Skip to main content

Prayer and Pizza

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas everyone,

This past month of November I have been given a lot to be thankful for. Two of those reasons just happen to be events that you personally helped to make happen! 72 Hours of Prayer. And Pizza Theology. Both of these event are reasons why November ranks among my favorite months in college ministry. Because in both of these events students are given opportunities to encounter God and Scripture in ways that go beyond the common practices and routines of every day life.
The first event that I want to share with all of you is 72 Hours of Prayer. This event is a joint ministry partnership of all the college ministries on campus at UT Arlington. The goal is to create a space for students who are in need of prayer to come and make those requests known. And then, facilitated during every hour for the entirety of 3 days and nights there are students inside the tent praying over those requests. For many students, these three days are a time of healing as they write prayer requests, aware that there are others on campus who want to help them carry that burden, who are faithful enough to pray for God to intercede into their situation. For other students this is an experience like they've never had. In a world where attention spans are lessening and distractions are all around, inviting students to come and simply pray to God for an entire hour is a new discipline and practice to them. But many of those students leave this event with a desire to instill these disciplines and practices into their own life on a regular schedule. And they desire this because the find that in their hour long time of prayer they really could tangibly sense God's presence with them, listening to their requests, and giving peace to their hearts.

Here is a picture of many of the prayer requests written on the inside of the tent.

This is one of the displays inside the tent. If the students don't know how to pray for an hour there are displays hung inside that will help them to focus their hearts and minds on the things of God.

I love this event for so many reasons. I always leave encouraged by the unity between the various campus ministries on this campus, and also excited and hopeful for all of the change that God will enact on this college campus and in the world, because of a faithful few who choose to bow before God and make the requests of their heart known to him. John 15: 7 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.


Another one of my favorite events of the year is Pizza Theology!
Once a semester, FOCUS hosts what we call a pizza theology. It is not a lecture on the theology of Pizza. But it is an in depth time of teaching on a particular topic of scripture, for an entirety of 4 hours, with an hour long pizza dinner break in between. Walk up to any college student and ask them if they would like to spend their weekend listening to a 4 hour lecture, and I believe that most of those students would respond with a no. But every semester we invite all of our students to come and do just that and they show up in droves. This semester the subject was the sermon on the mount. We invited a professor from a local seminary to come and teach on that passage for 4 hours, and for 4 hours our students listened as their insight into scripture and God's character and God's call for their life increased in understanding. It was both an incredibly encouraging and convicting time. As believe it or not, while the words of Jesus always bring life, they often come with a lot of power.

If you would like to listen to this particular Pizza Theology you can do so here.
https://anyfocus.org/media/pizza-theology-sermon-on-the-mount/

As always, I am so incredibly grateful for your partnership in this ministry. Every week I get to meet with college students and share Christ with them, and every week I get to witness the Spirit of God drawing college students closer and closer to our Lord. I will forever be grateful to you for the role that you are playing in all of that. Whether or not you believe this to be true, I fully believe that by investing in college ministry, you are laying up for yourself treasures in heaven. I pray that one day each one of you will be able to see the full effect and impact that your donations have had on the Kingdom. But until that day, I'll keep trying my best to relay what I see happening through these blogs.

My sincerest thanks, Austin.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Leaders of Tomorrow

 Hello Friends and Ministry Partners, Today I want to highlight some future leaders that are coming out of the ministry at UTA, graduating, and moving forward to the next stage of their lives. I also want to ask for your help in praying for wisdom as we make decisions about who from the next generation of students should we invite to take their place as leaders in our ministry! I got to take a retreat last week with some of the guys from UTA Focus who are considering starting the FOCUS Apprenticeship in the fall. Jalen Quintana in the pink hoodie is my co-pastor over the mens ministry at UTA, the others from left to right are Cole Benge, Matt Carothers, Austin Nelson, and Taylor Bass. Each of these guys have been key pillars in our ministry as they have led core groups and personally discipled so many younger men all while being discipled by Jalen and myself. If they do get to start the apprenticeship in the fall then they will spend half their time taking seminary level courses on scr

God Continues To Amaze

 Hello friends, The last two weeks have been like nothing else I've ever experienced in ministry before. With restrictions from the University on where we can meet and how many people can be present we knew going into the two weeks of Maverick Stampede that we would not be able to operate like we usually do. There would be no pajama dance party to attend, or candy poker night to invite people to, or a waffleopolis to be overwhelemed by with the amount of people who come to that event just to eat one free waffle. None of those would be happening like they have in years past. In fact we weren't even sure how many students would be on campus. And with all of this uncertainty and our unability to rely on strategies we've used to reach the campus in the past, there was anxiety for us and for our student leader team. What would college ministry even look like this year? How could God possibly work with so many restrictions impeding our efforts? Well, good news, God is not impeded

My Favorite Year Of Ministry

When this year was about to start many campus ministers wondered, how will God work? What students will be on campus for us to meet? How do we do ministry in a pandemic? And with every question there was a component of fear or doubt. I confess that I had these same thoughts, and maybe as a ministry partner passionate about college students you did as well. Well I have good news. God has been so faithful this year. Many more students than we would have ever expected joined our community for the first time and found a place to come and learn more about Jesus as they experience his love through meaningful friendships. And I can honestly say, because of God's goodness, in spite of all of the challenges we faced, this may have been my favorite year of ministry yet. I'd love to tell you why. God was so faithful to bring up leaders. This is about half of our mens leader team. From left to right you have myself, Taylor, Caleb, Matt, Ulisses, Chewy (not a leader, but a very good boy all