Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Matt's September Update

A lot has happened over the past month. THANK YOU for your prayers. The preparatory days we had for our student leader team went very well and they did an amazing job of reaching out to new students over the last couple of weeks. Our first FNF (Friday Night Fellowship, which is our weekly large group meeting with all the Denton campuses) meeting was nearly packed out. It was impressive just to see what God had done through the commitment of our community to befriending as many people as possible.

FNF Kickoff

This coming weekend we are hosting another leadership training day to prepare our student leaders for starting their small groups. We call these groups "cores" because they are the core of our ministry and a place where students can experience deep Christian community through studying God's word and living their lives together. We try to use this training day as a way to cast a vision for their cores and give them practical advice on how to be successful. We will talk about our mission - to make and mature disciples to the glory of God - and how to take real steps toward that in the context of core. We'll talk about several other things and do some activities to further equip them for kicking off their core groups to the best of their ability. Please be praying for our student leader team as they start their cores next week! You can specifically pray for the Lord to:

  • give the student leaders a spirit of peace as many will be nervous
  • bring whoever He wants to each of their groups
  • prepare the hearts of those who come, even if they aren't new
  • use our staff to adequately support the student leaders in their roles

Reflections from my first month of marriage

Recently I was encouraged by one of my close friends and supporters to share more about my personal life, especially my new life with Danielle, in my blog. I'd love to just share a little of my insight from the past few weeks. I'm sure it will be nothing new to those who have been married a while, yet perhaps there is something to be remembered from the beginning of your own relationship.

Since Danielle and I have been married I have grown a lot. I've learned even more deeply the meaning of Proverbs 27:17. Marriage has the powerful ability to work the selfishness out of each person, but it doesn't come naturally. It takes hard work, just like it takes hard work to rub two pieces of iron together in order to sharpen one of them. I would say this is the characteristic of a good marriage. It is one of the many blessings that God gives us through this holy union.

I have surely been blessed in this way through uniting with Danielle. But I'm blessed even more by her desire to intentionally make me better. She calls me to a high standard, as Christ calls all of us - to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. Not that she expects me to be "perfect" in the sense our culture understands, but to become who God intended me to be (perfectly made for the purpose). She challenges me to be more thoughtful, to be more organized, to be more sensitive, to be more encouraging, to be more expressive, and to be a better leader. Through our relationship I have every hope that God will make me into the creation He intended. My prayer is that I will do the same for her.

One last thing I'd like to tell you about is our upcoming event, the FOCUS 20 Year Celebration. This is for anyone who has ever been involved with FOCUS (in any way) to celebrate with us. We'll be telling stories from the last 20 years and then casting our vision to you for the next 20 years of ministry. We're really looking forward to celebrating with everyone!

Saturday, October 8, 2016
UT Dallas
Edith O'Donnell Arts & Technology Building

Reception 4-5PM
Celebration 5-7PM

To RSVP for the event, please go to

Thank you so much for your prayers and support! I thank our God for you often for the blessings He provides though you. Please continue to keep us in your prayers and let me know if I can ever be praying for you.

Yours for the Campus,


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