Here I am again in my office at home, a fan blowing on me, photos of Laina and Kysa on the wall and I am contemplating this last semester of ministry with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and my chapter plant at Washtenaw Community College.
Ministry at a community college is full of opportunities, failures, discouragements and shining moments that seem to pass so quickly. I've learned more about patient endurance this last year as I was seeking to develop more students to be disciple makers who love Jesus and love others. It takes time working with people. They are not projects and often do not fit our prescribed expectations or agenda's when working through the sanctification process. I long to see students embrace Christ with all of their hearts, all of their thinking and all their time and resources.
So many students have good intensions, yet they are easily distracted from actually following through. We had several hundred students (there are 13,000 students at wcc) express interest about getting to know Jesus better through bible study, prayer or serving on campus - yet only 35 students followed through with varying commitments. We ended the previous semester with 26 active students. When this semester began it was difficult to have 4-5 students show up. I was eager to see the group grow, but I know patience in disciple making is key. The 4-5 students who were passionate about serving Jesus on campus faithfully came together; 4 of them were teachable and put into practice what I was teaching them about bible study, prayer, building community, using their natural networks and spiritual gifts. By the end of the semester 3 of the small group communities which had started from nothing, grew to 8-15 students in each group - each of the students being challenged in their understanding of Jesus's Identity and their own identity.
A couple of bright and shining moments for our chapter was attending Ignite - Intervarsity's Black Student Leadership Conference - in Cleveland, OH. Several of our Black students that attended came back and were excited to lead. Several of those students are now either transferring or serving in missions this next year. I am so thankful for them.
The other shining moment was at Cedar Campus for Chapter Focus Week. We were one of the only community colleges in attendance, yet our students felt right at home. It is often a struggle to convince students of the impact that a camp like this can have on their entire life. The cost is a bit intimidating $358, but we offer scholarships to cover some of the cost. However, the students who attended this year "got it." Each met Jesus in very special ways that caused them to confess addictions and struggles. The distractions were cut off. God had their attention and they were seeking Him fully. And it was amazing to see the body of Christ (Intervarsity staff) working together in whatever role and gift they were given to serve students. The exposition was phenomenal, the worship & praise led us into God's presence, people were praying, others were mentoring, teaching etc... And God moved among us setting captives free and leading students to repentance and tears.
I love my students. My heart broke with compassion for them as they shared their wounds and scars that sin had left them with; but there is healing in Christ. And that is why I love serving students with Intervarsity.
Here you will find updates, thoughts, discussion and prayers for my life and ministry...