It is so good to see that despite all the curve balls that we've all been thrown in the last couple months God has been so faithful and blessed this season of ministry. It certainly has made our team have to adapt and overcome some new challenges, but at the same time it has presented so many new opportunities and I believe will strengthen the ministry as a whole. Just another example of the Lord using something evil and turning it into good. I've had to remind myself of that over and over during this time. That as bad as it looks out there, the thing that matters most is that people are entering into relationship with the Lord.
The view I have most the time nowadays.
We just finished up our Spring Pizza Theology, which is an in depth teaching time that we put on for our students once a semester. This time we chose to cover the topics of Heaven, Hell, and the Intermediate state. As you can imagine, the goal was more to get people thinking about these things and seeking to learn more rather than just giving them answers (like we could do that anyways with these topics). I think one of the best things that has come out of this pizza theo is it has renewed in our students a hope for what lies ahead, while at the same time showing them how much what we do here matters. I think in our media based culture, so many of us want to be like the superheroes we see on the big screen, and think that what we are doing is pretty lame compared to that. But when you start talking about the eternal significance of this life and the choices we make here, that lie goes away pretty quick. You start to see that what we do here is far more important than super heroes. They save people from death, we get play a role in them being saved from eternal death. That is a big deal. Ephesians 6:12 says "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." That sounds like a pretty big deal to me.
What our TNF looks like
Online Services and Meetings
Switching to entirely virtual meetings has certainly been an interesting experience. I am thankful that I still get to do my job, and that overall my schedule hasn't actually been impacted all that much. I still meet with all the same people, do all the same things, but just do them over the phone and on Zoom. Some of our students have had an easier time than others with this transition. Many have started to basically treat it like summer break has already started, but others have been incredibly faithful and have been giving it their all right up to the end of the year. Many of our student leaders have come up with creative ways to connect with their small groups and with their friends. There has been a discord server up for people to connect outside of our normal meeting times. Everyone is about to wrap up their small groups for the year over video, and we're all still meeting with people 1x1. I'm very hopeful that with us learning how to use things like video chats and live steams that we will be able to implement these things in coming years and connect with students over the breaks even more.
Overall this has been a time of figuring out new solutions to new problems, but in spite of all that it has also been encouraging. Real ministry is still happening, lives are still being transformed, and people are still growing closer to Christ.
That we can all finish this year well.
That our summer services are a blessing to our students.
For all those affected with COVID-19 (we have had a couple of FOCUS alum now contract it).