The school year is nigh upon us! Next time you hear from me, we will have already been on campus meeting students and beginning another year of ministry, and I will hopefully have many stories of God bringing people into our community to hear about Jesus and experience his love through his people. Until then, let me share with you some exciting developments as we prepare for the fall!
Friday, August 7, 2020
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
- Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
As you may remember from my previous blog posts, our ministry has been meeting virtually this summer so as to keep each other safe from COVID-19. But as time progresses and we seek to find a model of doing ministry that is both safe and sustainable, we are prayerfully considering how we might begin to meet in person, whether it be every so often or in small groups of people. This week, we had our first in-person service of the summer to cap off Summer FOCUS for the year, and it was so encouraging! Getting to worship together for the first time in months was so life-giving to our students and staff, and we heard an awesome sermon from one of our directors, Sarah, about pushing past fear to follow Jesus this school year (this was a very challenging and timely message to our students as well as our staff, and I think it will be for all of you as well, so I'd encourage you to read some of it here!). With our outdoor location and mask/social distancing measures in place, this is looking like a viable way to do ministry going into the school year!
I am so excited to report that we have SIXTEEN men's small group leaders ("corefas") committed to serving at UTA this year. SIX. TEEN. That is insane to me given that during my first year on staff, we only had six. Even then, the fact that we had six young men willing to give up much of their free time to make and mature disciples on the college campus was astounding to me, and God certainly used a leader team of that size in big ways. But that fact that God is using this ministry to light a fire in people's hearts to reach their lost peers is so, so encouraging to me. I'm beyond excited to see not only how God uses this year to transform the hearts of our student leaders, but to reach many more people for Christ through them, especially in this season of isolation in which college students are going to be longing for community and connection.
Along with my ministry at DBU, I'll have the privilege of mentoring six of these student leaders this year, and I am so excited about each of them individually. I can't wait to tell you all about them next month :)
THANK YOU for making it possible to be on campus bringing Jesus to students this year. We don't know what this year holds, but we know who is in control! Our staff was concerned that raising financial support this summer would be more challenging than ever given the circumstances, and this has been our most successful summer ever. If God can do that despite the obstacles we face, he can use this uncertain year to do some amazing things! I would like to leave you with a letter to our student leaders, which I helped compose, prompting them to think about how they want to approach this year in hopes that it might be an encouragement to you as well.
With love and gratitude,