Thursday, March 16, 2023

2023 March Update: To Reach 30,000 Students

Hey all! Another month, another ministry update! We're smack dab in the middle of the semester with midterms and spring break coming up, but here's how the students have been doing!

Diversity on Campus

One of our young staff pastors had the idea to put together a show to celebrate black history and to help our black student population be seen on this campus. UTD's demographic makeup is 32% Asian American, 22% Anglo, 22% international students, 13% Hispanic, and 5% Black, with biracial and other races comprising the remaining 6%. It's a very diverse campus, but with Blacks making up so few of the student population it can be challenging to feel heard or understood. There are no Black ministries on campus, so we've had the opportunity to provide a space and a ministry for them to come and belong without having to hide their culture. It was a great turnout, a lot of work, and so many students both Christian and non-Christian were blessed by the talented people our pastor found to be a part of the show.


We also began implementing a new vision to reach all 30,000 students on our campus. It can be so easy to get comfortable and complacent with the size we've always been, doing the things we've always done, and not making any waves. However, I don't believe that that is what God wants from us. There are so many students at UTD, and so many new ones every year, that we have a unique opportunity to help them find Jesus and grow closer to him. We've been casting a vision for our large group fellowship, started a new sermon series to explain the gospel and its ramifications, and posted advertisements all around campus.


Surprisingly, our advertisements have been making waves around campus. It's sent small pockets of the online community into arguments about the signs. These signs contain questions such as "Does Jesus care about politics?", "Does Jesus care about my gay friends?", and "Does Jesus care about me?" These signs have been ripped up and stolen, sometimes lasting only a few hours before being vandalized. These questions are hitting a sore spot for our society because these are the questions people are asking and think the church has answered. However, they fail to realize the depth of Jesus' love and grace for them and instead run straight to what the world frequently offers as a response: hate. Hopefully, when we implement the next part of our advertising plan to tell them, "Yes, Jesus cares about you," "Yes, Jesus cares about your gay friends," and "Yes, Jesus cares about politics," they might have ears to hear the Lord who is calling them to him. 

Thank You!

Please pray as we continue to try to reach this campus! 30,000 students, and our few hundred in the ministry are just a drop in the bucket. But we hope that all 30,000 every year get an opportunity to meet Jesus and make a decision for themselves to follow him or not. Thank you for all your support, and I hope to see many of you this summer!