Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hey all!

It's been a little while. December was a fun but unusual month in ministry. The semester comes to a close for the students right around the beginning of December, so our cores have their last meetings before going to break. We get a chance to do some creative things with our time as a ministry as we go into the semester break.

One of the tings we do every year that is a really neat way to end off the year for us is our Christmas Party. This year our theme was Awkward Family Photo Christmas. It was  pretty wack, but the students loved it. One of the cool things to see was the amount of students from our Preston Ridge Ministry that showed up to this. Numbers aren't the main thing by any means, but Preston Ridge has been a fairly small ministry compared to many of our other campuses, so seeing all the people that have found a place to experience God further and experience community with other people is really neat and a huge God deal.

Our Preston Ridge Ministry at the Christmas Party



Another big part of this time of the year is our Keep Focus Growing initiative. I mentioned it in my last blog, but this effort is really is a big part of the push that sustains our ministry financially, and lets us do things like plant new campuses, or grow our administration team. I know some of you gave to this, and I want to say thank you for that, and thank you again to all of you already supporting me this year. You definitely do not go unnoticed or appreciated. I'm excited to see where God leads our ministry in 2017, and Keep Focus Growing definitely expands our capability to respond to his lead with less immediate barriers.

One of my absolute favorite things that has happened since I last updated this blog was our Winter Staff Retreat. This past Monday-Thursday our entire staff from all of our campuses spent time together building our relationships, talking through this upcoming semester, and engaging God throughout the week together. One of the ways we got to do that was through a book we all read beforehand called The Signature of Jesus. If you haven't read it before I really encourage you to give it a shot. We got to discuss different parts of the book that we felt God spoke through in our sessions during this staff retreat, and I really took away from that a better understanding of how God's grace should affect my life and my ministry to students. 

We have couple of big events in the beginning of January that I want to give you guys a heads up on. First of all, we had a Corefa Prep day on Sunday the 8th. It was set up for the core facilitators in our ministry to have some time to think through different ideas related to their small group leadership and one on one Bible studies with the students. This is a big event with all of our campuses student leaders that can really be important to starting the semester off strong for us.  

Also, this next weekend January 13th-16th is our annual Winter Camp!! This is an awesome time every year where all the FOCUS students from the different campuses get to come together and spend Friday-Monday together. We have lots of time for them to build relationships with each other, have fun together, worship together, and learn together, and I can't stress enough how much prayer is needed for this. Pray for students to be open to God speaking to them, for them to experience community that glorifies God over those 4 days, for safety traveling to the camp, and wisdom and guidance for our staff as we lead this event. I'll have things to share from this next month I'm sure so be on the lookout for that. 

I'm so thankful for you guys. Thank you for reading, praying, and certainly for supporting me.

-Ryan