Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Matt's October Update

This month is packed full of great things and I'm already off to a rough start. I'm just now recovering from being sick since Friday, but I'm thanking God that it's neither the flu nor strep throat! Anyway, I'd love to tell you a little about what's coming up this month.

FOCUS 20 Year Celebration - Oct 8

The 20 Year Celebration is this weekend! I'm sure you've already heard about it by this point, but just in case you haven't I want to quickly describe what we'll be doing. We will have a reception from 4-5pm before the main event with refreshments specifically for people to socialize with old friends or people from other generations of FOCUS. This event isn't just for alumni though! We want to invite anyone who has been involved in FOCUS in any way, even if only indirectly. Our main celebration will be from 5-7pm and will be a really cool timeline of how God brought about the FOCUS community and developed it over the last 20 years through various people. Lastly, we'll talk about where we are now and where we believe God is guiding us in the years to come. I really hope that you can make it! Here are the details again if you need them:

Reception 4-5pm
Celebration 5-7pm

Richardson East Church of Christ
1504 E Campbell Rd.

RSVP at anyfocus.org/celebrate20

Fall Camp - Oct 15-16

This is an annual event geared toward integrating newer students into our community and deepening relationships. It's only a 24-hour event, but it's packed full of silly games, thoughtful worship, and meaningful sharing of lives. The students who have attended this event know how impactful it can be. It's not anything that we, as staff people, do special; it's just God working amongst his people. My hope and prayer is that every new student who decides to be at Fall Camp will be connected into the larger community. Please be praying over this weekend as well!

I'll try to post a picture of our group on next month's update!

Leadership Conference - Oct 22

The Leadership Conference is hosted by our family of churches in the Garland, Wylie, and Denton area along with FOCUS. It's also an annual event, but it's specifically aimed at the leaders of our various communities. We bring together leaders from all of our teams to share, teach, encourage, and challenge one another to grow as leaders in God's Kingdom. Our goal is to grow in our leadership every year so that all of our communities are blessed.

The last thing I wanted to share with you is about a couple of the student leaders I get to mentor, Ben and Bradley. These two guys have made some really powerful decisions in their lives in order to follow God. It may not seem like much, but I'll tell you it's not been easy for either of them.

Ben came to UNT as the little brother of my best friend, but like many younger siblings, I could tell he wanted to find his own way. Thankfully God decided to bless Ben with a few friends in our ministry who consistently pursued him last school year. Over time and through their concern for him, they convinced him that being a part of real Christian community was better than working all the time. Ben is a work-a-holic by nature so it was hard for him to re-prioritize taking on responsibilities and leaving time for community. I'm really impressed by how much Ben has been willing to change certain parts of his life in order to lead others to Jesus. And God is still working in his heart and mind in major ways!

Bradley came to UNT as the "perfect son" who always made an A+ on every assignment (I'm not 100% certain, but that might actually be true!). When he was first asked to consider being a leader in our community, he declined because school was his first priority. Over the course of the next year, he started to realize how much God can do through the lives of obedient people - specifically in student leaders who had been investing in him. His decision to become a leader was difficult because it meant re-prioritizing school in his life overall. His decision meant he had to study less. All last year Bradley was able to successfully lead a core group, meeting up with some of the guys weekly for one-on-one Bible studies, and still maintain his 4.0 GPA and study for the MCAT (which he did exceptionally well on). And he is excited to be on the leader team again this year!

I'm really proud of both of these guys and am very excited to see the fruit of their labor this year!

Me, Bradley, and Ben at FNF

Thank you so much for reading! And thank you for your continued support of the work God has called me to here in Denton. Please keep us in your prayers and let me know if there's anything I can be praying about for you!

Yours for the Campus,