Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July Update!

Hello friends and supporters!

It's been about a month since my last update and I have some great stuff to share with you! I mostly want to share about three things that have typified the time between mid-June and mid-July: SOOT, leader selection, and a staff vacation.

I'll start with Summer One-on-One Training (SOOT). Starting in mid-June our staff has been getting with a group of around 35-45 students every week in order to train them in how to do one-on-one ministry. We meet a total of four times and our last meeting is next week. While none of these students have made any commitment to leadership or even to coming to SOOT, it has been so cool to get to know them and see them coming every week to learn how to reach their peers next year. This past week we covered some axioms of one-on-one ministry like "people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care", and "moving people onto God's agenda". Besides from some of the basic teaching about ministry, SOOT is aimed at creating relationships among those students that will help them become core contributors to our campus community next year. God has blessed us so much with the group we have this year and I'm excited to get to work with them next year!

We've also started the process of selecting student leaders for next year. This is a massive undertaking as we sift through many students in our ministry and discuss whether they fit the criteria of a student leader. We have so many loving and capable students and we consider everyone to be a minister if they call Jesus "Lord". However, it takes a special student to have the ability and the desire to spend 10-15 hours a week minimum serving their peers by facilitating small groups, being trained in ministry, befriending people, and doing one-one-one ministry. We're looking for students who fit the FAITH acronym (Faithful, Available, Initiating, Teachable, Heart for God/people). None of these students are completely adept in these areas (and neither am I!) but we're asking God to give us discernment about who is walking that path so we can teach them how to fish for people this next year. Please be in prayer for us as we make those decisions and for the students as they consider those commitments!

Finally, I'd like to tell you a bit about the vacation to Louisiana that our Collin staff took last week. We had the chance to stay at a friends' parents house outside of New Orleans for cheap so we all jumped at the opportunity to get to spend the week together having fun and developing our friendships with one another. We mostly went to a close beach in Mississippi (which had dolphins!) and spent time eating and playing Spikeball in New Orleans. In the middle of our trip we went to serve at a really neat ministry for kids in a tough neighborhood in New Orleans called Hollygrove. Jesus Project Ministries (JPM) is trying to reach inner city kids by providing activities, supplies, food, friendships, and the Gospel and we got to be a very small part of that. Seeing these kids flock to their ministry was so cool. Our staff got to help out with odds and ends around their property and we were so blessed by their commitment and perseverance in bringing the Gospel to Hollygrove. Thanks JPM! Finally, I'd ask as I often do that you be in prayer for our ministry. The next time I write to you we will be in full swing for the semester, and so much work and preparation go into making that happen. Truly, it's God's work and our job is only to be faithful. Pray for our faithfulness. Thank you so much for continuing to make possible what we get to do on the Collin campuses. Blessings!

In Christ,

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