**Hope y'all can handle a post without pictures because I've been terrible at taking them. It's a New Year's resolution for me.**
So here we are at the end of another semester. Auburn feels like a lifetime ago and as I'm driving down Hardy St. or walking downtown, I find myself thinking how much I love our town. It feels so great to say that and to feel that. But that's another post! In this one I wanted to give a much needed update on the ministry.
Some really cool things are happening, but I would be misleading you if I didn't say... this is hard. We live in a broken world so we experience the brokenness... even in ministry. We have been hurt by people and we have hurt people. We have put our hopes in the wrong things. We have been proud and then been humbled. We have struggled to communicate. We have neglected spiritual conversations in order to gain influence. We have loved ourselves more than we love Jesus and others.
While hopefully these things aren't always true of us as a ministry, they are sometimes true. We are a group of Christ-followers who still live in broken bodies with broken minds. And so while we experience some great moments of being used in the kingdom, I wanted to make it clear that we still need prayer. Ministry is a very real battle.
With that said, here are some incredible things that God has allowed us to be a part of:
Weekly Meeting: This semester the guys have been teaching through the Sermon on the Mount. We have had an average of 40 students at the meeting who are consistently hearing the gospel each week and experiencing community.
Freshmen: Reaching freshmen was a priority this semester, as we have seen the importance of having students on board with our vision for all four years. We have seen an incredibly solid group of freshmen (mostly girls) seamlessly align with us... and for that we are so thankful. Most of them are already ministry-minded and we look forward to spending their next four years alongside of them.
Gospel Communities: The heartbeat of our ministry has been inviting students into groups where they live life alongside of one another, study the Word together, pray for and sharpen each other. While this is still a bit of a struggle to make the norm, we have seen several of these pop up around campus. One exciting community is Sigma Chi that is now led by a student who is also consistently sharing the gospel with his brothers (who approach him!). Another community is led by two of our staff: They are going through Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and have both Christians and non Christians attending.
Discipleship: Students are meeting with staff (and sometimes students) to grow in the graces of the gospel. One fun discipleship appointment I have each week is with Brooke, who (if you remember) trusted Christ last semester. She asked if I would start walking through the Bible with her from the beginning and so we have been working our way through Genesis this semester. It has been a really sweet time of watching her grow and so refreshing for me to see (and point out to her) how the Old Testament speaks of Jesus.
Passion 2012: For the second year in a row, we (the southeast region of Cru) are partnering with Passion for our Christmas Conference. They host some really good speakers (like John Piper and Francis Chan), but just between you and me, I really like having our own Christmas Conference and am crossing my fingers that we will do that again next year. But having the big speakers attracts students, and we have over 30 students signed up so far to go with us! That is exciting. It's a great spring board for the spring.
We would appreciate your prayers as we enter into planning tomorrow. We will be evaluating this past semester and seeking the Lord for direction for the spring. Please pray that students' knowing Jesus would be our number one desire, that we would die to ourselves, that we would be able to clearly communicate with one another, and that we would leave this semester encouraged and hopeful for what's to come!