Starting a New School Year
It has certainly been a whirlwind of a month, but an encouraging one nonetheless. As always I want to thank you for helping make it possible. I've been especially aware of how blessed I am to be able to do college ministry this month. August is the start of school, and as such is always one of the busiest times of the year for a campus pastor, but also one of the times where we can see God working the most. So thank you for letting me do that!
Some students and I helping out with UNT move in
The first weeks of school are a whirlwind. We have an axiom in FOCUS which goes "A disciple to lazy to plant in the Fall will have nothing to harvest in the Spring." Backwards to real farming, but very true for campus ministry. So we spend the first weeks of school working very hard to meet a ton of new students, getting them plugged into Cores, 1x1 Bible studies, and our fellowship nights.
A photo from one of our after events. Literally everyone in this photo except for the people at the bar are in FOCUS.
This year was an incredibly successful welcome week for Denton. I'm not much for counting numbers typically, but in this case I think it shows something. Last year FOCUS in Denton was hitting around 70-80 students at TNF. For the past couple weeks we've been averaging around 150-160. Basically doubling our size in the period of a couple weeks.
Our first TNF of the semester
The Lord has been working in some big ways up here! I could tell almost countless stories from welcome week, but I'll stick with just one for now. There has been one guy who very adamantly professes to be agnostic, having gone through a tough time years ago which made him lose faith in God. Yet this guy has shown up to almost every fellowship night, every after event, has starting come to my small group, and is now meeting up with one of our leaders regularly. I can just already see God starting to work in his life, whether the guy sees it yet or not. It's just amazing what we get to work alongside God in on these campuses.
Our director Garrett praying over me before I give the first sermon of the year.
I am so excited for my small group this year. So far around half the guys coming are not Christian, which is so exciting because it allows us so many opportunities to share about Jesus and get them thinking about faith. Plus I love my co-leader, he is such a fun guy with a very genuine heart for Christ, even if he doesn't see that in himself all the time. I think the Lord has awesome things planned for our Core, and I can see Him already working to build us up into a community who is earnestly seeking truth, no matter where we are in our lives currently. I think it will be one of the more challenging groups I have led over the years, but I expect God help me through it.
Another photo from TNF. This time with 10x more color.
Prayer for a friend of mine is feeling rather at the end of her rope between balancing work, kids, and marriage.
Prayer for all of our Cores to be built into groups that spur one another on towards Jesus.
Prayer for our staff as we figure out how to lead this community this year.
Prayer for all the freshman. Freshman year can be a really rough time for a lot of students, so just wisdom and discernment for them as they navigate being on their own for the first time.