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October coaching to shepherd September 29, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Leadership, Planning.
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Our ministry values both results and personal growth. That means we coach our staff to strategy (the work of the ministry), as well as to shepherd them (focusing on their hearts). Much of what I’ve talked about in these tips so far this year speaks to strategy.

Today I want to share some thoughts on what it means to “coach to shepherd”. When I talked about Stages of Team Development last week, I mentioned that it’s normal to be tired at this point in the semester.

In coaching to shepherd, we recognize that there are common emotions that our staff experience. And when you consider that our movements typically follow “cycles of momentum”, we can predict what emotions staff will experience over the course of a campus year.

In an unpublished article a team of seasoned staff did some great work on this a few years ago. They listed those emotions month by month, identified possible root issues, and how to respond with appropriate resources. What follows is what they listed for the month of October.

Possible emotions experienced.

  • Weariness / Adrenaline letdown :: Can enter a funk. Real rest needed.
  • Do I have a life? Spouse? etc :: A proper downshift is needed, and how do I do that?
  • May stop depending on the Lord and enter into default mode.
  • Is this worth it?

Possible root issues.

  • Owning that I have perhaps ignored myself, my family, etc.
  • Identity in ministry success :: An over personalization of results defining them.
  • Short term mindset :: Comparison & frustration with results.

Responses and resources.

If you lead any kind of team, you will want to be aware that you must coach to strategy and coach to shepherd. You are seeking to make a difference for Christ. And you are caring people in the process.

Stages of Team Development September 22, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Communication, Leadership.
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I was poking around the Global Leadership Development and HR team’s TeamLeaderTraining resources recently and came across the article, Stages of Team Development.

I found it intriguing because it recognizes that difficulties and awkwardness with a team are just a normal part of the team’s development.

We are a good month into the campus year. We have worked hard to meet new students and involve them in our movements. It’s normal to be tired at this stage. Add to that, most of us, likely, are on new teams, or we have some new team members. We’ve gotten to know them by now and are starting to see some, ummm, things that grate us a bit.

So, is this normal? Yes!

Read on. I have reproduced the entire document, Stages of Team Development, to give you hope that you can work through some of these frustrations.

Stages of Team Development

Teams “grow up”. They mature.  As a team leader, you are in a position of helping your team move through the NORMAL phases in that growing-up process. Years ago, Bruce Tuckman identified four stages of team development that are helpful for any new team leader to understand:

Forming—“I love you all, and I’m so privileged to get to work with each and every one of you. God knew exactly what He was doing putting me on this awesome team. Now… where do you live?”  

In Forming:

  • There has been a major change in the team—maybe a new leader or several new members have joined.
  • The purpose isn’t clear
  • People don’t know what is expected of them
  • The team doesn’t know each other, so they tend to be polite
  • They look to the leaders for direction
  • It is like dealing with a likeable 3 year old child who loves everyone.

Storming—“You are all idiots, and you’re driving me nuts.  If I could just get rid of a few team members, I could get somewhere.  All we do is fight; no one knows where we’re going.  We go on and on at our staff meetings because we can’t agree on anything.  I don’t think these leaders have any idea where we’re going…but I’m sure not telling them.”

In Storming:

  • Team members have gotten over holding back their opinions and now disagree more readily
  • Team members express questions, concerns, frustrations
  • Ideas get shot down.  This can happen in such a way that the team member can feel shot down personally.
  • Alliances among team members can divide the team.
  • People question the direction and the processes
  • People become focused on the conflict rather than the task at hand
  • It is like dealing with a 15 year old adolescent—a bit rebellious and obstinate.

Some teams can give up here if no one LEADS them THROUGH conflict.  Some may feel that if we talk about the conflict, it will destroy the team.  In fact, if you never learn how to deal with your differences, people will act like they agree when they don’t—passive aggressive, or you’ll produce a team of clones who are afraid to think for themselves since they have to agree with you as the leader.

Because of personality, culture, experiences and/or upbringing, leaders feel differently about conflict. Some abhor conflict and avoid it at all costs, but it is part of healthy team growth.  Team leaders must learn to embrace conflict or they will destroy their team, and certainly will not build a movement of healthy people.

One team leader regretfully said, “The words ring in my ears from people with whom I chose to not enter a conflict—‘Why didn’t you tell me this before?’”.  He learned the hard way that conflict does not disappear, and it is neither loving nor kind to a team member to ignore issues.

Norming—“OK, I’m starting to understand where I fit on this team and how my gifts, passions and strengths can be maximized to help move us forward.”

In Norming:

  • You have now learned how to deal with each individual member and their differences.  This information is invaluable.
  • You have helped the team establish guidelines/norms as to how to deal with conflict, and make decisions, how to treat each other, how to work, how to do meetings.
  • Trust is increasing
  • Members can disagree with a thought without getting their feelings hurt.
  • Your team is entering adulthood.

Performing—“We know where we are going, we know what we’re doing this week to get there.  I am glad I’m on this team even though these people are very different than me.  It works because we complement each other’s gifting. When someone on this team offends me, I feel free to talk to them about it right away.”

In Performing:

  • The team begins to experience multiplied fruitfulness
  • They agree on goals, roles, norms, how to be a team.
  • They are innovative and can solve problems together
  • They assess how they are functioning and learn to be more effective.
  • Members take the initiative toward goals without waiting for the team leader to tell them what to do.
  • Team members are careful not to slip back into bad habits.
  • The team is reaching maturity.

You may not start in the forming stage; you may go right to storming. Also realize that different people on the team could be at different places in the process.  As a team leader, look for the dominant theme of the team to figure out what stage you are in and what steps to take to keep moving forward.

_________________

References:

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_86.htm  accessed on April 3, 2014.

I thought you might find this encouraging. Whether you are new on a team, or you have new team members, or you are building a team of volunteers, faculty or students, it’s worth pressing through the hard stuff because of how the Lord will use your team to accomplish more than you ever could on your own.

Cru High School Training Videos September 16, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Discipleship, Evangelism, Sending.
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In today’s YouTube world, more people learn by watching videos than they do reading instructions. When I was trying to figure out how to take out an old bathtub a while ago, I came across a YouTube video of two women breaking up a tub with a maul. That’s all I needed to start swinging my maul.

What if we had readily accessible training videos for our students, faculty and volunteers? Cru High School is developing videos on basic ministry skills as well as descriptions of the 11 Cru High School 101 essentials. Many of these have broader use than just high school.

College students interested in ministering to high school students can watch these and gain confidence in reaching out. Some basic training videos include:

The 11 essential Cru High School 101 messages are:

  • Understanding Win, Build, Send
  • Cru High School Distinctive Marks
  • Explaining Cru High School
  • Meeting and Relating to Students
  • Using a Tool to Share the Gospel
  • Using a Tool to Share the Spirit-filled Life
  • Sharing Your Personal Testimony
  • Setting up a Personal Appointment
  • How to Follow up New Christians
  • Planning and Conducting an Outreach
  • How to Lead a Small Group

There are over 300 active Cru HS volunteers. That’s considerably more than staff, stinters, and intern. The video training team of Kevin Young, Melody Sibben, Dave Meritt and Jake Fritzke are helping to give them and anyone else working with high school students the skills needed to touch this significant demographic.

Mission Summer, not just for summer. September 14, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Leadership, Student Ownership.
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A scenario: A campus 75 minutes away has a small group of Christian students meeting regularly. They have asked me to come to help them organize and gather others. I just can’t seem to find the time to go there. And I surely can’t set up a regular visit. What do I do?

Jason Skjervem, MTL, in North Dakota, wrote to me last week and told me that on one of his distance-coached campuses, his leader is planning to use the six Roger Hershey talks from Mission Summer for their weekly gathering content. Jason said, “The fact that we have these 6 quality Cru DNA-infused, Roger Hershey talks readily available and accessible to any of our campuses, especially unstaffed ones, is just great in my book.”

You may remember that we offered Mission Summer to those who could not go on summer mission (formerly called project). There are eight weeks of really excellent content already developed at https://www.youtube.com/user/CruMissionSummer

Now, lest you think that the Mission Summer content might have limited appeal, Jason wrote Karl Glendenning, who directed the effort this summer, saying,
“At our kick off planning meeting, one of our new student leaders who also attended Mission Summer, said he’d like to lead a discussion group/Bible study based on The Finishers book. He was very impacted by it and challenged to apply much of what [Roger Hershey] wrote in that book to his ministry on the campus here. He hasn’t solidified all the details yet, but he wants to start a “Finishers Group” on campus and see where God would take that group and use it for the Gospel here at Minot State.

“Two students who [participated in Mission Summer] said they will step out in faith much more now after all they experienced this summer and are striving to share their faith especially within the band program here at Minot. One of the guys is the Drum Major, so he has huge influence within the program. I’m excited to see where that leads for the Gospel on our campus.

“Another guy who attended the group via online viewing from his home in San Diego, has said this summer challenged him to make his faith “his own” versus just what he believed growing up. We’ve been having some good discussions based on the material from this summer.”

So, rather than feel you have to develop talks or lead all the efforts to pull gatherings together, why not point your student leaders to the Mission Summer content and let it impact them. They will think of ways to use it in others’ lives.

Afraid of offending? September 8, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Communication, Evangelism.
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“Few people enjoy conflict. We want to get along with others, and it is much easier to stick to topics where we can agree, or at least pretend to agree. But is that stopping you from sharing your faith? Does the fear of offending someone keep you from saying anything at all?”

This is how Jeff Grant, College Missionary and Partnership Specialist on our Student LINC Team, starts his article “Are you afraid of offending people with your faith?” I thought you might find his article helpful in encouraging those you work with to share their faith.

Jeff continues,
“It’s a valid concern. The truth is, we might offend people. The gospel asks for a person to change, and that can be a tough pill to swallow. Others might take offense at the need for a Savior or to bow to a Lord. In fact, Jesus pretty much promises that people will be angry at His message (Luke 21:12-19).

“When concern for keeping things pleasant keeps you from talking about Jesus, you might need to do a heart check…”

Jeff continues by telling how we typically choose comfort–comfort over obedience to the Lord, comfort over love for those we are talking with, and comfort over ourselves! Now that was insightful. Read on for more.

He concludes with a very simple action step and some links to helpful resources.
“Consider starting with a “sometime” question. Ask a friend or family member, “could we sit down sometime so I can hear about your thoughts and experiences about spiritual stuff? I’d love to share mine with you as well.” When you do have that conversation, be ready to ask good questions and listen well. Then, tell them your story and be sure to include how the Bible says they can know God personally.”

Deeper Conversations About Life September 1, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Communication, Evangelism, Trusting God.
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In a recent in house email to Cru staff, there was an article about a discussion guide for the recently released film, The Giver. If you’re not on that list, let me encourage you to read on for one way to have deeper conversations with those who may see life differently than you.

Just before The Giver debuted in mid-August, Larry Stephens, on the R&D team, set up a private screening at Full Sail University, a media arts school here in Orlando.

Over 170 students attended with many staying to participate in a discussion of the movie afterwards.

Larry and the R&D team had just developed the discussion guide as a way to engage in spiritual conversations after seeing the film.

Here is a cool video blog that Evelyn, a Full Sail student, posted about her experience with the movie and the discussion.

The Giver speaks to some of the big questions students are asking. Christians often answer these questions differently than others. Often we find ourselves at odds with them and unable to break through the Us/Them mentality in order to engage over some of these questions. Questions like:

  • What does it mean to love?
  • What if we could live without pain or war?
  • What is the value of a human life?
  • What is truth?

The discussion guide helps us do just that.

In a day, when our society is more fractured than ever before, when it is increasingly more difficult to have access on campus, and when Christians are often misunderstood, we want to engage others in natural ways and contribute to their understanding respectfully and courteously.

You can also FaceBook post to your friends who’ve seen the film to share their memories on www.tellthegiver.org.

Starting the ministry year. Part 2. August 25, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Launching, Leadership, Student Ownership.
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Last week I mentioned four specific areas to get your student leaders up and running for the year. It’s great to see what students will do when we equip them, express confidence in them and then release them to trust God.

Here are four more things that will better position you to touch more students and faculty this year.

Articulate your vision of what God will do.

I love painting a picture of what God can do through someone else. Incidentally, you can do this over the phone or using Skype or FaceTime. I use the ministry leader critical path.

I have them draw out the diagram and then we discuss Vision, Critical Mass and the critical path steps of Prayer, Evangelism, Discipleship and Sending. I ask lots of questions about what God might do, what they are trusting God for and practical first steps. I make sure I mention reaching freshmen when talking about evangelism.

I would say that this is one of the most important skills you can develop as a leader.

Make sure your info is current on the infobase.
(For staff and interns in the US)

First, edit your profile so that the information is accurate. You are the only one who can do this and it only takes a minute. This is essential for anyone trying to reach you with a contact for a campus.

Then, check to see if your name is attached to the campuses you’re on and want to reach. Our ministry locators are in lots of visible places. Parents and friends do want their Christian students to get connected. If you are working on a campus and the ministry locator does not list a ministry there, the default is “Would you like to help us start a ministry?” Far fewer will contact us when they read that than when they read you are ministering there.

Direct and delegate rather than just do.

I started driving tractor at 4 1/2 and a truck at 9. By now I think I am fairly good at driving. When it came time to teach my sons to drive, no matter how much modeling and teaching I did, I finally had to get out of the driver seat and give them the wheel. They made some mistakes at first. And I had some white knuckle moments. But it was necessary.

We are developing leaders. They won’t/can’t lead if we continue to do so. A good starting place is Eric Swanson’s “The Art of Delegation“.

Decide where and when to launch.

If it’s in your calendar, it gets done. As a team, decide which campuses or communities you want to launch in and when. Three easy things to do.

The ideal time to pioneer is during the first six weeks of the semester. Students are the most open and available during this time. If you feel like you are taking time away from existing ministries, prepare your leaders the week before by saying that you will call them to talk through their responsibilities and answer any questions at that time. Begin to pray that God will use your time of pioneering on new campuses to help the students on your launched campus to grow as leaders.

I tried to focus here on developing your leadership. Leaders think strategically and with the big picture in mind. Together let us pray that God opens up the doors of effective ministry on more and more campuses and within more communities, so that more and more students can hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Starting the ministry year. Part 1. August 18, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Evangelism, Leadership, Student Ownership.
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What a great time of the year! So much to do. So much promise of what God might do in our ministries. So many people to talk with. So many options. So where do I begin?

Let’s be practical as we get our ministries up and running. Our time is limited. The first week a freshman student is on campus is probably as important as all the rest of the first semester combined. This first week is when students determine who their friends will be and what they will value in college.

Who are your key student leaders in each of your movements? Coach them through each of these four areas. As they see God use them right out of the blocks, it will build their confidence for the rest of the year.

Growing vision of what God will do this year.

  1. Have each student in a leadership position read Transformational Community. This is what we are trusting God to do within every community on every campus.
  2. Here is a great article on Planning the Campus Year.
  3. Here is the very practical Nine Principles for the First Six Weeks.

Connecting with key players.

  1. Call each one on your student leadership team to see how their summer went. Inform them of the first meeting and what their individual responsibility is, and answer any questions they may have.
  2. Give your faculty advisor a call to inform him or her of the first events of the semester and to give them specific prayer requests.
  3. Check to make sure your meeting room is scheduled, any tables you would use for giveaways or surveys are reserved, and ads placed in the newspaper are ready to go. You want to make sure the details are covered.

Leadership team kickoff before freshmen arrive.

  1. Share your vision for the year.
  2. Have a devotion from, say Nehemiah 1, about the start of a great undertaking. Nehemiah is a great example of leading in both prayer and action.
  3. Inform them of the first few events and make sure that each responsibility is covered.
  4. Take extra time to pray for God to move, for new students to connect and for the impact you will make this year.
  5. Encourage everyone to be familiar with the Campus Ministry Year.

Planning your first outreach.

  1. If you plan some kind of info table or do a giveaway, decide when to assemble and the earliest time for distribution.
  2. If you will have an open house, a “cower” or pizza party, etc., make sure the right “people” people are greeting visitors to help them feel welcome. Have the opening talk be brief, visionary and welcoming.
  3. If you use a survey to find interested students, schedule the table or dining hall to take the surveys. Three easy to use surveys with transitions and nationwide tabulating tools can be found at QuEST Resources.
  4. Start right away with posters.

If you are outside the US, you may have your own unique way of beginning your campus year. If you have leaders on other campuses, why not forward this email to them, and schedule a time to talk through some of the details. It is a huge confidence booster whenever anyone takes on ownership and sees God use them. And it frees you up to prayer walk or do an info table on a campus that doesn’t have student leadership already in place.

Terminal vs. Relational Thinking August 14, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Discipleship, Leadership, Personal Growth.
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I sat in a room of executive directors recently. The question was asked. “What do you say when someone asks you what you do and why?” There were as many answers to that question as people around the table.

Most answers related in some way to our…

  • Vision, “We see a day when every student and…”
  • Purpose, “To glorify God by helping fulfill…”
  • Or Mission statement. “To build spiritual movements so that every…”

The discussion got me thinking about our day-to-day activities, those things that show up in our schedule.

It brought to mind the difference between relational and terminal thinking.

For example, is a frisbee golf event during O week an end in itself, or does it relate to our mission? We would all say it relates to our mission, but read on to see how our activities can become terminal.

Doug Hartman and Doug Sutherland wrote in a book that has been long since out of print, “A Guidebook to Discipleship”,

The person who has become a multiplying disciple thinks in a way which is not necessarily common to our particular culture or educational systems. He thinks in a “relational” manner rather than in a “terminal” style. “Relational” thinking is defined as the process of relating activities and knowledge to an objective. “Terminal” thinking is defined as the process whereby activity and knowledge are objectives and ends within themselves.    p. 31

Last week in my tip, I talked about soul care. I said, “I have often told students over the years that I care more about them than what they can do for us.”

That statement sounds terminal in thinking. We want to care for people right where they are, but we pray toward and try to see them for who they can become. They are intrinsically valuable to God, even if they do nothing. However, our desire is that they become all that God intends for them. And when they do, they will become men and women who will bear fruit, winning, building and sending others. With that in mind, soul care is relational thinking.

However, if your calling is to win, build and send, and you can no longer see them for who they can become, or if we consider that the obstacles in their growth are too great to overcome, then we can easily think that our care is an end in and of itself. That activity now becomes terminal.

As we begin this new campus year, consider how the events in your schedule relate to your ultimate objectives. Do those activities relate? You may need to make some hard choices and take them out of your schedule.

If you don’t already, let me invite you to subscribe to this blog. Or if you prefer, I send out a weekly email on Monday morning with a practical Coaching Tip. Email me and I will add you to my subscription list.

Caring for those we lead. August 11, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Character, Leadership, Spirit-Filled Life.
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My wife and I lead the marriage preparation class in our church. Two young folks, each on the staff of our church in congregational services, are in the current class. Because much of their work happens during our class time, they didn’t think it would work to attend. Their bosses encouraged them to come.

I suggested that it showed their bosses cared more about them than what they can accomplish. They agreed. They indicated that because of that care, they wanted to be the best staff they could be.

It’s been said,
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.”
You can, however, put salt in their hay!

I have often told students over the years that I care more about them than what they can do for us.

I was sitting in an elders’ meeting recently listening to two counselors, also elders, share about caring for our people. They said, “The vast majority of peoples’ needs can be met by someone who cares.”

In other words, people that we may think need a counselor simply need to be in a caring community. They called this “soul care” and they described it this way.

L- Love

  • Go to where they are.
  • Are you curious about where those feelings come from?
  • Feelings reveal reality. Explore feelings.
  • Feelings are driven by perspective. Perspective is driven by beliefs.

O- Offer yourself 

  • It’s easy to identify people by sin. But the New Testament refers to people as saints.
  • Requires vulnerability on our part.
  • Helping self-disclosure is healthy.

V- Validate.

  • Most of us want to vindicate.
  • We need to be about valuing others.
  • People need to feel safe.
  • Asking questions. “Tell me more about…”
  • Do we want to fix them more than we want to know them?

E- Encourage.

  • When we know the good, the bad and the ugly and still love them, that’s very encouraging to them.

There is so much more that can be said about soul care. And there is much to consider as we think about it in terms of Win, Build, Send. If you are interested in exploring more, there are free counseling courses available at Christiancourses.com.

This closes out my summer series of tips on being a better minister. Next week I begin another year of coaching tips on making win, build, send easier and extending our reach to more and more.

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