staff a month ago but I want to tell you more. Pedro, Shayla, Ryan, and Hannah have all come from our ministry on various campuses as student leaders. They've graduated and decided to do the Focus Apprenticeship for a year to see if campus ministry is where they're going. They're young, dedicated, fun, and loving. I enjoy working with all of them very much. There's a steep learning curve to campus ministry, and they've all thrown off anything that weighed them down and begun to climb that steep curve aggressively. It's been so cool to see. They're leading leaders, they're staying up late to be with students, they're ministering to everyone they come in contact with, and they're studying the Scripture with diligence. During the past few weeks they've seen their first Welcome Week from a staff perspective, and they've been great. I'm so excited to see them continue to grow in their relationship with God and people, and continue to learn how to be ministers.

Our student leader team has been incredible. That's really the best way to put it. It's rare to have a team like the one we have this year at Collin. They're motivated, they listen well, and they act. They're excited about what God is doing on campus and they want more and more of it. These have all been answered prayers. They've been so faithful to devote their time and energies these first few weeks even amidst class and work schedules that are demanding in their own right. When I think about them and the work they're doing for Christ, I'm humbled and encouraged. God is too good.

I'll wrap up by just telling you about our first two large group meetings (what everyone just refers to as "Focus"). I've never been interested in numbers and am weary of counting lest I become wrapped up in it as a way to measure success. I'm interested in Christ being known and his community bringing light to our campuses. With that said, I'll simply say I'm amazed at the involvement we've experienced. It's beyond what I expected, and can only be God's work. People are coming to be loved, to love, and to hear the Word of God. For that I thank God. Thank you, also, for your continued prayers, your support, and your generosity to helping us be on campus to do God's work. Please continue to pray for us, I can tell you it makes a huge difference. We have been on the receiving end of your prayers and God has blown us away.

Yours in Christ,

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