Friday, November 1, 2013

November Update

October is gone.  November is here.  I hope this isn't news to you!  We are now a little over a month away from the semester being over...and it seems like it only just started.  Anyway, here are a few things we have been up to lately:

Campus Outreach

One of the initiatives we have assigned to the interns this year is driving evangelistic outreach on our campuses.  The Denton interns have come up with a really neat plan for UNT and TWU campuses that is
 focused on increasing the number of conversations people have about God.  The first week they asked people who they thought God was and had suggestions, like Father, Judge, nothing, etc.  We want to know where others are at!  It confused a lot of people because they didn't understand why Christians would be asking what they thought instead of only preaching what we believed.

For the past couple of weeks the question has been, "Does God care about..." with several signs encircling it with topics like science, the American dream, humor, homosexuals, social justice, women, and politics.  We had several engaging conversations with students and faculty as they walked by!  Here are some photos:

Discipleship Class

We just had our fourth class meeting today, which meets weekly.  The point of this class is to provide a place for anyone in our ministry to grow in their faith and understanding of how to study scripture.  Our ministry puts a lot of effort into developing leaders.  Without them nothing would get done!  Jesus developed the disciples into leaders and left them to continue his work on their own.  Leaders are what we need to bring the Kingdom of God to the world around us.

That being said, we invest most of our time into our student leaders who have committed to serve on the leader team for the year.  These guys and girls are some of the people I am most devoted to.  Outside of that group of 39 students we don't want to neglect to impact the other students in our ministry with a passion for discipleship.  This is where Discipleship Class comes in.  The student leaders are also welcome to be there, but we already ask a lot from them so we don't expect their attendance.  The class is structured around the book of Mark, looking closely at the ministry of Jesus.  Our main goal is to help them see who God is and how to relate with Him.  That starts with understanding what Jesus said.  He said a lot of confusing and difficult things to understand or even grasp.  If we don't understand what Jesus' main points were in what He said, then how can we know what it means to follow Him?

Leadership Conference

Last Saturday our family of churches held a conference for anyone who leads in our ministry in any capacity.  It was an all-day event (8:30am-5:30pm) so I won't go into detail, but I do want to touch on it.  Our family of churches includes fellowships in Garland, Wylie, Denton, and all of the FOCUS campuses.  It's amazing to see how God has allowed us to plant so many separate ministries.  We try to have the best of big and the best of small by having our bodies all function independently, but work together.  One of the ways we maintain a unified sense of values and devotion is through events like this conference.  It's also a fantastic way of getting our student leaders more involved and integrated with the churches.  This is important because oftentimes the students who aren't members of our church (we didn't have a church in Denton for a long time for the UNT and TWU students to attend, so they are already members of other churches in the area) don't understand how much the other churches have invested into them or how much they are currently investing in them.  The FOCUS ministry really is a cutting edge ministry that's reaching young people before they go out into various parts of the world in influential positions.  What a natural way to develop and send out disciples!  In this sense supporting the FOCUS ministry is a mission of the Northeast church.  They aren't a big, rich family, but they are a people devoted to God and other people.  That's powerful.

Break Every Chain

We concluded our Break Every Chain sermon series this month and I wanted to share an activity that we did at our big group meeting.  I talked about how God has broken our chains to sin, setting us free to truly live.  The problem is we often aren't living as He intended.  It's as if our chains were broken and we clung to them instead of leaving them behind.  It's not enough to break the chain; we need to have a vision for where we are going to go now.  After the sermon I invited anyone who wanted to come down and share a chain that God had broken or one that they would like to break free from.  I asked them to write that on one side of a large sheet of paper, then on the other side write what they want to be transformed into or moved toward to replace that chain.  With that sheet of paper they individually showed both sides to the group to read.  It sounds very simple, but I assure you it was a very powerful experience.  I wish you could have seen it.  Unfortunately, there are no pictures!

Please be in prayer over the various things we have going on.  Check out the prayer requests on the left.  Thank you very much for reading this and for your support of this ministry.  I appreciate the fact that you are even interested to know what God is doing here!

Yours for the Campus,