Stephen MurrayComment

February 2019: Testimonies & Transition

Stephen MurrayComment
February 2019: Testimonies & Transition

Hey guys!

Thank you for contending for me in prayer. The first week of February was beautiful and brutal. We had World Mandate and Carry the Love, and in the same week I came down with a stomach bug and lost 15 lbs. 🤮 I’m feeling much better now!

Testimonies

WORLD MANDATE

I did an outreach with one of our students who had never done it before. Our team prayed and asked God where we should go for the afternoon. I sensed God simply say “Quicktrip.” When one of our other partners prayed, they said, “That’s crazy, because I heard gas station…but thought ‘surely not, that’s so weird.’” We decided to walk down to the Quicktrip on Forest near the church, and we made a plan to minister to everyone we passed along the way. We met/prayed for a man from Guatemala, an African teenager, an Afghani Uber driver, an African American father waiting for the bus, a Japanese man, an African woman, a woman inside the gas station, and a Nigerian man. Within 45 minutes, we had prayed for the nations!

The Nigerian man we met was so struck when we approached him to pray and give him a bible. He said, “Where is your church? I have been looking for one and now you have come to me.” He and his sister visited Antioch this past Sunday.

My SMU student was blown away at how simple, practical, and loving outreach can be. Pray that outreach would become a natural part of our students lives on campus.

FROM SUNDAY

Zach shared about how receiving God's purpose for our life is the only way we'll find fulfillment. He mentioned this randomly, "If you are the student body president, no one on campus will remember you in five years." It just so happens that the student body president of SMU was in attendance on Sunday, and he was shook.


CARRY THE LOVE

  • It was so sweet to see students from different organizations hand in hand contending in prayer for the campus and one another. At one point the girls all cried out a blessing over the male students, encouraging them to lead well and to be men of great faith.

  • A girl shared that she felt God calling her to China and is wanting to make plans to invest her life in Jesus during college to that end.

  • The Atheist Society President attended (I actually prayed and asked God for him to be there!) and we engaged in conversation for over an hour. The softest I've ever seen his heart. Pray God moves in Him.

  • 20 students came forward to commit to following Jesus radically on campus. Pray for follow through and discipleship to back their commitment.


TRANSITION

Before and following my sabbatical, I had talks with my oversight about the future of the college ministry. Through these talks I received counsel to transition off of staff at Antioch Dallas. Though it is not what I want, I believe this is the best decision for me and the college ministry at this time.

First and foremost, I am thankful God gave me this season on staff at Antioch. I have learned so much over the last six years, grown personally in every way, and have been seriously ruined for a normal life. The ways I have experienced Jesus will color the rest of my years on this earth, and influence any future decisions I make about vocation, location, etc. I AM ALL IN.

Second, I am so thankful for the church’s support. The body at Antioch Dallas truly made a way for me to serve. I’ve been able to help assist and push forward the church’s vision far beyond just the college ministry. I am so grateful for the support I’ve received in ministry, and am humbled to have been entrusted with your finances and prayers over the years.

To put it simply: my job at the church has been a dream. My time on staff has been filled with so many vivid moments. From intense pastoral crisis to inspiring testimonies of life change. Much like a dream, a lot of the work I’ve had the privilege to undertake is hard to remember. Every memory from the last few years has been floating in my mind the past few weeks. The beauty and the chaos. The breakthroughs and the late night spiritual battles that left me feeling defeated and broken. The faithfulness of God and the new challenges that awaited every coming semester. The baptisms of new believers and the destruction of sin leading students to unbelief. The trips, the lifegroups, the EMPs, the days of fasting, the nights of prayer. I remember the frustration of getting stood up for 8am discipleship appointments, a ritual I soon learned to enjoy across most of my discipleship relationships. I remember washing some of my disciple’s laundry because of how dirty their dorm rooms were. They would refuse, and I would say, “If you do not let me wash your clothes, you will have no part in me.” Laundry is modern day washing feet, y’all. These are the memories I will cherish, and the works I will continue in.

  • In the last six years, I’ve been able to do life on life discipleship with 65 college students that I remember discipling for between a semester and two years. Of those 65, to the best of my knowledge only three have walked away from the Lord. Many are serving in the church, serving other churches, starting businesses, starting families, and taking what they learned from me and entrusting it into others.
  • I have had the privilege of leading over 50 people to Jesus while on staff at Antioch. I’ve seen those I’ve led to Jesus lead others to Him as well. As the years have gone on, I’ve seen discipleship take its course, streaming like a river delta to people beyond my own personal influence, and to places I will never personally go. Jesus’ method for changing the world stands true to this day. I’ve seen it.

Even as I step down from being the College Pastor, I’m still believing God will give me opportunities to invest in the lives of college students, and I plan to continue to ask God to send more laborers for the harvest on college campuses. God, send more men and women in Dallas into college ministry, more than ever before.

This last month, some old friends of mine finished raising support to serve as campus ministers at SMU. Seeing them come in before I stepped down was such a blessing from the Lord. He will answer our prayers if we ask. But I have never asked God for a replacement. I’ve always asked Him to provide for His vision. Lord, multiply the laborers on college campuses to Your vision’s end of reaching every student.

Ways to Pray: 

  • Pray for Marshall Herndon as he begins to lead our UTD undergrad college ministry.
  • Pray for Mark Zeigler and Ross Mantey as they continue to lead a team investing in the international community at UTD. God is moving in powerful ways through them and their team, and I’m expectant for walls to fall down in the hearts of men and women who haven’t known Jesus. 
  • Pray for more people from Antioch to join the College Fam, a group of people passionate about God moving in the lives of students. The College Fam focuses on discipleship, pastoral care, and hosting meals for students.
  • Pray for our student leaders at SMU and UTD to grow through this transition, and for their growth to cause the college ministry to flourish. 
  • Pray for God to raise up new Lifegroup Leaders as our students focus in on making disciples this semester
  • Pray for future church plants in the metroplex to be sent out with vision to reach college students.

Details

For those of you who have given financially, thank you for your support in making this last season possible. I have cancelled all future monthly giving payments on our giving page, so you will not be charged in the month of February. For those who have given one-time gifts, I have already been in touch with all of you to make necessary arrangements for your donations. Again, thanks for your understanding and I hope I have acted in a way to keep your trust moving forward. If you have any questions, feel free to call or email me.

Stephen Murray
(281) 702-3695
stephen.murray@antiochdallas.org

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So what’s next for me?

I have accepted a position to work for Forerunner Mentoring in Lake Highlands! I have served as a mentor with Forerunner for the last three years. I will oversee mentor recruitment, mentor training, and all Forerunner Mentoring communications.

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I’m excited to work for my friend Zach Garza, who has a vision to serve the fatherless (and single moms) in the name of Jesus Christ. You can read more about my next adventure at forerunnermentoring.com