Two weekends ago (Oct. 11-14) UCA students took advantage of Fall Break to visit family and catch up on schoolwork. Coming on the heels of our retreat, the long weekend was a wonderful chance to recharge in preparation for the rest of the semester.
I’m happy to report that Fall Retreat 2018 was a huge success! Eight of our students joined around 35 others from UAFS. We spent the weekend in worship and study, examining the book of Ecclesiastes and its meaning for our lives today. Of course, we left plenty of time for fun too.
With half the semester over, now is the perfect time to look back at our progress. We entered the Fall 2018 semester with the following goals:
Recruit 20 new students
Develop a system for service and outreach
Start a small group focused on a sub-unit of students (ex. grad students, guys or girls group, etc.)
Empower students to lead Sunday Bible Study
Engage students in the life of University Church
Challenge UCC to pray for Pulse
With nine weeks behind us, here’s how we’re doing.
New Students. So far we’ve had 12 new students become involved – that’s twice as many new students as last fall.
Service & Outreach. Earlier this semester students assisted with outreach through organizational fairs. We've also made connections with several local charities, with service events coming up next month. These connections will give our students opportunities to invest more deeply in our community.
Small Group. One of our graduate students, Hayley, has been working on starting a girls group. She graduates in December, but rather than stepping back, she wants to use her last few weeks in Conway to make an impact on her fellow students. Once she graduates, Hayley will pass leadership of this group to a younger student. Pray for the success of this group, and pray that it will be a catalyst for growth among the girls in our ministry.
In addition to the above, we’ve challenged two students to lead Sunday Bible Study, added more church members to our Prayer Team, and helped three of our students begin volunteering weekly in our youth ministry. We're incredibly thankful for all the ways God has blessed us over the last few months.
Pray for the final eight weeks of the semester, that God would help us to make continued progress towards our goals.
Of course, none of these goals is an end in itself. What we do is valuable only to the extent that it helps students live passionately and purposefully for Jesus.
I'm reminded of these words of the apostle Paul:
"After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow" (1 Corinthians 3:5-7 NLT).
As we work towards our goals, we are only planting and watering seeds. God, and God alone, brings growth. May we all keep this in mind as we minister and serve in our churches and communities.
I hope you have a great week, and as always, thank you for praying!
Pulse Campus Ministry