Skip to main content

A generation, rising up to take their place

Hello friends and ministry partners! I pray that this blog update finds you well today. Please let me know if there is any way that I can be praying for you. I'm so grateful for all of the prayers that you have prayed on the behalf of myself and the ministry here at UT Arlington. I wanted to share a few really exciting things from this month, as well as one that I forgot to mention last month, in hopes that you will be encouraged when you see how God is moving on college campuses in DFW.
Our UT Arlington students at this years winter camp!
Winter Camp is one of the most exciting times of the year, right before the winter semester starts every year over 600 college students from different FOCUS campuses get together to worship God, listen to sermons and lessons from qualified speakers, this year our speaker was Dr. John Stackhouse. His content really was so valuable and it was such a blessing for our students to be able to learn from him all weekend. If you want a sense of what was talked about and what our students got to take away, you can listen to the sermons yourself on our Focus website!

https://anyfocus.org/resources/media-page/?category=508&key_words=Search&speaker=All&series=All

At the end of the weekend students left encouraged, with strong friendships developed, ready to share their faith with their peers on their campus. Here is a picture of all of the students in attendance so that you can get a sense of the impact your gift is having on the metroplex!I can't thank you enough for your investment. I really believe this generation will change the world by making more and more disciples of Jesus.
600 college students who spent their weekend growing in their knowledge of and relationship with God!
So winter camp was what I somehow forgot to mention last month! But this month we also had over 400 college students attend one of my favorite events of the year, Pizza Theology.
At Pizza Theology students have the opportunity to listen to a 4 hour lecture on a certain topic of scripture, this years topic was the book of Exodus. It's called "Pizza" theology because halfway through they take a one hour break to eat pizza. If I were not in this ministry and you were to ask me if I thought I could get over 400 college students to come and listen to a 4 hour lecture on the book of Exodus and why it's important for 21st century Christians to have a deeper understanding of Old Testament texts. I probably would have told you no. But every year, I am so surprised and blown away at the college students interest in these topics. And not only their interest but also their willingness to engage and ability to understand. These students spent most of their Sunday learning how to read Exodus and what significance it holds to their lives. And I really do believe that their understanding of who God is both at a head and a heart level grew as a result! I'm so grateful that you provide a space for students to come and learn these things. I pray that you are in some way blessed knowing that college students today really are capable of loving God's word!
And lastly I'll leave you with something less visibly impressive but to my heart and I think to Jesus' heart, equally significant. These are two young men in our ministry. One is Sameer, an international student from India pursuing his masters. And the other is Jordan, a freshman from Houston, who we recently invited to our annual leadership conference SICM. A couple of weeks ago Sameer invited us over to his place and we shared a meal together. We talked about how good God has been to us in our lives and Sameer and Jordan expressed their gratitude for this community. Thank you for investing in young men like them. I really do believe Jesus is using this community to bring about in their hearts a greater understanding of his goodness and love.

Well I hope that this update was an encouragement to you, all of these events and more have left me encouraged that the Lord is powerfully at work here at UT Arlington. Thank you for investing in college ministry and creating opportunities for all of that to happen. As always don't forget the student testimony below!
In Christ,
Austin

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Commiting to 4 more years of ministry.

Today I will be recommitting to 4 more years of ministry with Focus as a campus pastor to UT Arlington. While we could not invite people to join us for the ordination ceremony I wanted you to know that you can watch me make those commitments to the community online at 6:00 pm tonight on the website twitch.tv/utdfocus. This week I've been going through a devotional that was curated to help pastors pray and think through the commitment that they are making. The call to be a good shepherd, to be an example to the community, to be humble and a servant of all, to know God deeply and allow our ministry to flow out of a relationship with him, and more. But I also this morning have spent time thinking about the reality that 4 years is a significant amount of time. As I was praying through the decision I still intend to make this evening I felt like God was leading me to reflect on the last 5 years of ministry here at UTA and remember just all of the amazing ways I've seen him work. Typ

Disciple Means Student

Two of the things that I have been most grateful for in the last month is the fact that God gifts us with so much fun in this life, and secondly, how God blesses us by giving us the ability to learn. At our online TNF's we have been hosting after events for our students where we try to do something that helps everyone feel connected. At one of our most recent after events we decided to host "show and tell" where everyone finds one or two objects that they are most proud of owning or they consider to be the most interesting thing they own. It was such a blast to see what the students loved and wanted to show off. In the bottom right Taylor Bass, one of our student leaders, was showing off the set of armor that he and some friends had crafted from cardboard. And 2 blocks above him Nathan Baugh, another one of our student leaders, shows off his autographed pictures of Ariana Grande that he got when he was in middle school. It was so sweet to laugh with those in attendance

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