Every Sunday night our college ministry meets at the church to have our "core discipleship" Bible study. Of about 200 college kids, we split up in assigned groups of about 10 people to work on our lesson. On my way back into town yesterday I got a message saying for everyone to meet at the church immediately for an announcement. I had no idea what was going on, or what to expect.
I walked in to a room full of crying...We got news that the leader of our college ministry has stepped down from his position. For reasons I won't get into- but it was a major shock to us all. He is the one that started the ministry about 5 years ago. It all started with him leading a Bible study in his home with just a handful of people. Years later, it is now an incredible group of people who meet on Thursday nights, and Sunday for discipleship. Thursday night consists of a live worship band, prayer, scripture, and a short message geared towards college-age students, then we have a 'midnight breakfast' prepared.
If it weren't for this man I would not be where I am today. I remember hearing him speak for the first time- I left the building in tears, and called my mom telling her how God spoke to me so clearly. I have never been so moved by a speaker before. The next week I went back and he remembered my name. This was huge to me considering I only knew a few people in the entire town at the time. I felt like he cared. He encouraged me to get plugged in with this college ministry, to get involved, to join a Bible study group...And I did! I knew it wouldn't be easy, and it would be something I'd never done before, but I felt like the Lord was pushing me. This short, funny, little man knew what he was talking about. I've learned so much from him and I'm truly sad that he will not be leading the ministry anymore. I cannot describe how this man, and the ministry has changed my life. If you would have told me a year ago I'd be participating in a Bible study I would have laughed in your face. I've never been one to sit with a group I do not know and talk about feelings- much less, the Bible. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to hear this man speak. He changed my life.
Him and his family have been hurt by some things that were said causing him to resign. Tonight about 30 plus girls from the group went to their house to pray over them. We circled around their yard and asked God to be with him. To comfort them. And to encourage them. Times like these remind you that it is not him, the speaker, that holds our ministry together- it is the love of God. We do not know what the future will hold- but we do know that our group will unite and continue to grow. For some reason, it is in God's plan and we should get excited to see what He has in store for us. The true leaders of the bunch will step up to take over and we will move on. I pray that the newest Christians will not lose faith- but will see the strength shown and they will continue to grow and prosper. Please pray for our college ministry. There are hundreds of college students that have come to know the Lord through this group and I pray that will continue.
Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops with perserverance. - James 1:2-3
Be Joyful always; PRAY CONTINUALLY; give Thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18