Getting Off on the Right Foot…And Then the Next Step

Junia absolutely loves walking Skippy around the neighborhood.  Obviously she cannot hold his leash on her own as he would easily pull her over…and probably keep going.  The solution was to attach one leash to Skippy and attach a second leash to that leash.  So Junia holds the second leash while I, holding the first leash, am controlling the beast. Walking Skippy is the highlight of our day.

Unfortunately, many old trees with large roots have led to our sidewalks being quite uneven.  This means there are many potential places one can trip.  Junia has tripped and fallen many times on our walks.  Thankfully, as she has gotten older and better at walking, Junia trips less.  Now when she trips she is usually able to regain her balance without falling.  Trouble comes when she is watching something else – a car drive by, another dog or person, a cool looking leaf or bug – while walking.  Then…bam!  Down she goes.

It reminds me of a semester in ministry on campus. Heading into October, one month is in the books.  The first month of school seemed like a whirlwind of events and meeting new students.  Through this a lot of new students have joined CSF.  I was amazed at how many we reached during our orientation activities.  We handed out 300 care packages, gave ice cream to 100 people and had nearly 50 at our cookout!  You could say that we planted many seeds.

Our first “official” CSF meeting had about 15 new people.  The next one had some of those same people along with a few additional new people.  Some of these new students have already taken the step beyond just coming to weekly meetings by joining us in volunteering at an after-school program in the city and traveling to State College to work the concession stand for a PSU football game.

Looking back on the first month, I am very impressed.  It seems like one of our more solid first months since I have been with CSF Berks.

That said, it is just a beginning.

Hard to believe, the semester is already 1/3 over.  Students are extremely busy.  It would be tempting to rest on our laurels and do the bare minimum.  But it is vital for CSF students to go the extra mile to make an impact on campus.  So far, they are.

Two of our leaders who are dorm residents are working hard at creating a small group gathering in the dorms during weekends.  Many students head home for weekends and those left behind say it is boring to be here.  There is an opportunity for these guys to create something that could really impact people.  This past Sunday they organized a volleyball game.  Next time they do it they also want to include some Bible study.  Pray for them in this new ministry.

Another students is working on building a commuter Bible study.  This is another opportunity for something good, a way to reach the students who might not be on campus in the evenings for our normal CSF activities.

We are planing additional service and outreach opportunities in October.  One of the goals the leaders had was to do more of this as they felt CSF often drifts into an inward focused, even cliquish, community.  We are trying hard to resist this, but I know it will only get more challenging for students to dedicate time to such things as their schoolwork piles up.

Yes, we got off on the right foot but that is only the first step.  Like Junia walking down the bumpy sidewalks in our neighborhood, if we aren’t careful, if our focus drifts, we could find ourselves tripping and falling.  Pray for CSF to keep their eyes and hearts focused on Jesus Christ so they can work out his mission on campus.

(Each month I send out an update from PSU Berks where I do campus ministry to all my supporters; this article is the primary article in my October newsletter. If you are interested in being added to my mailing list, contact me.)

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