Focus on Jesus

This semester is packed full of exciting and unique opportunities. One opportunity I have been given this semester is to go on staff next year! Starting in June I will be done with my internship and will move into a full time pastor role on our Denton team. I will still be meeting with students, but I won't be taking as many classes and I'll add on more sermons and pastoral roles. I'm looking forward to this transition and to continuing to invest in college students. I'm incredibly thankful for all of your support and prayers that have kept me going!

 Focus on Jesus
Focus on Jesus (FOJ) is a one on one bible study that we do with students. Trent (in the red) is a sophomore at UNT.  He is studying the bible with Alex, a freshman this year. I meet with Trent each week to check in and help support him and grow him as a disciple. Trent has a very positive outlook and it's contagious. He is a hard worker and loves people. He does a great job with befriending people and showing the love of Christ to them. Alex is in one of Trent's classes. Where Trent has been intentional with sitting next to Alex, asking more about his life and expressing care and concern for him. Through that Trent ask Alex if he would be interested in meeting weekly and studying the bible with him.

So the other day I was walking through the UNT Union and saw them studying scripture together and building a friendship. I left them and turned the corner and saw another pair of our students studying together! That is so encouraging! We value one on one relationships and work to allow every person in our community to meet weekly one on one with a staff or student leader. Most students want that, and are so thankful to have a friend that will be consistent, understating, patient, and a good listener.
 Invest in the Vision
This is Ben, he is a freshman at UNT and has been growing as a disciple of God. He started coming around FOCUS at the beginning of the school year mostly because his two older brothers went through FOCUS when they were in school. Ben would come to our Friday large group fellowships and sit in the front and not talk to too many people. He was pretty quiet and unsure as to why so many people wanted to meet him and be his friend. Over time he started going to one of our small groups and studying the bible one on one with a student leader named Troy. Troy and many others in our community have encouraged him to step out of his comfort zone. This past Friday night at our large group fellowship Ben shared with all of us his vision for college ministry and why we should invest in it too. It was awesome to hear from him and to see him up in front of a hundred students passionate about how God is working on college campuses and how we can play a part in that!

Campus Outreach
This picture was taken at Texas Women's University. I don't talk too much about TWU because I don't spend as much time there as some of our other staff. This past month I organized an outreach event at all three of our Denton campuses for our students to be involved in. So at this particular outreach event we had two large whiteboards with a question at the top and students came and wrote a response and our FOCUS students developed a conversation with them.The questions we asked were, "Does God see the needs of our campus and does God see our individual needs"? These questions are meant to provoke conversations with believers and non-believers. We had great responses, discussions, and met many students. These outreach events serve many purposes. Not only can they challenge people to think more deeply, but they help the students in our ministry ask further questions, engage in dialogue and offer prayer. Something else that these events do is help build a relationship between Christians and non, that can be conversational and caring.

Spring Showcase
Each year we have an incredible performance of singers, musicians and artist who come together to raise money for our students to go to a discipleship training course in Washington state. The event this year is on April 2nd and is truly a special night. I encourage you to buy a ticket and come if you can. Below I featured just a few of the people that will be participating in the Showcase. Go here to purchase a Spring Showcase ticket and to learn more. 

Anna Fineout has a great gift of moving people with the power of her voice.
She has grown up singing in her church, and now has blessed our community 
with her voiceShe is a UNT alumni where she also helped in starting
 the UNT FOCUS ministry. Her rendition of Moon River, was my favorite
last year.
Tate Dollarhide is a current Art major at UNT. She is donating some of her screen-prints 
to be sold in the art sale at the Showcase. Tate is also planning to attend
 the discipleship training course this summer in Washington state. 
I can't wait to see these prints!
I have been working on a piece to donate for the art sale as well!
I will also have some of my previous work for sale. Its been fun working 
on a this drawing for the showcase!

Way's to be praying in March

Don't forget to read the student Monthly Testimony!

I will be doing my second sermon over the gifts of the Spirit next week! Be praying that God gives me clear vision on what to say to our students and how to present it. 

This month we have a group of about twelve students coming from a sister ministry of ours in Washington to do a week of outreach training with us. Pray that we have great dialogue with college students and that we let the Spirit work through us as we reach out to people. I'm planning the outreach topics and questions, so pray that God blesses our conversations and that we form the conversations that need to be had for these campuses. 

Comments

  1. Hey Aaron,
    I love walking through the Union and seeing students studying the Bible together! It is so encouraging to know how hard our leaders work to reach out to their classmates, like Trent reached out to Alex. And I am so excited to see lives being changed through those friendships and one-on-one studies.

    You have done such a fantastic job with the on-campus outreach this semester. You are helping students at our campuses start conversations that will lead them to consider Jesus, and that's really important! Thanks for the tremendous effort you put into that.

    Love you Aaron.

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