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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!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THW532VwKzA&feature=youtu.be

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.
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/641513994

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.




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