Friends and Partners in ministry,
As many of you know I have been appointed a position with IVCF and will be planting new chapters at community colleges in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area. I will be starting at Washtenaw Community College. I have been working on gaining partnerships from friends, family and various churches to raise my financial support, along with prayer support and encouragement from those who agree about ministering to college students. (For more background on this please visit my www.toddjerdon.weebly.com).
A new development is that I have been accepted into the IVCF Chapter Planting Cohort! Please read the announcement below for more details. Along with this announcement, raising support has become even more urgent since it is contingent that I raise 90% of the $63,000 by early June. Please pray for me to reach this goal and if possible participate by helping me raise these needed funds.
Here is the letter as received....
I am pleased to tell you that you have been accepted into the current national Chapter Planting Cohort! Congratulations! Because you still need to raise quite a bit of your financial support, your appointment to the cohort is dependent on your getting to 90% of full support by this June. Your supervisor can tell you more about how that will work.
Thank you for all the work you have put into the application process.
The reports from the first four cohorts give us great encouragement. More than sixty plants are underway with over 2,000 new students involved. Almost 250 students have made conversion decisions through the ministry of these chapter plants. We are seeing the clear value of this cohort strategy, which combines training, coaching, funding, and creating a learning community. Soon your voices and experiences will be contributing as well!
Let me review the expectations for your participation in the cohort and clarify next steps.
Expectations for 2010 Cohort Members
First, we want you as cohort members to be willing to commit a minimum of three years to the plant and to be prepared to devote 90% of your ministry efforts to the new chapter launch.
Second, as cohort members you are expected to commit to the following:
1. Attend the course for chapter planters in Madison, June 30 through July 7, 2010
2. Work hard on summer fund development – ready to plant when school begins
3. Faithfully implement the Four Stage Launch and Planting Essentials strategies
4. Show eager responsiveness to your coach
5. Engage in monthly emails and phone calls with your coach
6. Keep your supervisor well informed of developments and decisions made with your coach
7. Host two on-site visits during the first year from your coach – including time with supervisor near the end of each visit
8. Report quarterly to national coordinator for the Planting Cohort (Jim Lundgren)
9. Attend the four-day cohort gathering in April of 2011 (with your coach)
What you need to do now:
First, if for some reason you and your supervisors are considering the possibility of you not going forward as a part of the 2010 Cohort, please let me know immediately. I provide the overall leadership and management for the Chapter Planting Cohorts.
At this point, your responsibilities are limited:
1. Register for the Chapter Planting course at NISET once registration is open.
2. Work hard on your fundraising for next year
3. Be praying for the campus where you are planting!
One other note: over the next month or so, we are working to secure all the coaches that we will need so that each of you has an outstanding person to support you (along with your AD/TL) as you plant next year. Please pray for us as we choose your coach.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Please email me back immediately letting me know your intent to join the next cohort and your commitment to the expectations listed above.
Again, we pray for God's Spirit to empower you in every way for this mission that you are preparing to undertake for the love of students and faculty and the glory of the Lord.
Warmly in Christ,
Director of Collegiate Ministries
Senior Vice President
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Today was one of those "God days" that just fill you up and make you want to jump for joy! I've been struggling for a few weeks with spiritual attacks and discouragement. It's difficult to desire to be ministering on campus with students, yet my main work at this time is raising the financial support and partnerships from friends and churches. It's tough work and I was beginning to get a bit weary. But today, I planned on meeting with Jon who is an instructor at Washtenaw Community College (where I will be starting the campus ministry). Jon is a former WMU grad and InterVarsity participant and leader. I met with Jon at 11:30am today and also planned on meeting Rob a student at WCC. Rob showed up just before noon and both of these guys are just awesome servants of God. We talked about campus ministry and each of our own spiritual journeys. While we were talking Rob's friend Mitch showed up. He is another passionate servant of Jesus! Then I also met another friend of Mitch's, Lindsay and we talked and prayed with her. Also TD showed up and joined in our conversation.
I won't go into all of the detail, but God is working on this campus. Keep praying friends that God will move this group of students to reach their peers with the gospel. Today was such an encouraging day. I know it is true that if we persevere, we will reap a harvest.
Praise be to God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who moves and counsels us daily!
Hi friends and family. Thank you for praying for me and Laina and the ministry. This last week was tough. Laina was getting over being sick and I caught what she had. I don't like missing days of working on raising support, because it delays me getting on campus. But hopefully the illnesses are done and we all can be healthy again. It has actually been 2 1/2 months of Laina and me trading illnesses. Okay LORD, a little relief please! :)
1. Praise God for a wonderful time to visit and present to my friends at Prince of Peace Lutheran in Farmington Hills. Pray for God to move among them as they begin a prayer ministry. Thank you Pastor Tom!
2. Praise God for a meeting I had with a mentor that I hadn't seen in a while. He offered great advice and encouragement. Pray for his ministry as well.
3. Pray for Washtenaw Community College. That God would prepare students, staff and faculty to ready there hearts for the Lord. That students and staff would seek to serve the Lord and that those who have hard hearts would soften.
4. Pray for me and Laina as we seek to make unified decisions on finances, church, how we spend our time etc...
5. Pray for Laina's job - fruitful, blessed and a comfortable amount of stress.
6. Pray for the Unity of my family as they seek to make decisions with/for my grandparents health.
7. Pray that I would speak God's word boldly and in truth!
8. Pray for the leaders and staff of InterVarsity, to keep focused on the true mission of believers and to be led by the Holy Spirit.
As each snowflake flutters onto the ground,
it covers everything that was grey and brown.
A white blanket, pure and clean.
As light shines and twinkles and gleens.
All that was dirty and dark as mud,
has become a crystalize palace that shine above.
What a picture of God's amazing grace.
That we who were once with shame on our face,
Are covered by Jesus whom crimsom shed,
Offers forgiveness through death and bled.
Now rise again, rise again all who are far.
Keep your eyes on Jesus, the bright morning star.
He will come again some don't lose hope.
Afterall He promised in a not so little note.
God's blessings friends,
An update on my fund development. I have been sending letters, making phone calls, meeting with people and presenting to churches for the last month. I know we are in difficult economic times, and my fund development is moving slowly. I have approximately 8% of my goal. Many people have offered encouragement and prayer and I am very grateful. Prayer is the greatest power on earth, that we can approach the throne of the most high God and seek requests of him. Please read through my prayer requests and offer them to the Lord.
If you are able to consider supporting me and partnering with me in this ministry, please let me know. I am in the process of contacting people, but many addressese, emails and phone numbers have changed over the years. Please send me an update. Also, "Networking" is a huge blessing to me in this ministry. If you know of anyone who would be interested in speaking with me in regard to supporting my ministry, please pass on their information to me or pass my info on to them.
There are many combinations (financially speaking) that would work for me to acheive my goal. But I think it would be so awesome if I could find 50 people to offer donations of $500 - $1200 per year/ or monthly payments. I have a couple of the those donations already.
Also, pray that a couple businesses or organizations would become major donors for me. A $5000- $10,000 donation would move this process along and get me on campus.
This last Sunday, along with presenting to the congregation, Pastor Tom asked me to sit in with the youth group. It was so great to teach and minister again! I really got charged up by it. For almost 6 months I have been unemployed and I am chomping at the bit to minister on campus. Please pray that this will happen soon.
Here are my prayer requests and praises:
1. Praise God for the blessings of family. Also pray for unity in my family and wisdom as they make a kinds of decisions. And may the Love of Christ rule in all of our hearts and minds.
2. Praise God for a wonderful presentation and meeting with my friends at Prince of Peace in Farmington Hills. It was so great to see so many people again. I am excited for the emphasis on prayer at POP. Pray for them to see God's hand working in their community and within their church.
3. Pray for my parents church as Pastor Weiss has taken a call to another church. They too will have many decisions and may the Lord lead them through prayer and the word!
4. Praise God that Laina and I are starting to get settled in our new church at Harvest Bible Chapel in Canton. Pray that God blesses the ministry at Harvest. Also Harvest's radio program has been a blessing to me and many others and is short financially. Please pray for this ministry.
5. Pray that my and Laina's health will be well. We both have struggled with sinus and colds.
6. Pray for my support raising. It is a much slower process than I anticipated. I have raised about 8% of what I need. I am anxious to start getting on campus, but I pray for the Lord's timing above my own.
7. Pray for Washtenaw Community College and the students and staff. May the Lord draw hearts to himself and prepare them for the work that I and the students and staff will do, working for the kingdom of God.
8. Pray for Laina and me, that our marriage will thrive and that we will have wisdom to follow God's leading in all decisions - and that we will be unified and yoked together as we serve the Lord.
9. Pray for Detroit. As I have been serving the homeless for the last 6 months, I have seen so much pain, loneliness, suffering, blight and hopelessness and need. The church is who should be meetin these needs, yet so many people lean on the government to help them. Friends, it's not working that way. The church needs to get out of its comfort zone and serve the hurting, the lost and broken. Isaiah 58 speaks of how will God's people be blessed? It's not through praises to Him that have no heart, or even sacrifices or traditions that have lost their meaning. "...to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke. to share food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter- when you see the naked to clothe them and to not turn away from your own flesh and blood..." It goes on but I encourage you to read that section of scripture for yourself.
Yes, Detroit is a dark place. But God's light will shine even brighter if the church, Christ's body will follow him into the darkness. When we work together as a body and move when Christ leads us, the darkness will flee!
May Christ receive all glory! Amen
The last couple weeks I have been thinking about what things are "urgent" in life. I am a natural worrier. I get anxious about all kinds of things. This is an area of my life that God has been working on for years and continually works on. I am thankful that He doesn't give up on me. Each of us probably has a similar issue with worry, though it may vary what we worry about. I was laid off from my ministry position about 5 months ago. God told me He would provide daily bread and he has, yet I worried about provision. I worry about family, health, doctrine in the church, many people worried yet reponded to the tragedy in Haiti. Was Haiti an "urgent" need? Yes, most definitely. And people around the world responded. It is amazing how much money went to help the Haitians. The same was true of 911 victums. Money just poured in to assist the families. There was a need and people responded to the urgency. People's lives were at stake and life is one of the most precious gifts from God.
There is something more urgent though, even than that of meeting the physical needs of people. Are people's souls important enough to demand an "urgency" in meeting that need? Think about it: If indeed we are all sinners and deserve Death and Hell for our sins (John 3; Romans 3), then why is there not more of an urgency in the church? Some pastors convey this type of apacolyptic urgency, but others seem content with the daily routine of their vocation. The congregation also has some who are earnestly seeking the lost, yet a majority seem comfortable or complacent. The urgency that most people see are the bills that need paid, or the kids soccer schedule or school functions; which are all good things. But what is REALLY URGENT? Won't God provide for our needs? Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all of these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:32-34). God will provide for our needs. But we also need to realize that God is jealous for our attention. Yes, he is jealous for you! As we gaze and bat our eyes at the things of this world, he is calling us saying, "Come to me my love. Come to me and I will carry your burdens. I carried the cross for you. I bore your sins and took your punishment. Don't you see how much I LOVE YOU!" We don't need to worry or seek after things in the world. God will provide.
With all of that said, what is truly urgent? Or better said, What is truly urgent to God? You've heard this verse before I'm sure, but I believe it shows the urgency of God's heart.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." John 3:16-21
I challenged you my friends to consider looking from God's perspective on what is "urgent" today.
Open your eyes church, the harvest is plentiful.
Open your hearts church, the love of God will overflow.
Open your ears church, the word of the Lord is spoken.
Open your doors church and Go out to the crowd.
Cradle the infants and feed them milk.
Open your arms to the children and do not hinder them.
Feed the Sheep who wonder the hills, lost and broken.
Open the sheep fold and lead them in.
Gather them together and worship our Lord.
Open the gates of heaven and usher in the crowd.
Open your eyes church, the time is now!
Serving our Lord and Savior,
Here are my prayer requests and praises:
1. Praise! Laina and I are getting more and more comfortable with our new church home at Harvest Bible Chapel. We took a class on Saturday that answered our questions on doctrine, church practices and really what is the heart of Harvest. The answer: Jesus Christ and the word of God!
2. Praise God that I started making some progress on the financial support this week. I am at opproximately 5% of what I need to begin working on campus. Please continue to pray for the Lord's provision. If you are able would you consider supporting me?
3. Thank God for the many prayers of supporters of me and the ministry of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Prayers are being answered.
4. Praise God! The regional director for IVCF forwarded me an email from a former IV student from WMU who is now a professor at Washtenaw Community College. He wants to be involved in starting a chapter at WCC too! God is bringing people together to reach this campus!
5. Pray for the students and staff at WCC to have hearts open to the gospel and that God's favor would be with us as we seek to reach students and staff.
6. Pray for Laina's and my trip to Disney this week. Laina's parents have blessed us with this family get-a-way. It is much needed after these last 5 months of unemployment and support raising with IVCF.
7. Pray for my health. I have a sinus infection. I also had tests at the vestivular center last week. They are trying to figure out what causes my motion sickness when I travel. After travel I am usually laid out for 1 - 2 days. Not fun!
8. Pray that I would grow and mature in Christ and that God leads me into all truth through his word and his Spirit. As a teacher I want to be careful to teach exactly as the Word of God teaches. Teachers are held accountable by the Lord for what they teach (James 3).
9. Pray for Laina's job. Praise for God's provision through it and continued wisdom and strength as she works through stresses of each day.
10. For unity in my family and that all would come to the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
By grace through faith in Jesus Christ our we saved and not by our works so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2)
Faith without works is dead. Show me your faith without works and I will show you my faith by what I do. (James)
Heavenly Father, I praise your for your grace and your truth. Teach your sheep to know your voice Lord. Help us to follow close behind you. Don't let us go our own way, but come and find each and every sheep that strays. Forgive us Lord, when we think we know what is best or alter your truth to suit our desires. We are sinners and have been guilty of much. Forgive us by the blood of the Lamb, your Son Jesus Christ. Thank you for the atonement that he granted us by his death on the cross and we look forward to following him in life and in his resurrection. Help us to hear your call to "Go" and make disciples of all nations! (Matthew 28). Lord I pray for all who read this and offer up prayers to you, on my behalf, as well as on behalf of all those who don't even know they need you. Comfort and provide for all of our needs Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.
If you have requests please send me a message or comment.
Here you will find updates, thoughts, discussion and prayers for my life and ministry...