October 2022 Update
It's Been a While...
A Word of Thanks
Thank you never goes without saying. You are reading this blog because you have either offered financial support, have offered your prayer, or both. You are the reason I get to do what I do. You are the reason I can spend the majority of my time meeting with and ministering to teens here in Wylie. Along with you all, I am thankful to God. He has been so incredibly faithful and I have no reason to believe he won't continue to be. The work He is doing in the hearts and minds of our students is apparent and very encouraging. And our ministry at large is the healthiest it's been since I have been working here. God is a very very good God.
God, you never cease to amaze me. Thank you for being a good God. Thank you for being a God worthy of praise, a God worth emulating. Thank you for being an invitational and relational God and for working so beautifully and wonderfully through our relationships with one another. I love you God and I know you love each and every one of us.
Why It's Been a While...
I'm a dum dum who didn't realize until about a week and a half ago that I haven't done one of these updates in probably 9 months...
I just completely forgot about it. But not anymore!! I'm back and better than ever. At least until the next time I forget.
But you're not here for my excuses or an apology, you're here for my wisdom and insight. You're here to gaze in wonder and awe at me. You're here because you're asking yourself, "Man...how can I be more like Matt?..."
Do you see how I'm trying to use humor to make you forget the fact that I have neglected my blog for nearly a year?
Is it working?...
Well, let's move on.
I wrote above that CTF is the healthiest it's been since I've started working there. What do I mean by that?
1.) We are small
I know that, for a lot of ministries and churches, size is an indicator of health. That being said, I also know that if you spend much time around the Northeast family of churches or our FOCUS ministries that you will hear that we don't play the numbers game. That we aren't worried about how many people are showing up, we're going to continue to work and serve faithfully those that are showing up.
The same can be said for CTF. We are going to faithfully serve and love and teach however many students show up, whether that's 10 or 110. So why is the fact that we are small a good thing?
Because we have been able to really pour in to the students that we have. Our students are becoming more and more familiar with each other, albeit slowly. We have been able to offer 1-on-1 discipleship to all of our students and most of them are being met with consistently. CTF feels warm and welcoming and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that our numbers are down a little bit.
2.) We are young
Heartache to heartache we stand.
I feel like a lot of people wouldn't view this as a strength. But the reason I think this is a sign of health has a lot to do with my previous point. Take everything from point 1 (the size of CTF, discipleship, warmth and welcoming, consistency) and imagine what it would be like to spend the next 3, 4, 5 years of your formative middle and high school years in a community like that.
I'm just very excited for where our ministry is going to be in the next 4 years. The depth and willingness of our students to reach out to friends and invite them in, to point them to Christ. It's very exciting!
3.) We know our kids AND we're getting to know their parents
CTF is cool in the sense that it isn't technically just Wylie Northeast's youth group. Like FOCUS, we have students who don't go to a Northeast church, and a few who don't go to church at all. CTF is their church body. And I love that about our model of ministry. You don't have to go to our church to go to our youth ministry.
But, we're starting to get more and more kiddos whose families DO go to Northeast on Sundays. We get to see them weekly and go to lunch with them and talk to them. They see our faces and hear us speak. It just makes it easier to partner with the parents of our students when we actually get to spend time with them.
And I could go on, but those are just a few reasons why I'm very excited about where CTF is at right now as well as where it will be in the years to come.
Along with CTF, I am also helping a couple of teachers at McMillan Junior High start a small group bible study on the campus! We are partnering with an organization called Bridge 2913 and FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) to get that up and running. Please be praying for that group and that we can find students to help lead it and that it can be a light on that campus.
Really the biggest thing to say here is that I married Sam on August 27th!
Marriage has been a blast and God has already been so faithful and blessed us immensely!
Written on My Heart
The point of this section is to share with you all a piece of scripture that has been encouraging, challenging, confusing, etc. to me recently and see if it doesn't elicit similar responses for you all.
The scripture that has been written on my heart recently is Psalm 1, specifically the first 3 verses:
"Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the Law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither - whatever they do prospers."
This challenges me. Is my delight in the Law of the Lord? If not, where is it? What does this even mean? On the other hand, it is an encouragement and I want to become the kind of person described in this psalm.
- For our students. That they truly come to love Jesus.
- For our staff. That they continue to work and rest well.
- For McMillan. That God moves powerfully on that campus.
- For Sam and I. That we continue to love and serve each other as Christ does.
Thank you all so much!