On to the Dog Days

I love summer. The days are long, the students that are around are usually more free to spend time with, my schedule is a little more flexible since the semester being over frees us up to plan things as we need to. Fundraising is a main priority, and if you're reading this you most likely are a part of the team of people that support me in college missions and have a heart for seeing students come to know Jesus through this ministry, so summer is a time to reflect on the gratitude I feel for you guys, and for what all God did in the year prior. We also get time to plan and strategize for the next year. Think through what was successful in our ministry this past year that we can keep or build on, and also try and discern what changes might need to be made in order to better serve the needs of ministry at our different campuses.

This summer is also a time to bond as a staff team. Sounds like maybe a peripheral priority at first thought, but I'm recently reminded of the incredible importance it is for us to be close as a staff team as we try to minister to students. Here's a few reflections on why, for starters, there's countless number of scriptures that prioritize unity in the communities and churches, particularly in Paul's letters. I can't think of one of his letters that doesn't address this in some way. Ephesians 4:3, stating "make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace," is a great example. We see in other places charges to not let there be quarrels or silly arguments among you. Encouragements to pray for one another, hold each other up, put others ahead of you, etc. I don't think this happens by accident, but rather by relationships. Both our relationship with the Spirit, as He grows out love for each other and gives us unity, and our relationships with each other, as we try to uphold these scriptures. Inevitably we fail, ideally we fess up, we ask forgiveness, we try again. All of this is so important to us as a staff, and comes from us moving beyond mere coworkers, but to deep relationships and friendships with each other that are unifying, and all under the common goal of furthering God's kingdom. Not to mention that a simple fact of the matter is that much of our student body will emulate the types of relationships and friendships they see us living out. We teach with words yes, but also with living. I'm immensely grateful for these relationships I have with my team, and I encourage you guys to strive for deep and meaningful friendships with the people God has put around you. These can be sweet sweet gifts.
 
Prayer requests:

- Pray for our oncoming apprentices that are fundraising. This can be really daunting and overwhelming, to start from zero and raise a livable salary. Pray fro God to connect them with people who want to see student's lives transformed by the gospel.
- Pray for our staff teams as we plan for another year and work on strengthening our teams. Pray that God would bless us with unity and empathy and understanding for each other.

Let me know if there's anything I can be praying for you for please!!

Ryan


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