Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January Update

Hello again!

Winter Camp is this weekend from Friday evening through Monday at noon.  It is our biggest event all year long and one of the most interesting opportunities as you get to see our entire FOCUS family for almost three straight days.  That's over 200 people.

At our staff retreat this past weekend we took some time to finalize a few plans for Winter Camp, some events during the semester, and our summer ministry.  We also looked at the rest of the school year and the next five years in a broader sense.  We started out by journaling and discussing how much God wants us to plan and strategize and how that fits in with the idea of being purposeful.  Paul writes in 1 Cor. 9:24-27 about figuratively running in such a way to get the prize and how he beats his body to make it his slave.  It's undoubtedly difficult, but our goal should always be to work hard to further God's kingdom.  These thoughts were coupled with the question of how can we "wait on God" without just sitting around being lazy?  This is obviously a balance because there are some things we need to wait patiently for, but many times when we don't feel like we have any direction from God we just need to be doing what we know Jesus would tell us to do: make disciples, serve people, etc.  If you know God, you know his will.  Consider Matthew 25:14-30 when Jesus tells a parable about a master leaving some money with his servants while he is gone.  There is no indication that he tells them what to do with it, but the one servant who is called a "wicked, lazy servant!" in the NIV was the guy who did nothing with it.  I kind of get the feeling that the master would have been happier if the servant had even lost the money but at least tried to gain a profit.  That's just my speculation though.

We also talked about our core strategic goals for the ministry keeping in mind the bigger picture of the next five years.  Here are most of what we came up with:

- Making and maturing disciples of Jesus
- Developing leaders who lead other leaders
- Reaching the lost
- Changing lives
- Planting more ministries on other college campuses around us
- Equipping leaders now to be able to lead campus ministries later
- Keeping diversity so we aren't an exclusive group
- Maintaining a close knit community even as we grow

Although I was looking forward to the retreat because it meant getting to spend quality time with the people I love, I was honestly dreading the talks a little.  We dig deep and that can get exhausting after several hours.  Regardless I really enjoyed it despite my feelings in the beginning.  It's like how I have mentioned before that I wouldn't be looking forward to studying the Bible with a student after working behind a desk dealing with crazy people for 8 or 9 hours, but I did it anyway and was energized through teaching God's truths.  It's odd that we can be so resistant to things that are truly good.

The idea of planning and creating strategies for our ministry got me thinking about how much I lack in doing that in my personal life.  I definitely plan things out and live by a calendar, but I don't necessarily put a lot of energy into seeing the big picture or trying to flesh out the details of how to handle certain areas of life better.  There are all sorts of things that can be done better like creating a timeline including what you want to accomplish by certain times, budgeting money or time/finding ways to reduce spending and increase savings, or keeping notes about people you're mentoring so that you can more effectively teach them.  Even just taking five minutes each morning and an hour at the beginning of the week to plan out what you need to get done and when is highly effective.  These are all things I intend to improve on.

Anyway, please pray for our camp, the rest of the school year, and the guys I'm reaching out to.  I really appreciate all of your support.  Thank you so much!

Yours for the Campus,


Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome to 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope you are all doing well.

Not a whole lot has gone on since my last update so as a staff we are not going to be posting our monthly updates until after our staff retreat this weekend, where we will plan for the rest of the year.  At that time I will be able to share what we will be doing this semester and talk about what we did at the retreat.

I would like to leave you with some thoughts for now.  With another New Year comes New Year's resolutions.  I think we, as a whole, often take these resolutions pretty lightly.  Why else is there an increased number of people on the treadmills at the gym in January and by February or March it's back to normal?  It is often hard to change a lot of things all at the same time instead of focusing on just one or two aspects of your life.  I think it helps to space your resolutions out across the year.  Also it's important to make sure that your goals are SMART (Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound) to help in accomplishing them.  This year one thing I want to be more disciplined in is journaling at least 2 or 3 times every week.  Writing helps me to draw deeper thought out of my mind and organize it in a way that is more tangible.  This is a great way to take scripture and other life experiences and write out my questions and thoughts on it.  If I don't take the time to get my thoughts on paper they generally dissolve into nothing instead of being applied to my life.