Sunday, June 9, 2013

SICM Testimonials!


I wanted to share with you what some of the UNT students have to say about their SICM experience.  It's really encouraging to see the impact that trip had on these young people!



Carmen


For me, SICM opened my eyes to how most discipleship is done through relationships whether that is through campus evangelism and taking an interest in their lives and views, or small groups and one-on-one conversations. I saw how we are to use Christ as an example of how to conduct our relationships and how to love. It is through that love that we enrich other people's lives, challenge them, and help them grow as we learn from them and grow ourselves. Discipleship is about the time we invest in others and how we spend that time.


Elizabeth


There are so many things that I learned at SICM, but that would take all day.  Something that really stood out to me was learning why we do so many one-on-one and small group studies.  Learning how much Jesus had real RELATIONSHIPS with his disciples.  They were his friends and he spent meaningful time with them, which is what we should be doing as disciples.




Joey


SICM was a very encouraging week for me.  I feel better prepared to talk to people about Jesus and about all of the great things He has done in my life.







Kurt


SICM taught me that there is no better time than the now to be a disciple.  In college, time is so precious, and I must make the most of every opportunity God has given me.  SICM taught me how to be more intentional with my relationships, and in turn be faithful to Jesus' command to make disciples of all nations regardless of how fruitful our endeavors may be.




Natalie


When I first came to FOCUS, I was amazed by how much people really wanted to befriend me. Suddenly there were these great people in my life who really discipled me. At SICM, I learned so much about that and how to do it Jesus style. Now I feel like I can be that person in someone else's life. Having people there for me in this way has been so incredibly important in my life as well as my relationship with Jesus, and because of SICM, I know I can go out and be a friend to someone in the same way.



Ryan


SICM was a week that represents what I would wish everyday life could look like. There was worship and constant community shared with a family of believers, lessons that take active listening and thought, and opportunities to go out and evangelize and apply what you've been learning right away. This is what our lives should consist of all the time!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June Update

One week ago we returned from our trip to SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry) in Bellingham, WA.  That's the leadership conference we take our potential student leaders each year.  As usual, it was such an enriching experience for the students and the staff.  It's really cool to see these up and coming leaders start to understand why we have been doing certain things the way we do.  Up until now most of them have just been participants in things like core groups or one-on-one Focus on Jesus studies.  All they had to do was show up.  Now they see how much purpose goes into those things and the importance of reaching out to their peers.  Even more, they are excited to do so.

The UNT group
Our entire group from Texas (UNT, UTD, TWU, Collin, & Richland)
My host family and the guys who stayed there

On Wednesday we had our first summer FOCUS meeting at UNT.  It was an introduction into our series over the book of James, focusing on practical Christianity.  After briefly framing the historical context of the book, I asked the students to stand up while I read the whole letter to them.  The father of the family I stayed with in Washington had told me he was impacted by a guest speaker at his church who talked about reverence for scripture.  The speaker read a large chunk of scripture to the congregation and had them stand up as well.  This resonated with me and seemed like the perfect way to start our study of James.  First of all it helped us be better engaged in the letter by delivering and receiving it the way it was originally intended.  Also, reading the words of James (most likely the brother of Jesus) carries more authority than anything I could say on top of it.

I have asked some of the older student leaders to prepare sermons for the upcoming weeks.  We like to give students an opportunity to be challenged in their ability to teach and also let the students hear from each other.  The summer seems to be the best time for this.  I'm looking forward to working with them on those lessons and seeing how God uses them to affect the community!

Update on TWU:
We missed the deadline for registering as a student organization at TWU, but we should easily meet all the necessary requirements by September when the fall semester begins.  The last registration deadline for the year just happened to be before we had a chance to register.  Unfortunately, that means we won't be able to be at the orientations over the summer for new and transfer students.  That really shouldn't be a big deal and to make up for that we intend to plan some unofficial hang out events on campus to meet new people.  Our goal is to start developing a small community over the summer so we have a solid foundation to build on once school starts.

Thank you so much for your support!  Keep us in your prayers, and let me know if there is anything we can be praying about for you.

Yours for the Campus,

Matt