What do campus ministers do over Christmas break?
With some of our students gone, do campus ministers just chill and do nothing? Absolutely not! The productive, efficient side of me would never allow it. The nice thing about UTD is that many of our students live in the area or stay in the area for much of the break. And with the massive adoption of Zoom and video chatting, there is nowhere on earth safe from campus ministers! So the students' holiday break gives us a unique opportunity to not have to compete with school and homework. Yes, there's still family and holiday events but it's much easier without the daily pressures of school! What the break also gives us the chance to communicate is that our ministry with them is not just a job, but a calling, a friendship, a true relationship. Families and friends get together during the holidays, coworkers and bosses generally do not. So I've loved being able to keep up with some students, to hear about their families, to see their Christmas haul, to be there for them as family members pass away and holiday celebrations aren't the same. Being a pastor doesn't end with the semester.
Another opportunity we have during the break is more time to gear up and get ready for the next semester. Just like summer break gives us the chance to really prepare for the fall semester and map out the year, the winter break lets us reassess and prepare for the spring semester. We debrief and tweak our Friday livestream service, consider what our student leaders need to grow in and learn, and brainstorm what new outreach initiatives we might take. The momentary breath is much needed to look at the big picture.
Students are just about to come back to school and we are ready for them! Now that we've had a few weeks to put our heads together and pray and think about what God wants done this semester, I am so excited to get to be in the swing of things with these students again. God is good, even in the midst of this pandemic.
|Dinner with the roommates!|