Praise God for a fantastic Day!
Today was the first proper FOCUS meeting for the year. That is, it was our first public Bible talk on Campus.
In my last blog I reflected on the fact that it seemed we were down on contacts with FOCUS and a lot of our activities had been poorly attended. This was hard but it was good because it made myself and the other leaders reflect again on what we think is important and what we are trying to achieve in our gospel ministry to students.
In short, we are here to state the truth about Jesus openly and plainly, without tricks or gimmicks; and when we have done that well we can be content that we are serving God faithfully.
That doesn’t mean that we are excused from thinking through critically our strategies and making sure they are meeting our objectives. We’ve done a fair bit of that this year so far.
But today was tremendously encouraging.
I started this morning with a regular meeting that I have with the student president of FOCUS – Tim. I love to pray with Tim and to share from God’s word. We are reading through 2 Corinthians and discussing leadership in ministry. I was deeply moved again by 2 Cor 1. I think it is one of the most heartfelt passages in the Bible, and chock full of memory verse. We had a great time praying together for the spiritual health of each other and for our brothers and sister in the ministry.
We both then headed over to the campus to help out with the FOCUS market day stall (which we run each Wednesday in the centre of Uni). The stall was going well by the time we got there.
I took after a little while to see if I could arrange a time to meet with the University chaplains. I was a little nervous about this meeting because their has historically been a fair bit of suspicion and distance from both sides of our relationship. I walked into the chaplaincy space just as the two Christian Chaplains were about to pick up the telephone and invite me to come and have a chat.
We had a great conversation and were able to clear up some misunderstandings that have hurt our relationship. I was also able to clarify why FOCUS is shy of some of the activities that the chaplaincy team engage in. It was a very positive and encouraging meeting and both chaplains came along to our FOCUS main meeting which was immediately after our chat.
The FOCUS meeting was fantastic. We had close to 60 students come which is possibly on a par with our highest ever attendance. The meeting ran really smoothly and the returning students made a real effort to befriend new people. I couldn’t see a single person sitting alone and nearly all the new people hung around afterward to keep chatting.
Marcus Reeves spoke from 1 Corinthians 1. I plan to put a link to a downloadable copy of the talk here tomorrow. The talk summed up the gospel brilliantly and introduced people well to FOCUS and our vision for campus ministry.
I was greatly encouraged and I know the student leaders were also. I caught up with a couple of the students later in the afternoon and spent some quality time praying and praising God.
I hope you will praise him with us.
“Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”
(2Cor 1:9-11 ESV)