Where I’ve been, Where I am, and Where I’m Going: Life Update

Where I’ve Been:

To talk about where I’ve been over the last year would take a long time. But here are some things. In the spring of last year I realized that my identity was not in the things that I did, but in who I was in Christ. That has freed up ministry a ton, as I see it now just as an overflow of the grace that Christ has shown me. This last summer I was back at Camp Ridgecrest for Boys. Talk about God’s faithfulness. I got to see how God had used me last summer to impact those kids, and got to see them this summer again. It was probably the coolest part of my summer and hopefully sometime I will not be so busy that I can write it down. But that was awesome. And now I’m in my Senior Year!

Where I am:

Well, I’ve finally made it to my senior year of college. Finally! It has been five and a half years but the Lord has been so good and faithful over these last three years at North Greenville University. This semester I am the youth intern at Taylors First Baptist. It has been a great time of ministry and learning. I have been continually humbled, learning that ministry is not always spent doing “ministry.” What I mean by that is that a lot of times my internship is spent putting up chairs, running a power point, etc. I’ve realized that even janitors and different behind the scenes staff are just as vital to the body of Christ as the people in the front are. 

I love my ninth grade guys. They are crazy but they are growing a lot. Just getting to hang out with them outside the church has been great. Last friday, I started a high school guys basketball thing. I was not sure who all would show up, but the Lord provided 16 guys the first time, including four guys from outside the church! I see this as a great evangelism opportunity, as well as a continuous discipleship of the guys I already know. 
This semester is flying by so quickly. I am busy, busy, busy. It seems like all I do during the week is go to my internship and read and write papers. Its exhausting, but I know in the end, it will be worth it. 
Spiritually I feel more consistent that I have been in the past. Very spiritually resilient. I have been praying more and now starting to really meditate on Scripture. 
This fall has brought about a lot of changes in the dorm. Of the 12 guys who were here last year, only six are still here. It has been good though. The Lord has made me the only upperclassmen in the dorm, and so with that comes a lot of responsibility. I am constantly checking my motivations. 
A really awesome thing that has occurred is just being content in the Lord. I don’t feel like I need a girlfriend or wife to fulfill me anymore. I don’t feel like I need a ministry job to do ministry.  
This contentness has allowed me to encourage more freely, get less defensive, and really just be real with what things are going on in my life. 
Me and blake, my new roomate, have been super open about confessing sins to one another, as the author James calls for. That has been super freeing. 
Where I am going:
Well, last spring I was offered a church planting apprenticeship at North Asheville Baptist. And in January after I graduate from college, I’ll be moving up to Asheville, North Carolina to start this next chapter of my life. 


I’m kind of nervous to be honest with you. I don’t feel prepared necessarily for ministry, even though I know the Lord has trained me well.

I have a lot of questions to be answered before January.

I don’t even really know full on what ministry looks like up there yet. I know I will be working with small groups, with my church plant intern boss, Aubrey. And I know I will be doing evangelism in the city and starting groups of my
own.

Picture taken from: http://www.ashevilleguidebook.com

Prayer:

So if you could please be praying for me. Pray for perseverance for me to make it to graduation. Pray for the unanswered questions in Asheville to be answered. Pray for me not to worry about anything but with prayer and petition may I make my requests know to God (Philippians 4:6). Pray that I would be present here, at North Greenville, at Taylors, in Greenville, until my departure. Pray that I would trust God fully and fix my eyes on Him always.

Thanks ya’ll.

Blessings,
Joseph

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