Just as most churches pull their staff away one day a year to spend time talking about their vision and plans for the upcoming year, leaders of the Body of Christ at the University of Texas united for a day of conversation, prayer, and re-visioning.
God did a few significant things as we met together last week.
Strengthening Our Relationships
No, we did not do any cheesy team-building exercises. We simply spent a lot of time in prayer and conversation, and were able to get to know each other better. A few of these pastors had never met.
While others pray together each week, but had never spent a full day together. Getting away from campus afforded us the opportunity to talk about ministry as well as life and family outside of our common mission field.
Retelling Our Story
It was interesting to note that only 4 of the 22 college pastors had been at UT more than 10 years. So we started by having some of the “elder” pastors share from their viewpoint what we have been doing together to reach UT and why. The younger/newer pastors were then able to interject their part of the story, when they arrived at UT and how they began to get involved in our campus-reaching movement.
We shared specifically about the key turning points and key pitfalls we have experienced along the way. These “memory stones” served as great reminders as to where we have been and led us into a great time of worship and thanksgiving.
Clarifying Our Vision
Finally, the day significantly clarified our vision. We actually took the vision statement that we wrote together back in 2000 and asked, “Does this statement still reflect what we are committed to doing together?”
Mostly we had health conversation about several words in the vision statement and what these words mean to each of us. Clarifying these few words brought clarity to our past and to our future. We ended up rewriting a vision statement, but we only changed a few of the words.
The conversation itself brought us to a better understanding of where we are, where we are headed, and why we are moving there together.
Justin Christopher is the director of Campus Renewal Ministries at the University of Texas and author of Campus Renewal: A Practical Plan for Uniting Campus Ministries in Prayer and Mission. He gives leadership to the Campus House of Prayer and the misssonal community movement at the University of Texas.