My First Week as a FOCUS Apprentice

The Fun has Begun! 

I wanted to start out with a big ol' THANK YOU!! Thank you for reading this blog. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for being here with me and being the engine behind this locomotive of ministry! I literally could not do this without you!

The Crew

This picture is of the Richland/Brookhaven team. From left to right we've got Sandra Salvador, me, Claire Umstead, Sirak Asfaw, and Joey Thurston. Sirak, Sandra, and Joey are staff members, and Claire and I are apprentices. All of us will be bringing God's love to Richland College and I will spend a majority of my time at Brookhaven College.

The Fun

This last week was our staff retreat. We went out to a camp to spend time together as a staff and get to know each other better while also setting the foundation for what the beginning of our semester would look like. Even though this was the first week of being a licensed minister, we have been doing a lot of learning before now too. We had roughly 26 hours of biblical theology lectures to listen to, a small book to read about Christly teamwork, and a few days of workshops helping prepare us for pioneering ministries on college campuses.

Each morning at the staff retreat, I would climb this small hill to sit at the foot of the cross to sing and pray to help me start my day off as devoted to God as I could. I really feel like He gave me a change of heart, from living for myself to living for Him and the mission He has given me.

So while this retreat was incredibly fun and full of friendship, it was also a time of being poured into both spiritually and mentally. Our theme verse was Galatians 2:20 (which just happens to be one of the verses I worked on memorizing though journaling a couple months ago, so God has been trying to teach me this for a while). This verse is the apostle Paul reminding us that we have died to ourselves and are resurrected into the grace, love, and redemption of Christ Jesus. We reflected on this verse each day of the retreat as we pondered, individually and in teams, about what it might mean to live a ministerial life as though we have died to our own desires and made wholly new in our Lord, Jesus. 

Part of the fun at the retreat was these little goofers (on the right), Jackson and Kayleigh Lorenz (and Paul). They came to hang for a while and we played cornhole and Guitar Hero together. It was so sweet to see them interacting with the staff and with each other. Seeing Jackson and Kayleigh interacting with everyone reminded me of the child-like heart we are called to have as kingdom workers, and of what we probably look like to God: just a bunch of beautiful children enjoying each other and His Kingdom as we try our best to do what He has called us to do.

The Plan

So here's the plan: this week is a Christian conference to help us learn how to minister to college students, called SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry, the picture to the left shows our van of students as we're on the way), and my goals are to build relationships with these student leaders and continue to build a reservoir of God's wisdom and love to bring back to Richland and Brookhaven.

I will be on Brookhaven's campus the following week to get to know the staff in the Office of Student Life and learn what it takes to start building a student organization as a non-student. I plan to get in contact with the previous student president of the Baptist ministry on campus (called BSM), and see if he can help me gauge the student culture and build what it might look like to start a ministry at Brookhaven.

The Prayer

Prayer requests:

  • Wisdom, discernment, and peace in learning to cultivate the soil and plant the seeds of ministry at Brookhaven.
  • That God would give me strength and boldness to go out into the unknown relm of pioneering ministry.
  • That the Spirit would go before me and soften the hearts of some students who can potentially be student leaders.
  • For the hand of God to be on FOCUS and our leaders to help us to always do the work of God and fight our pride to be able to lead others into the perfect, life-changing love of our Father.


  1. Thanks, Connor! Sounds like a great beginning. We will be praying for your requests.

    1. Thank you so much!! Your prayers are much appreciated!😁💙


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