Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A Month of Restoration

As I reflect on what God has done in our ministry this month, one theme keeps passing through mind: restoration. God has been hard at work getting us talking about and being part of the coming of his Kingdom, his realm of restored order, on our campuses.

Pizza Theology


This is the biggest room UTD has and we've almost outgrown it!
The first event that led to this theme of restoration was Pizza Theology. This semester’s topic was “Ready or Not... Here He Comes!”, a discussion on the second coming of Christ. In it, Sarah led us through the entire Biblical narrative from creation to Christ’s ascension and the establishment and expansion of the Church to set up our discussion on the hope of Christ’s return. Next, Brandon led us through Matthew 24 and 25, Jesus’ most thorough discussion of His return. And finally, Miriam taught us how to think of the book of Revelation: not as a list of symbols we need to interpret in order to figure out when Jesus is coming back, but as a letter of hope from a loving pastor to a Church facing persecution. As someone who has consistently struggled to find excitement in the prospect of Jesus’ second coming or encouragement in the book of Revelation because of my own fears, I was not only blessed by the opportunity given to me to share my story and struggles with the community (thank God that He chooses to us our struggles as ministry opportunities) but by the message of hope found in Revelation 21. If you would like to listen to Pizza Theology (which I highly encourage you to do, as it was my favorite one in a while!), you can do so here.

Another Baptism... Another One

Ricky's on the left; Brady's on the right. Look at these two cuties!
In addition to giving us an opportunity to talk about God’s restorative work, He gave us a taste of it just last week when Ricky, one of our friends from core, was baptized. After studying the “Rebirth” lesson in our Focus on Jesus study with his friend Brady, Ricky decided to declare his faith publicly by obeying the command to be baptized. I am so proud of both Brady and Ricky for humbly and boldly responding to God’s prompting, and I’m excited to see what God wants to do through them going forward. To top it all off, Ricky’s baptism (which has to be like the tenth one we’ve had this year!) inspired two other men in our core to consider getting baptized as well. It’s so exciting to see God moving so clearly in our community!

What is Love?

Two of our students, ready to talk about love with our campus!
Finally, I wanted to tell you guys about a really cool outreach opportunity we had this month. Because we knew our students would be thinking about love in the days surrounding Valentine’s Day, we set up the above display in order to engage them in discussions about different perspectives on the topic. For example, we had quotations ranging in source (and quality!) from the Bible to Nicholas Sparks books! We definitely had a lot of meaningful conversations with students in which they were brought face-to-face with the stark differences between Jesus’ example of love and our culture’s definition of love, which God wants to restore. If you guys could be praying for the follow-up conversations to be had, as well as the seeds planted in these students’ hearts, that would be so appreciated!

Thank you so much for contributing to all that God has done in our ministry this month. He has taken your financial support and prayers a long way!



With love and gratitude,
Jalen