Sunday, September 24

This is my 25th year of working with college students at the University of Arkansas. Though it doesn't feel like a long time, when you see it in writing it sure looks like a long time!

The truth is that there are a lot of people in college ministry who stay in it for a long time. There are others serving on this campus who have been here longer than I have and probably at least a half dozen who have been here for 15 years or more. I have friends around the country who have been at it much longer than I have.

There are a lot of reasons I have been here so long:

* Rather than moving every four or five years like many ministers, my congregation graduates and moves. I get to stay!

* I have always had the privilege of working with very patient and understanding people - both in my Board of Directors and in those who have worked with me on staff.

* College ministry allows most of us to work in line with our passions and gifts and avoids much of the "bureaucracy" found in the church.

But one of the things that has made ministry here easier and more enjoyable is that there is a camaraderie among those who do ministry at the UofA. For a dozen years or more, the leaders of a dozen or so ministries have met on Wednesday mornings to pray together. We pray for our ministries and our families and our finances and our students and our campus. We help each other through difficult times of ministry and through struggles with children, the loss of spouses, and physical frailties.

Whereas many communities - and many campuses - have an air of competition between churches and religious groups, these ministries at the UofA have a sense of cooperation and partnership. We lift each other up to students. We don't try to recruit students who are plugged in at other ministries. We try to find ways to work together to advance the cause of Christ and exalt God on our campus. You would find a lot of differences between us in theology and practice. And, if we let ourselves, I know that we could get into some pretty heated discussions. Though we don't always agree, we do share certain things in common: a commitment to Jesus Christ as God Incarnate and the only Savior of the world, a commitment to God's Word as authoritative and our standard for faith and living, and a commitment to seeing the Gospel proclaimed and students won and equipped.

I know that this type of fellowship isn't common. And I do believe that it is part of the reason that ministers stay at the UofA. I know that it is part of the reason that I have been here for almost 25 years.

That and I don't think that anyone else would have me!


My fantasy football team stinks.


Last week's dance: Swing. Or, more precisely, East Coast (as opposed to West Coast - but don't ask me the difference) Jitterbug (as opposed to what else, I don't know) Swing.


My daughter, Erin, is in Hawaii for eight days. The family of a friend of hers is on vacation there and they had an extra ticket. So she gets a basically free eight-day Hawaiian vacation. Pretty cool!


For those who are movie fans, check out Entertainment Weekly's list of the 25 most controversial movies in history. I've only seen four of them.


Read about two churches in Texas that are being sued because they practiced church discipline by revealing that members were involved in affairs.


Did you see the Time magazine cover story a couple of weeks ago entitled "Does God Want You to Be Rich?" It looks at some of the prosperity preaching that is going on and the response of other Christian leaders to it. It is a good piece.

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