Skip to main content

Learning From the Wise

Dear Friends,

Thank you for taking the time to read this ministry update. This winter season has been particularly encouraging and I am excited to tell you about what is coming up soon!

The month of December began with a celebration. The school semester was coming to a close quickly so we threw our annual Focus Christmas party in the first week of the month. Talk about Christmas come early. The event was filled with sweet memories, worship, and funny skits put on by the various weekly core groups. Watching those skits is always a highlight of the year as everyone in the core often participates and everyone gets to see each others silly sides.
A couple of guys at the UTA Focus Christmas Party. In the bottom picture, one of the roommates couldn't make the event so the rest of the guys thoughtfully chose to find a way to include him in the picture, no matter what.
 Once the semester was over and the students went home for the holidays, I had a lot of time to read. Over the break I have worked my way through 3 books. The Contemplative Pastor, A Pilgrim's Progress, and The Problem of Pain.

I have learned to love to read again since beginning my role as a pastor. I love getting to be able to sit at the feet of the wise and just listen. Through these books, and through the words of the Authors, God taught me a lot about the key role of a pastor being to lead people to Jesus, not through simply giving Godly advice, although that is part of the job. But by leading them to pray, teaching them how to pray, and reminding them that God is the one who enacts change in their hearts or the hearts of others. I also learned or was reminded of the need for true friendship in the journey of being a jesus follower. Too often in our individualistic culture I think we can believe that in order to become a mature follower of Jesus we must become a completely independently holy person. But the Pilgrim's progress reminded me that even the greatest heros of faith, need others alongside them to encourage them and strengthen them, whenever the going gets tough. And lastly through the problem of pain, simply how God is still so faithful, even in the seemingly darkest of circumstances. I hope you got to read some recently. I would love to hear what God has been teaching you!

You can barely see him on the stage in this really large picture. But the man speaking up there is Brady Bobbink. Brady has been a campus pastor in Bellingham, Washington for over 50 years. He has faithfully served the campus there at WWU and discipled many young students and other campus pastors. I am so grateful for how God has used him, because if it weren't for the ministry that he has led up there, I would have never attended The Student Institute of Campus Ministry. And if I had never attended that conference, I may never have caught a vision for my role as a disciple maker, and I certainly would not have developed the passion for reaching the college campus that I now have. The rest of the staff and I got to spend 4 days with Brady and his wife Shirley at our recent winter staff retreat and it was just so great to spend time with them and listen to their reflections on life, and faith, and ministry. I feel so very blessed to get to learn from the wise. I hope to continue to grow in wisdom so that one day I might be a blessing to a young person such as myself and help to give them a vision of what a  life lived for God can really look like, 50 years on. Thank you for the opportunity you have given me to do so, I fully intend to pass along what I've learned to the next generation of college students and help point them more and more to a life lived following Jesus.

Prayer Requests
  • Winter Camp - This is only two weekends away, we currently have 55 students from UTA signed up, and over 450 across all of our campuses. Winter Camp is an incredibly impactful time for our students as they spend 4 days together worshiping God, playing games, and learning from the scriptures. Please pray that more students would be able to attend, and that God would move powerfully to win the hearts of college students for the rest of their lives. Also winter camp costs $160 per student. If you would like to help scholarship a student so that they can attend please don't hesitate to reach out!

  • New Semester - Pray for our staff and student leaders to be outreaching as the new semester starts. Many new students will be on campus and we want to be there to meet them and welcome them into Christian community.


Post a Comment

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 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