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Whitworth Theology Department Annual Newsletter 2018

Kent McDonald (2000-present), Lecturer of Practical Theology, Regional Trainer for Young Life Inland Northwest

Well another year has passed by and Linda and I continue to love being grandparents. Marlow is now 2 years old and Bennett is 4. Wow, how fun it is to pamper them with love and special treats!

Morgan, our middle daughter, is finishing up a master's in global health and international development at Denver University, and Clarin (our youngest) and her husband, Nick, continue their work with the Peace Corps in Swaiziland. In December we went to visit them and see all they are doing! A trip of a lifetime for sure! They will finish their term in July, and the word on the street is that they are moving to Spokane! What? Linda and I are trying not to be too excited until we see them actually arrive on our front porch. But… we are excited!

The TH 170 Foundations for Christian Leadership Class continues to be a highlight in my life and for students. The class is now the foundational course for our new Whitworth Ministry Training Program, and this year we had 65 freshmen involved in the class and are now putting 35 of them into ministries both in church and Young Life, and into our key leadership positions on campus. What a blessing to see these students stepping up and leading the next generation. We are in good hands!

This year I am doing more work with our new Office of Church Engagement with Inter-Generational Youth Ministry. We received a grant (yeah) and it is allowing us to help facilitate youth ministers in the greater Spokane area to develop, be trained and think through what the future of youth ministry should look like into the 21st century. Powerful stuff!

I just finished a weekend away with 22 students involved in our Whitworth Young Life Training Program. We spent three days practicing giving talks to each other with critique and helpful suggestions. Our hope is to produce a generation of new leaders that are the "best communicators of the gospel to young people that the world has ever seen"! These talks ranged from high school, middle school and special needs kids. I can't describe to you how wonderful and amazed we all were by the depth and quality of these talks. We laughed, cried and often realized that though the talks were geared to students in their particular Young Life Club, it really was a picture into themselves and a message that spoke to all of us. After one talk we just all had to sit in silence for a moment and let the power of what God did sink in. By far one of the most important three days I've spent this year.

Our ministry with teen moms just keeps growing. Which is somewhat strange to say because really it's the only ministry in Young Life that we wish didn't grow – if you know what I mean? We have three active clubs ministering to more than 120 13- to 19-year-old girls and their babies. YoungLives can be so encouraging, but it can also be so discouraging because the girls we are working with are high-risk teens living in poverty with stories of neglect, abuse and major dysfunction. Yet, we continue to share the love of Jesus, provide mentor training and life skill classes, and help in finding housing and getting girls through school.

It is a privilege to be a part of all that God is doing here at Whitworth and the greater Spokane area.