Our lovely TCC Core. From left to right: Angel, Eldrian, Chris, Stephen, Kade, Olivia, Rowan, and Ashley. Emily, Taylor, and I are the goofs in the front. What an encouraging group.
Howdy friends! Another month of ministry has passed and I have more updates for you on what God is doing at UTA and TCC.
At Tarrant County College (TCC), I had shared with you about our group of three consistent students. Well they have been so invitational, and our outreach effort has produced such good fruit, we now have a group of about 10-12 students. Our times in core have been so sweet, as each student is engaged and ready to share. We talked about the Holy Spirit last week. Some had more knowledge on the person of the Spirit, but everyone was joining in the conversation with either questions or encouragements as to what the Holy Spirit can do in our lives. I found myself thinking just how special it is that we are getting to discuss such a beautiful topic among a relatively young group.
This was Eldrian performing one of his originals at an open mic night.
I am studying the Bible with Eldrian from TCC through our study guide, Focus On Jesus (FOJ). A couple weeks back he invited me to go see him perform at a coffee shop one evening. It was about an hours drive away from my home, but I knew it would mean a lot to him for me to be there. I got to see him perform three songs; two of his originals (which really are quite original and fun) and one worship song. After his first two songs and before the worship song, he gave a shout out to me.
“I am going to be performing a worship song next, and I want to shout out my friend, Graham Spencer. He is a campus pastor and my faith has really grown from our time together.”
This was a very special night, well worth an hour commute. I thanked him for his kind words, and because of his faithful proclamation of his own faith and my role in a ministry, I got to have some neat conversations with some of the audience members and other performers about faith after the show.
Eldrian and I are still moving through our ten week study and we have just started talking about him becoming more of a disciple-maker himself. I am thrilled I get to share this mission and cast this vision with others. Thank you again for supporting me, partnering with FOCUS to make and mature disciples.
At UTA, I just started an FOJ study with a student who reached out to us. He realized he did not have friends or community, so he took initiative and researched some organizations he could join on campus. He came to our Sunday night Core and has been hanging around ever since. We got breakfast the Tuesday after his first Core and got to hear a little bit more about him. He has been so vulnerable with me, inviting me into his deeper troubles in life. This is really the first time he has began to take his faith on his own terms. There are a lot of lies he has been taught and believes about himself: about his value, his future, and his worthiness of friendship. It will not be a simple fix, but I have been really encouraged in our time at how much has has let me love him and seek to understand him. Be praying for my friend, that the Holy Spirit can continue to work in his life and bolster up the truth of his Sonship under God.
Classes for the apprentices are coming to an end for the semester. We have finished a financial stewardship class, worship class, evangelism class, our Old Testament class, and are coming up on finishing the Holy Spirit class this week. The final bit of learning we get to do this semester is actually a bit of teaching. I will be giving my first sermon December 15th! We have been preparing in our preaching workshop classes both how to organize our teaching and how to present them. I will be preaching from the prompt “What’s Your Gospel”. I am excited to grow in this area of preaching the Good News and seeing how it might affect my personal conversations about why I am Christian. I mean, what a crucial question for every Christian to be able to answer:
“What is the Good News to you? Why be a Christian? What has Jesus done for you?”
Write it however you want, it is important to have this solid foundation in Christ under our beliefs. I believe I will be able to record this and will try to include it in my next blog update.
I will close out by sharing some more photos from this month. Thank you for reading and supporting!
These are all graphics I made for various social media posts. They are fun to make and a good way for me to serve our team.
This was the drop off point under a bridge lol.