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2436 Rivermont Ave

Lynchburg, VA 24503


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2436 Rivermont Ave

Lynchburg, VA 24503


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The In-Between

Katie and I live in a crazy "In-Between" land called College Ministry.

So much of what we do is aimed at preparing college students for fruitful adulthood.  At the same time, the two of us spend countless hours in settings meant for teenagers.  Here's an example.  On Saturday, some friends of ours threw a baby shower for our little Goose!  So far, this sounds pretty grown up, right?  Heres the twist, the shower was thrown by college students and held in a sorority house (picture above)...that's the "In-Between".  As you might imagine, the "In-Between" can be hilariously awkward.  Katie for instance, gets the funniest looks as she (and her growing belly) spend time on campus.  Just last week, a group of perspective students were touring VT.  When one of their fathers caught sight of what seemed like a pregnant student, he grew visibly worried and couldn't stop staring!

The "In-Between" isn't all bad though.  As we invest into emerging Christian leaders, we get to see students mature well beyond where we were in college!  Our students are growing in responsibility and looking to meet the needs of others.  I think they'll be great spouses, business people, and church members.  This year alone, we have graduates going into ministry, sports management, graduate schools and engineering.  I can't wait to see how they impact the world!  

One part of the "In-Between" is helping students gain vision for their future marriages.  Last month, I had the privilege of being best man in the wedding of one of our alums.  His name is Mark Dunne.  Mark will be teaching high school in the Fall.  He and his wife, Bee, have already begun to invest in the youth of their church.  Please pray for them and us...and all of the "In-Betweens" that we get to be a part of!


Satisfied and Energized

When I think of all God has done the last few years here at Virginia Tech, I am so SATISFIED!  This is a picture taken of some Virginia Tech guys at this year's new years conference in DC.  Each face in this picture (with the exception of a few randos who photobombed us) reminds me of God's loving pursuit of a specific young man.  As far as I can tell, 9 of the guys in this picture have become Christians in college, and 4 within the last 6 months!  Better than that, God has positioned us to live life and follow him together.  I can truly say that I feel what Romans 15:14 says about these guys.  "I myself am SATISFIED about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another".

Yet at the same time, this picture ENERGIZES me.  When I see how true God's promises show themselves to be in this world as people live to make Him known...I feel deeper and stronger desires to help this work spread!  I think that's why Paul, after celebrating his satisfaction with God's work in Romans 15:14-19 reveals growing desires to continue laboring for the gospel.  "And Thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, but as it is writen, 'those who have never been told will see, and those who have never heard will understand".  We're satisfied by what God is doing yet also energized to see more.

That's why a "satisfied" bible study of 6 guys split up this year.  After studying the scriptures and praying together for over 2 years, one group of 6 seniors decided to break up, to make room for others.  3 of these guys asked 5 others to partner with them for the rest of the school year as they aim to share Jesus' life and story with international students at Tech.  We call this group the "International Team".  The International Team is aiming to build more student leaders while loving the often isolated international student community at VT.  Meanwhile, the other 3, and 1 of their sophomore buddies, became the "National Team", a group of 4 student leaders who are hoping to shepherd the growing number of young Christians in our ministry.  The National Team partners together to lead 3 bible studies with nearly 30 attendees.

As satisfied as we are, and as happy as we've been to partner with the Holy Spirit as he pursues our campus; this semester is one where we are dreaming of how we might best help our town grow spiritually and asking God to help us do it.


Merry Christmas!

My dad and I are flipping through football and basketball games today while Katie fills the house with the smell of Christmas cookies.  My mom is getting ready for a big tailgate tomorrow as the family is driving up to Landover, Maryland to see our 3-11 Redskins take on the Christmas-hating grinches from Dallas.  All is right in the world.

This past semester was an exciting one for us.  We saw older students ministering to others and younger students growing in their love for the Lord.  On the last weekend of the semester, I took 6 guys from Tech up to the "Peaks of Otter Christmas Classic 5k" in Bedford, Va.

Four of these guys have been leaders in our ministry for some time while two of these guys weren't even students at Tech last year, such a cool picture of how God has used the lives and relationships of VT students to help others grow Spiritually.

Katie and I will be here in Fredericksburg until the 28th, then we'll head up to D.C. for our New Years Conference.  Katie will be setting up the stage while I'm preparing to emcee the conference again.  On the 30th, 800+ college students will arrive from Virginia and North Carolina Campuses.

31 Hokies will be joining us at the conference, which runs from Dec 30-Jan 3.  Please pray for this conference, that God would draw staff and students to himself and give us vision for how he might use our lives and ministry in the years to come.


Multiply and Mobilize!

The guys in this photo are a little older than most of our group shots.  That's because of the best kept secret in Campus Outreach Lynchburg: college students get older!

The blonde guy in the middle is Evan Harris, CO director at Lynchburg College.  And surrounding him are the 6 groomsmen from his wedding last weekend.  5 of those groomsmen were involved with CO while in college.  Of the 5 groomsmen involved with CO, one's an engineer in Pittsburgh, one's an army officer in Georgia, one works for a contractor in Charlotte and two of us are on staff with Campus Outreach in Virginia.

Of those same 5, three of us are married...8 kids currently and more to come!

So how'd all this happen?  God saved many of us in college, gave us a mission worth giving our lives to, and now positions us on the campus and beyond it to make Jesus known.

Here's a special way that you can pray for Virginia Tech over the next few years:  Pray that our ministry would launch countless godly people into the world.  And while you do, please join me in praying that God raises up 10 long term overseas missionaries and 5 CO staff during the 5 year period that ends in the Spring of 2016.  I started praying for this in August of 2011 and since then we've seen 3 CO staff and 1 overseas missionary raised up!



Our Job in One Verse

If I had to summarize our job in just one verse (which I've been trying to do for years!), it would be Luke 10:1.

"After this, the Lord apointed 72 others, and sent them on ahead of him into every town and place that he himself was about to go."

Jesus sends out the 72 most promising young Christian leaders with a pep talk.  In that pep talk, he tells them that the world is full of people, but lacking Christian laborers (Luke 10:2).  They are then told to go cut their teeth in the gritty work of gospel ministry.  Are they to do so aimlessly?  No!  They are directed very specifically on where to go: "Every town and place that HE. HIMSELF. was about to go"!

Jesus' strategy on earth was to spend his time right alongside his hungry young leaders.  That means I try to spend my hours on campus supporting, encouraging, and correcting our leaders in their personal ministries.  I want to be shoulder to shoulder with college students that love Jesus as we tell others about Jesus...together.

I want to do this in the dining hall.  In the fraternity house.  In the dorm room.  Where ever our students go.

Below are Katherine Clayton and Alex Latham.  Katherine is in her third year on staff with CO at VT and Alex is a senior at Tech.  Katherine "sends Alex" where she herself is about to go...and they spend time together with Alex's friends.  Whether its leading a Bible study, or just hanging out, these two do it #together.