Let us not neglect meeting together
|These are some of my closest friends and co-workers at our end of the year staff dinner.|
|This is the entire FOCUS staff.|
|At the end of the year dinner we gave our apprentices gifts and told funny stories/memories from the year. I get to work with such a fun, caring and hospitable team! |
One of the tools that I gained from SICM when I went 6 years ago was how to study the bible one-on-one with people. There really is no better way, in my opinion, to approach friendships, discipling and mentorship than getting together one-on-one consistently. In I one-on-one settings your attention isn't divided, its more comfortable to share vulnerably and directly speak into each others lives. This honestly isn't a value I see in many churches today, and understandably. It's a hard thing to maintain as life seems to get busier and busier, but I think working at maintaining on-on-one relationships is so worth the planning, challenges and re-planning. One-on-one settings have been some of the most growing and fruitful environments for my faith and maturity. As a freshman it was in a weekly one-on-one study about friendship with my friend David Wright where I learned to get over myself and talk to people. It was in consistent one-on-one time with my campus minister and now my supervisor Matt Clark that I've been supported and challenged to be more vulnerable and open. It's in my weekly one-on-ones with college students that I'm continuity reminded of how little ability I hold in redeeming people, but that His grace and love will renew minds and hearts.
|This is a picture of myself and the group I went to SICM with back in 2011. I was invited to SICM as a freshman at Collin Community College. In High School I had a lot of interest in doing ministry in some way. God had already taken care of me by introducing me to FOCUS during my freshman year, but then getting to go to SICM further motivated my desired for ministry work. This trip was a defining moment in realizing that God was calling me to do college ministry specifically.|
|This isn't all of our students who went, but it sure is close. What a great group!!|
|This is Yvonne and Alex. They both go to UNT. Every day the students had classes in the morning through the afternoon. This was on their first day of classes.|
Here is a lesson that Alex said he learned from the classes at SICM: One lesson I learned at SICM that I want to implement in discipling others is about being purposeful; It really helped me think about how to be intentional with others in conversations. This lesson brought to my attention that some conversations can be meaningless and don’t build up a relationship very well. Being purposeful is intentionally forming relationships. It could look like asking someone questions about themselves to get to know them or being consistent in spending time with them. I think this is one of the key aspects in disclipling others. If we as disciples only talked to others when we feel like it, no one would be talked to. – Alex Leatherman
|The students started the beginning of every day by singing songs of worship and in prayer. Seeing our students grow in their relationships with one another by deepening their experiences of him makes me excited to see how the Spirit will work through these students on our campuses this next school year!|
|You may have seen these two on the left in some of my previous posts. Danielle and Matt have been married for almost a year now and help lead our Denton Campuses. Tony is on the right. He is one of our UNT students. I'm so glad Tony got to go! He found our community through a string of connections at a community college that we aren't planted at yet. He transferred to UNT and has become a great friend to many of our students. Tony works on campus at UNT in the cafeteria, He always smiles, shakes my hand and asks me how I'm doing, such a friendly guy!|
I got to experience that God calls me to be faithful before He calls me to be anything else. So in moments where I may not see/understand/feel/think that He is there, I am still called to be faithful like He has always been. God is constantly molding me, and if I only focus and seek experiences where I think God is 'directly' talking to or shaping me, then I miss out on being a disciple and molded in many other ways.
|On the last day the students spent time praying for each campus and the students that would return there to spread the good news of Christ. Here in this picture they are praying for NCTC. I sent two students from NCTC this year! Kasey and Tyrus.|
|This is Aileen showcasing her SICM diploma!|