Skip to main content

Summer Leadership Training

Dear ministry partners,

I have to start by apologizing for not taking as many pictures this month! There has been a lot to do over the last few weeks much of it I'm incredibly excited about. But in the excitement and the rush, I am guilty of the disservice of not capturing these moments in images that I can share with you. I fully intend to be better about that in the month to come! But let me share with you several of the things I see God doing in our ministry right now.

1. Summer Leadership Training -
Typically, at this time of year we take the next generation of our student leaders to a leadership conference called the Student Institute of Campus Ministry or SICM for short. SICM is based in Bellingham, Washington and it is hosted by a great ministry that we are partnered with up there called Campus Christian Fellowship. During that week the students learn how to make and mature disciples of Jesus on their campus, through reaching out to their peers and entering into intentional spiritual friendships. It's always an incredibly formative week to be surrounded by God's creative beauty, immersed in scriptural teaching, and encouraged by a room full of college students who have caught the vision to share Jesus with the world. However, due to Covid, we were unable to make our trip to visit CCF and learn from them this year, but we still had over 150 college students who had said "Yes! I want to learn how to lead my peers to Jesus!" And so our team of campus pastors put together a great 3 day conference that students could tune into on zoom and learn some of those same lessons. The need for Jesus, the call of the great commission on the life of all believers, Jesus style evangelism, the importance of spiritual friendship, and so much more. Students from all over the metroplex tuned in to listen and to learn. I got to lead a discussion group with 7 students at the end of every day and it is so encouraging to watch them grow in excitement about school starting again, just so that they can be a part of the fulfillment of the great commission on their college campus. Remember that is 150 college students who spent 3 days listening to 7 hours of lectures just so they can learn how to be Jesus to their peers! That is so exciting to me when I think about it, each one of those students will be bringing Jesus with them wherever they go and the college campuses will be transformed. God is really working through your investment. If you want to watch any of the classes that our students got to be a part of during Summer Leadership Training the link to the first day of classes is below!

2. Summer TNF
Each week over the summer, our campus pastors have gotten together at a church in Northeast and streamed a service for our students who are in their homes still due to COVID. While it has been sad not to get to be together in person, each week has been encouraging to hear the students responses to the sermons. In these difficult times, each of us need pastors, myself certainly included, to remind us of who God is, what our hope is, and what our role is as Christians in this world. I'm so grateful I get to be a part of a ministry fully of gifted ministers like my friend Laurence Glenesk who spoke boldly on the issues of race that we see grow more and more tense as the days go on. At the end of last weeks TNF I was interviewed about remembering lessons God has taught us in the past, and several students told me it really ministered to them. I hope not to toot my own horn in saying that. I'm not a pastor because I'm good. I'm a pastor because God is good. But that said, I know its rare I get to share with you an opportunity in which I'm speaking in front of our community and I thought as ministry partners I would share that with you this week as it was actually caught on video! I pray it ministers to you as well.

3. Humility and Lament -
The world's most recent events have left many of our students confused, skeptical, angry and heartbroken. I do not claim to know what God will do in his church as we all reconcile with the reality that violence and hatred still have a secure place in our world. But here is what I see happening in our ministry. Students seeking to understand each other, students encouraging one another, students turning to God in prayer with their sadness and lament, students taking steps to bring justice tangibly into their local communities, and students challenging one another to consider Christs example of loving their neighbor and laying down their life for their friends. In regards to the injustice of the killing of black men and women in our country I want to share the official statement of our ministry. I have more thoughts and emotions that are tied to these issues and I would be more than glad to enter a conversation with any of you, acknowledging that I have much to learn. But at the very least I affirm all of the words in this statement. Pray for our students and for God's church that we would all look to him for our sense of Justice in regards to any of these tragic events. May God's kingdom come. Below is the official statement, followed by this months student testimony. Thank you again sincerely for your investment in college ministry. God is on the move.


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

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

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