I talked about this in my last update, but the month started with two weeks of classes on the Old Testament
Towards the beginning of classes, one of the pastors in our community described what it was like to closely study the OT by comparing it to tectonic plates shifting under the surface of the Earth. That picture definitely explains what is happening to me as I read, study, and pray through the scriptures. I feel my understanding of God growing and changing as we go through - it's difficult to put into words what I'm really learning. I'm certainly learning a lot, but even more so, it seems like I'm really laying foundation to build on later.
I've started two other classes at this point. One of them is with the head pastor of the NE Garland church (Ronnie), which the Focus ministry is associated with - it's just called "Ronnie's Class". He has so much wisdom and experience to offer us younger people, so I'm really excited for that one. One of Ronnie's stated goals for the class is to help us learn how to think, not necessarily what to think, which will be really helpful because of all the unique situations I may come across as a minister.
I'm also in a class on evangelism, where we'll be reading a couple different books throughout the week and discussing them in class. One of the books is called "More Ready Than You Realize", which is essentially painting a picture for evangelism that is a lot more about relationship and invitation, and not whatever else (often very negative) associations we might have with the word "evangelism". The other book is called "A Credible Witness". This one is largely about reaching out to people who are different than you (racially, intellectually, socially, economically, etc.).
I've also really loved getting to know and spend time with the Focus team at Collin College!
I don't have any pictures of just the staff team at Collin, but below is a picture of the entire leader team (staff and student leaders) worshiping in a backyard at our pre-year leadership training day. We got together and spent the days teaching new leaders (and reminding ourselves) what it really looks like to facilitate a small group that's focused on Jesus, be faithful to the people God has put into your life, and invite people into our community and more importantly into a relationship with God.
Speaking of student leaders...
- That God would stir something in the hearts of the students that I meet and get to talk to.
- That our campus pastors would be bold, innovative, and safe as we go try to minister to people during a global pandemic.
- That I wouldn't grow weary of the work, and that I would be motivated by love to be faithful and care for the students in and not-yet in our ministry.
- That God would grow me in wisdom and that I would learn how to better minister to people who are different from me (in terms of personality, background, race, culture, age, etc.).