Thursday, February 4, 2016

Matt Clark's February Update

The Spring semester is well on its way! We are back from Winter Camp and three weeks into classes, core, etc. There's a lot to be thankful for and much to look forward to this semester.

Here's what I'm talking about:

Winter Camp

This year's camp was amazing. It's funny for me to tell you this merely through text, because I don't think I could ever fully convey what I mean! The experience is powerful for a few different reasons: first because we just have so much time to be around each other as a community (basically three full days), second because our student leaders are so purposeful with their time spent around other students which insures everyone is included in fellowship, and third because of the thoughtful and heartfelt words from Rikk Watts (our speaker for the weekend).

If you remember from my last post, or from a few of my posts last summer, I took a theology class in Canada at Regent College with Rikk. Many staff and students have listened to the recordings of his lectures (as well as other professors there) over the past few years. We have come to appreciate their humble and deep respect for God and his Word. This is why it was such a treat to have Rikk visit us. We are glad to consider him a friend and brother in the Kingdom. The words that Rikk shared with us over the weekend were about who Jesus is - we wanted our students to hear Rikk's passion and be enamored by the amazing person of Jesus, God among us. The impact on our students was a tremendous blessing as so many hearts and minds have opened up more to our Lord. Their understanding of who our God is has been stretched and expanded. One of the ideas Rikk shared was that God is not about good versus evil, but about life. That we are trying to be good people in order to be accepted by God, but we simply need to come to Yahweh, the Creator, in order to find real life. Nowhere else can it be found. Anything apart from God is dead. He inspired us to be people who take this life to those around us - that our role as God's people would be to show others his life-giving nature. We have to avoid making it about rules and being good. "God isn't about rule-keeping, but about people-keeping."

I highly recommend listening to the talks from camp because I believe they will enrich and challenge your own relationship with God. You can download the audio here. I would love to hear your thoughts or discuss any of these ideas if you want!

Here are pictures of some of our groups at camp!
University of North Texas
Texas Woman's University
North Central Texas College
All FOCUS campuses!
Includes UNT, TWU, NCTC, UTD, UTA,
Collin College (Spring Creek and Preston Ridge campuses), and Richland College

SICM invitations

SICM, as you may remember from years past, is the Student Institute of Campus Ministry. It's a week-long conference in which we send our potential leaders to be trained in reaching out and making disciples on a college campus. We have a long relationship with the staff who lead that ministry and have learned much of what we do on our own campuses from them. They are, in a real sense, our spiritual fathers and mothers. If interested, you can check out their websites for more information (CCF Ministry & SICM).

Last year we invited 25 students from our Denton campuses to attend SICM. We also had about 20 of our student leaders graduate last year so we barely maintained the size of our leader team this year. However, this year we invited 55 students to SICM! And significantly fewer leaders will be graduating. This is great news for the number of students we can reach next school year! It's also a little scary thinking about how we, as a staff, will be able to support the student leader team. Please be praying about that! We strongly believe in a 1:1 mentorship structure so that our leaders are consistently being poured into by a staff mentor. Also these students will be raising support for their trip so please be praying for that and if you are interested in helping a student pay for SICM, you can do that on our scholarship page. The trip is in May so we are still in the preliminary planning stages at the moment.

Please also be praying for students as they decide whether or not to go on this trip. They have to register by Feb 22nd. It's not for everyone, but we pray the Lord will guide each of them in this process.

Fundraiser results

You may also remember our fundraiser from back in November. We had set a goal of $45,000 and two weeks in to the three-week campaign we were maybe at around 10% of our goal. It was a little discouraging, but we prayed fervently and kept driving forward. Amazingly, as only God can do, the goal was's unbelievable! We are still in awe. God is so good. He is truly awesome! This money will go toward so many things in helping our ministries continue to grow in the years to come. Thank you so very much for your contribution to our ministry! We appreciate everything you do to support us. You are a blessing from our Lord!

Yours for the Campus,