One of the bread and butter tools of InterVarsity chapters is what’s known as GIGs, or Groups Investigating God. These are investigative Bible studies that invite people with little to no experience in the church to read the Bible and encounter the living God who inhabits its pages.
For the first time ever, 6 or 7 members of OneBody seem to be on the cusp of launching either a GIG or a book study (reading something like “Reason for God”) with their friends! This is incredibly exciting! I will be meeting with these students between tomorrow night and Monday night, Lord willing, to come together as a group, pray, encourage, and support each other, and build a community of people who are taking risks to see their friends come to know the incredible promise of life, love, and hope found in the Gospel.
Please pray! Please pray that:1. People will come (both OneBody members to our group meeting and their friends to these GIGs). Corralling Yalies is like (insert hard expression) (corralling chickens/herding cats).2. Please pray that God will use this powerfully! It’s not too much to ask that we would see 6 or 7 new children of the Kingdom before the end of the semester, and that’s exactly what I and my students will be praying for!
And while you’re doing all this praying, feel free to “like” OneBody on Facebook (or follow me on twitter)!
This song, “All Hail the King,” is a song by a group called the Shekinah Glory Ministry that has been my constant companion in prayer and worship over the past few weeks. This is a powerful song that has strong echoes of Isaiah 6, when Isaiah encounters God in heaven. The text of that passage is below.
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
One thing that I am constantly encountering in students is a lack of knowledge of how to structure quiet times (or devotionals).Often students want to grow closer to God, and want to grow in their love and understanding of him, but feel like they don’t have the necessary tools.
In my personal quiet times, I use any number of “formats.”I put “formats” in quotes because I rarely think of my time with God as being highly structured.However, there are often elements that recur.A few of the elements that I use are:
1.Scripture reading a.Scripture study b.Reading a chapter c.Focus on a verse or group of verses
2.Journaling a.Journaling to unpack what is on my heart and focus on God b.Journaling related to the meaning of the scripture I read
3.Listening to music a.Music to enter God’s presence b.Music to celebrate what I believe God has spoken
A post of this size will, by necessity, be woefully inadequate in terms of detailing quiet times.In future posts I will flesh out specific elements of my quiet times a little more, and include others that you mention.What elements do you use or include in your times with God?How have you found that they help you to grow in your love for him or your knowledge of him? Tweet
Two weeks ago, we had the great privilege of having Dr. Cornel West come and speak at (technically near) Yale University for a conference that is held at Yale anually. Dr. West is a renowned academic, writer, and speaker who travels across the US speaking on the topics of race, justice, and love for the poor. Dr. West also unapologetically names Jesus as the source of his convictions. He teaches at Princeton University.
I highlight his visit for two reasons:
1. Though I am not familiar in-depth with his writings or teachings, from what I’ve seen, Dr. West does a great job of asking a question that I think is often obscured from the conversations of followers of Jesus—what does it mean to look to Jesus as a moral compass and follow his constant exhortations for us to love the poor and the “least of these.”
2. His presence highlights at Yale highlights something about the Yale experience and environment—Yale often has big-name speakers, activists, and occasionally politicians visit the campus and speak to students. One thing that is communicated, implicitly if not explicitly, is that Yalies are movers and shakers in the making, and we get to hear from movers and shakers during our time here. This adds to both the caliber of the education students receive, but it also contributes to the sense of being surrounded by high expectation. Tweet
One thing that I love about my job is that I get to go to Yale student group events, such as performances. Why is this both an enjoyable way to spend my time as well as something that is a great way for me to spend time on campus?
I love going to Yale performances. Yalies are incredibly talented, and people are often surprised to know that Yalies’ extracurriculars are every bit as vibrant as their academic lives. Earlier tonight, I got to watch a great performance from the Yale Gospel Choir with Asempa, Yale’s African a capella group.
Later, I got to hear Shades (the Shades of Yale, an a capella group that sings “music of the African diaspora”). I enjoyed both of these concerts, and was happy to go just for the events themselves. But at both of these concerts, I found…
crowds! Large crowds of people. I saw students from my ministry, students who used to be in my ministry, students I’ve seen consistently throughout the year and students who I haven’t seen in months. I was able to set up several meals with students, and start a conversation with another student who is now seriously considering hosting an investigative Bible study (a Bible study geared towards non-Christians).
Moral of the story—I go to Yale events because 1) I like them, 2) because it helps me become part of the fabric of the Yale community, and 3) because being at performances always results in an increase in future face-time with students. And face time is the gold standard in ministry. Tweet
Much of this was mentioned in the introductory post, but I want to clarify my purpose in starting this blog. I hope that this blog will help me keep you, my ministry supporters, informed by:
1. Sharing more about the vision of OneBody, and how that vision is being realized day-by-day.
2. Sharing information about upcoming events with my ministry, and keeping you informed about how some of the more regular events are going.
3. Giving you a glimpse into the day-to-day workings of ministry at Yale. Those of you who haven’t spent time in ministry can probably admit to asking two similar questions—what does my pastor do during the rest of the week, and what does Leon do every day?
4. Giving you a fuller understanding of Yale—it’s students, it’s buildings, and what it’s like to be here. This will help you better know how to pray for Yale students.
5. Sharing prayer requests, praise reports, and the like.
Please let me know if there’s something that you would like to know about Yale that I could post here!
Welcome to the OneBody blog! This is the blog for OneBody, which is a chapter of InterVarsity’s Black Campus Ministries at Yale. The blog is one of several tools that I’m using to keep supporters and students up-to-date about events, and also a place where I will post various helps, suggestions, and articles about things that God is teaching me in my own life.
Thank you for following the OneBody blog, and I hope you enjoy!