Saturday, December 2, 2017

Coming to a Close

Guys. I can't believe the semester is already coming to a close! As I was reflecting over Thanksgiving break on what God has done in our ministry this semester, I couldn't help but be filled with gratitude not only for His working powerfully through and in such imperfect people like us, but also for each one of you who has helped make it happen through your investment of time, energy, and prayers in our community. Thank you for being part of what God is doing at UTA!

I've seen God's hand move in our ministry in so many encouraging ways this semester, and this month, there are two that I'd like to focus on.

Pizza Theology

Each semester, students across our various campuses gather for a pizza dinner and four hours of intense biblical teaching on a particular issue that we wouldn't get to explore as in-depth as we'd like to at an average Thursday Night Fellowship. In that past, we've covered controversial books of the Bible, like Genesis and Exodus, controversial topics in theology, like eschatology (theology of the end), and hot-button issues in our culture today, like race and sexuality. This semester, we invited Bill Watson, professor of Greek and New Testament at Criswell College, to speak on the Sermon on the Mount, and it was a huge success. Besides the simultaneously convicting and worship-inspiring talk (which you can listen to here), we had such an amazing turnout!

Every single one of these students took 5 hours out of their weekend to hear about Jesus' teaching with one another! How cool is that?!

We certainly don't view numbers as our sole metric of ministry success, but when this many students show up to an event like this, with passion for God and hunger for his word, one can't help but celebrate! I've gotten to hear from both believers and nonbelievers in our ministry since Pizza Theology, and God is certainly working as they chew on what they were taught in order to help them better understand His character and bring them closer to Him.

Keep FOCUS Growing



Keep FOCUS Growing (KFG) is our annual year-end fundraiser aimed at setting us up to participate in what God might be calling us to in the next year. Last year, we were able to raise $40,000 to help plant a ministry at SMU, hire a full-time administrator, and print the Focus on Jesus booklets that help our students engage with Scripture together, one-on-one. This year, we're aiming to raise $50,000, and this Tuesday alone, we raised over $30,000 on Facebook for Giving Tuesday! Plus, Facebook is matching a chunk of that donation, which we haven't even factored in yet. I'm absolutely blown away by the mind-boggling things a community of generous people who are yielded to God's call can do in less than 24 hours. If you haven't yet given to KFG, I invite you to prayerfully consider if God is leading you to give. And if He is, you can do so right here. :)

Thank you guys so much for caring about God's children on college campuses. Your investment is going to yield eternal dividends!

With love and gratitude,
Jalen