And here it is: Welcome Week. It's one of the busiest times in campus ministry. As many of you have experienced, it's a time when events are daily and new relationships are formed to change lives. These first two weeks of school an atmosphere unlike any other descends on the campus: one where it's not weird to talk to strangers, not weird to tell your life story, and not weird to exchange numbers and build a relationship. It's an atmosphere of openness unlike any other. And we capitalize on it. Every night we have an event that hundreds of students come to because they're looking for friends. Last week we had multiple board game nights, a pool party, zombie tag, and a worship night. Moving forward we still have a field day, our carpool to church, and our fellowship kickoff. Please pray for continued open hearts and energy for our students as many of them are feeling the fatigue from reaching out to so many new students and balancing their own schoolwork and jobs. I am so thankful that we have students who are so bought into the vision of God's kingdom that they are sacrificing so much of their time to make sure everyone can be invited to God's community.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
1 Corinthians 12:12-27
For me, this is also a time of intense work. While I would love to do nothing else than to be a student again and reach out and talk to as many new students as I could, that's no longer what I need to do. I have to think through one priority before I choose to engage in any task: "what are the things that only I can do?" And that isn't entirely accurate, but it encompasses the idea that there are things that lots of people can do: meet new students. We have over 50 student leaders along with many other returning students who are at each of these events meeting new people constantly. What our student leaders can't do is plan an event made for hundreds of people, make it go smoothly, and engender an atmosphere that's conducive to conversation. It's behind-the-scenes work, it's not glamorous, but someone's got to do it. It doesn't mean I don't get to meet students, I get to meet many in fact, but not as many as I used to when my only job was to meet them. But that is what being members of the same body means. Sometimes I get to be the hands, the one who is able to touch others and engage with them. And sometimes I'm the brain, the one who enables the hands to reach out. But without one or the other, all of this becomes extremely hampered. So I do my part with gladness, trusting in others to do their parts as well, and together we all do a better job in expanding God's kingdom. I would encourage you to think about your situation, "what are the things only I can do?" It may be certain people only you have access to, many of you it's probably your families: only you are the father or mother of these individuals, or it might be opportunities to serve that you have the skills or the drive to learn how to do it. No matter what it is, I believe that God's kingdom will be better for it if you prioritize highly the good things He's prepared for you that you are personally equipped to do.
Thank you guys so much for all your support. Fundraising season has wrapped up and I just have a few of you to follow up with and tie things up with a nice, little bow. Through you, God has provided for me for yet another year, so thank you all so much! Because of you, I'm able to do my dream job and work with amazing young adults. I get to witness firsthand the amazing things God is doing here, and I get to be tired doing it =). Please pray for the rest of welcome week and the beginning of the school year: for students to do well and keep up in classes, and to not let a single student slip through the cracks. Please let me know how to pray for you in any way!