Open Doors

The past few months have broght some encouraging developments on the ministry front in my work with YFC (Youth for Christ). My initial plan to establish a ministry presence at Muncie Central High School was to begin leading a weekly gathering on campus. After learning of concerns that this could potentially compete with the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Atheletes) presence on Central’s campus, I remembered some advice that I gleaned while in seminary: “Watch to see where God is working and join Him.”(see John 5:17, 19–20.) [1]

Rather than starting a new Christian group at CHS, I decided to look more closely at what Christian students were already doing. I learned that FCA was started by Central’s current Principal, Tom Jarvis, a few years ago when he was still the athletic director. Since then, the FCA Thursday morning gatherings have grown to a weekly attendance of several dozen students. I’ve made a point to be at nearly every FCA Thursday morning gathering since last October, and this has provided some great opportunities for forming relationships with CHS students and faculty.

You may be wondering, “Isn’t YFC about outreach? Why is Matt spending most of his time hanging out with the Christian kids?”

Yes, YFC is about outreach. Being among the unchurched is vital. However, as I wrote in my last update, I intend to focus my energy on discipleship. My reasoning is this: Can’t outreach be done more effectively by a team of Spirit–filled students who spend all day at school than by one 28 year-old dude on 15 hours a week?

In this vein, I’ve been encouraged to see what God has been up to among the FCA group through the past few weeks. God appears to be prompting the student leaders to create opportunities for more relational time outside of the large-group Thursday morning event. Because of this, I’ve discovered an opportunity to help the guys start a Bible study group soon after the girls did, and this week we met for our first study in Paul’s letter to the Romans. In addition to digging into God’s Word, we will be sharing with each other what God is doing in our lives, praying together, and discovering how God is calling us to respond in concrete ways.

I’m excited about what is to come, but I still need clarity in what the next steps should be. Please pray that God will continue to open doors as I look for opportunities to promote a culture of discipleship among the CHS community. How might he be calling you to participate in what He is doing?

Peace!