Hey everyone, this fall I celebrate my 20th fall kickoff in campus church ministry! (I am feeling OLD) The last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind of preparation, prayer and excitement. I thought it might be nice to share with you a brief overview of some of the highlights! (this is for all of you that wonder….what exactly do these people do?)
Aug 13-14th : Staff Orientation. As our leadership team has grown, we have realized the importance of pulling together every year to get re-oriented as to our vision, methods, and processes. We spent two entire days reviewing the big questions (Why are we here?) & small (how do you update this google doc?) in preparation for the coming school year!
Aug 15th : Listening Seminar. We spent the day learning (relearning?) some VITAL listening skills that we will use every day here on campus. Our friend Rick Keith a pastor from our sister church, New Life Church, graciously came down from Ann Arbor to teach us how to love Buckeyes better. SUCH a key ministry skill for all of us.
Aug 18-20th: Staff Retreat. Now that all the administrative & management details were covered, the leadership team of h2o took a couple days for spiritual reconnection and refreshment. It was a fabulous time of bonding , but more importantly, a time of prayer and reflection on God’s Word. Great way to start the new year.
Aug 21st: Prayer and Fasting. Probably the best work of the whole year. We just spent the day asking for God to move powerfully on our campus and in our city.
Aug 22nd: MOVE-IN Day. Campus was an absolute zoo. Our students were everywhere trying to connect with & serve the new arrivals.
Aug 23rd (morning): Move-In Service. Despite the fact that many students hadn’t moved in yet, and the freshmen had only been around for 24 hours, 500+ folks filled the Great Hall Mtg room at the Union as we kicked off our new sermon series on Galatians — “How the Gospel Redefines Everything”
Aug 23rd (afternoon): Involvement Fair. We had a HUGE team of students volunteer to help us at involvement fair, where we met thousands of new students. We gave away 3000+ bottles of water (which was good because it was HOT), and took hundreds of spiritual interest surveys.
Aug 23rd (evening): Leadership Community Kickoff. I forgot to get a picture, but there was about 125 of h2o leaders there to worship and dream about what God might do this year in our midst. We are praying for our theme passage of I Thessalonians 1:4-8….that the Gospel would come with power, that we would become imitators of Christ, and that the Word of God would RING OUT at OSU and in Columbus!
Aug 24th: We tried something new this year, called “The Plunge”. A mtg specifically geared towards freshman. The goal was for them to meet our saints and learn about “how to survive their 1st year at OSU”. This seemed like a huge success. We had over 200 freshman there, and it was quite engaging and interactive. We are praying that many of them decide to jump right into our small group community as a result!
Aug 25th- Aug 29th: Chalking. Flyering. We went to every welcome week event that OSU hosts and made it our goal to CONNECT WITH PEOPLE. Meet them. Love them. Serve them. And provide some fun, relational alternatives for new students over that 1st week on campus.
Aug 26th- Aug 28th: h2o coffee tent. In an effort to love and serve students during their first few days of classes, we set up a coffee tent starting at 8am on the Oval. We just gave out free coffee as people passed by, and struck up conversations. Nothing to sell. No huge agenda. Just wanted to let people know we were there and we cared about them. As the day wore on and it got hotter, we switched to lemonade and popsicles. This guy is named Jarrod, and this is his very first time tasting coffee. A future coffee addict I’m sure.
Aug 30th: Kickoff Sunday. Labor Day weekend. Brutal Thunderstorms. And yet, God still filled up Hitchcock Hall with men and women who were eager to worship Him. Afterwards our amazing team of volunteers still managed to grill hundreds of burgers and dogs & God even stopped the rain just long enough for all to have our Meat & Meet. (I have no idea who came up with that name) It was so good to connect with old friends and meet new ones.
Sept 1st: Labor Day. I went golfing. Then I took a nap.