Freshers are Here!
Students are back in London and ‘Ministry Culture Shock’ has set in
It was surely bound to happen, but I definitely figured my 12 years of ministry experience would help me navigate through what I am calling ‘ministry culture shock.’ Coming from The Citadel and a very different place and style of ministry, I didn’t realize how significantly different the other side of the pond would be. Now, as stretching and painful as this is right now, I know it’s good. I know the Lord is in it, and I am learning, even as we are called “Senior Staff,” to listen, to learn, and to trust. At The Citadel, we were comfortable. We knew the ropes, the system, and the cadets really well. It didn’t take long for me to be able to have what could be called “success” in ministry (which ultimately was nothing that I had done). Here, we are uncomfortable, stretched, confused a bit, and have lots of questions milling around in our heads… but we know this is good, and know we are right where the Lord wants us.
It’s September, and we would be prepping at The Citadel to go on our Fall Retreat. Here, students have just arrived, making in my mind, the shortest semester (or term) ever. But I’ve also learned that there are three terms here, as opposed to two semesters in the States. A few weeks ago we had Freshers Fair. We found out a few days before that only students could man the stall, so as staff, we ended up standing outside “flyering” (English term for handing out flyers) and welcoming students to London.
We had our first social of the year this Thursday night, and had about 10 students from Kings College show up. We have a bit of rebuilding to do at Kings because we were not a registered society last year (long story), and that has seem to hurt us in being able to build a student leader team. But, we are back as a registered society, and initially are seeking Christian students to join us and take leadership roles in the ministry.
Which leads me to Alex and James. These are two students that the Lord has already put in me in contact with and they both seem to be very interested in partnering with us. Alex is an amazing guy who loves the Lord and solid heart for the Gospel. One of his desires is to build a small ministry to Christian guys on campus to sharpen each other. He’s speaking my language 🙂 I think walking with him this year will be a lot of fun as we trust the Lord to see more male students involved in the movement in London. Alex introduced me to James, who began walking in his faith this past summer. His excitement for the Gospel is refreshing. Just this morning as we three met for a time of encouragement and prayer, he shared with me that he has started 1 Samuel. His words to me were “What an exciting book! It’s like I’m watching Lord of the Rings or something!” We came to the conclusion that the Philistines were the Orcs. :). We had a good laugh at that as we continued on our time. I am so encouraged by these two! It is such an answer to prayer that the Lord would drop these two guys in my lap, and right at the beginning of the term. Be praying for Alex and James as we continue to meet together and see more men come into the fold.
I’ve been talking to another student called Lewi. Lewi is an evangelist at heart, or at least that is what I gather. Very compassionate guy who really senses when the Lord is prompting him to pray for people. He is a great listener and has such a teachable heart. He commutes into the city from North London, so its actually been a little difficult for us to continue to meet. Pray for Lewi that we can reconnect or that he connects with someone soon so that he can continue to grow in his faith and use the gifts God has given him.
The Lord is already showing me that he is at work in seeing his Gospel proclaimed in London. Pray for these guys and pray for me as we continue to explore how to walk together shoulder to shoulder to make Jesus known.