Reaching People for the Kingdom: Strategies and Emotions

    Howdy and hello! I am feeling extra thankful for all of you on my support team this month. God is doing a lot on campus, that I get to witness and participate in because of your generosity. Plus, Emily and I just moved into a bigger apt for some more space/storage. I have been thinking a out more about this type of missionary fundraising we do. It is such a testimony to God’s character that he has equipped you all to be generous, so he could equip me to then go love and equip others. So seriously, thank you.

Lunch with Mario from UTA. Sweet guy trying to figure out
how to make Jesus more involved in his life.

I want to share this encouraging letter Emily and I received from a student:

"To the Spencers, 

Words will never be enough to express just how much you two mean to me, but I'll try my best! Thank you for greeting me with warmth and open arms from the very first minute we met. Thank you for showing me community and being such beautiful examples of life in the body. Thank you for encouragement, love, kindness, and gentleness. Thank you for being so on fire for Christ and helping to plant this ministry on the Northeast Campus. I pray that God's light and love will always shine on you and continue to guide you."

Look at that handwriting! She is amazingly kind, and amazingly talented.

I was stressed that day, moving from one Bible study to the next, then to a core meeting, and so on. As I passed her in the hallway to make my next appointment, she stopped me and gave me this card. God has used this student to encourage Emily and I a lot this semester. He is certainly moving through her and raising her up into a fine disciple for His name. I think He used this note that day to slow me down and appreciate what I am getting to do.

Outreach with students. What a fun time.

    My co-pastor, Sophie, and I have been working together as a team to plan and execute outreach events. We did a sign outreach event middle of February asking people what they believed was the highest form of love, then gave them the options of Greek loves, like Eros, Agape, Phileo, and others. It was a neat way to engage our UTA students, because it is not an outright “religious” question, and so many students felt more comfortable to approach and talk. What’s great is that we got to bring Jesus into the picture when we answered it. Where someone said “friendship” is the highest form of love, I got to talk about Jesus and his “sacrificial,  Agape” love.  A bunch of girls wanted to talk more, and some even gave their numbers to Sophie and some of our female student leaders. Sadly, guys have been a harder group to reach, at UTA and TCC. Be praying we can reach young men in college, and continue to build up disciples here.

Here's all 6 signs I made. Students seemed to really engage with them,
so that made it really exciting.

Eldrian and others leading worship

    We had a second event, called “What is Love Worship Night”. We sang worship songs, read scriptures telling us of the Father’s love for us, and students invited friends and classmates to join. Even though the weather was against us, two new guys came to check it out, and I have gotten to connect with them. Praise God.

Worship in the cold

    We also recently had Open House, and event where students invite their family and friends to come check out what God is doing in the ministry. It was a really sweet and encouraging night. Thankful for our students, and the people that loved them up to college for us.

Students and family at Open House


    I continue to develop as a pastor and mentor. I have experienced some burns this month. Students cancelling on me often, showing up late, not heeding advice. It leaves me hurting for them, and then stressed as to how to guide them further: Do I remind them once again how important it is to keep promises? or do I say nothing to keep peace and not exhaust them? Both feel like a loss sometimes. 

    As I was dealing with this, I got to talk with one of Emily’s supporters, long time friend, and Jesus advocate, Wendell Burnam. He was visiting for Open House. I got to ask him about his testimony, and one of his key points was his revelation when he understood God’s grace for him. It was very meaningful for me to hear, and just reminded me that God is doing all the growing in the students I’m discipling. I need to show grace far more than I need to manage habits. Thankful God uses friends to speak to us.

I have started playing racquet ball with some guys around campus
to meet more students and have fun with the guys I am already ministering to.

Worship at TCC. It was a student's birthday, hence the many hats.


Popular posts from this blog

God Building Leaders For The Next Generation

International Travel is Hard / Campus Ministry is Crucial