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Discovery Questions April 14, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Discipleship, Leadership, Student Ownership.
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Does it seem like talk preparation takes a big chuck of your time?

Someone told me recently about how long it takes to prepare devotions for his team. At about the same time, someone else emailed to ask about talk content on a particular idea.

Both instances got me thinking about how students might question their ability to lead Bible studies because of how they perceive our efforts to prepare a talk or a lesson.

Let’s ask ourselves what we are trying to accomplish with the talk or lesson. Is it to entertain? Or to be insightful? Do our hearers come away thinking “I can do that!”?

Here is one way to make Bible studies engaging and still give the aspiring leader confidence to lead. This is not new. In fact, years ago when we had catalytic ministries we often used the Discovery Questions. Even gifted teachers modeled this as a way to encourage students and volunteers to lead Bible studies.

Discovery Questions will help guide your discussion through a passage of Scripture. They allow everyone in the group to participate. Furthermore, they help set a relational dynamic for your group, guarding against the tendency for one person to teach while others just sit and listen.

Discovery Questions  (Written by John DeVries and Carol Davis.)

1.   What did you like best?

  • What did you find encouraging?
  • What did you find helpful?
  • What was the best part (of this story) for you?

2.   What did you like least?

  • What was disturbing?
  • What was difficult?
  • What was surprising or hard?

3.   What did you not understand?

  • Discuss anything in which you find confusing.
  • Is there anything you would like to know more about?
  • What part puzzles you?

4.   What did you learn about God?

  • How is God different than humans?
  • How does this change or illumine your picture of God?
  • What impression of God do you get from this reading?

5.   What do you personally need to do about it?

  • If this is true, what is your next move?
  • Is there something you have learned about yourself that needs to change?
  • What are some practical ways in which you can respond?

6.   Pick a phrase or verse to take with you and think about this week.

  • What nugget of truth will you take with you for a treasure this week?
  • Which part of this story will make a difference and how?
  • What do you most need to remember and how will you apply it?

Just in this past week, I overheard one of our Distance Ministry Specialists, Eric Dellaire, talk about the Discovery Questions as supplement to Cru.comm studies. He told me afterward that he encourages students to use these questions with two stipulations: use it only with narrative passages, and with one story or at the most 25-30 verses in length.

Why not ask your students if they could lead a Bible study using the Discovery Questions with a group of high school students, co-workers, or family member over the summer.

Cycle of Planning April 13, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Leadership, Planning, Trusting God.
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During the last few weeks, I’ve covered tips focused on ending the campus year well. These have included

Today, I want to talk about how the planning you do now fits into a year long Cycle of Planning.

Patty McCain, posted a document in Google Drive entitled Cycle of Planning and Cycle of Development.

This shows that critical factors in planning and staff development are spread throughout the year. You will notice that each of these cycles starts in April.

The planning that we do this month looks at SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) for each movement. We want to assess the strengths and weaknesses within each movement, and the opportunities and threats on the outside that impact the health of those movements.

Once we consider the SWOT, then we want to look at strategic planning for the fall. This will include

  • An Evangelism Plan with personal and group goals.
  • Movement Launch Goals. What phase do you hope each movement will be in by next May?

Now if you are looking for a bit more help in the planning process, consider the Goal Setting and Learning Loop. If you mouse over the diagram, you will notice it is hot-linked and you can print just the diagram.

Together lets ask God and believe Him for that which only He can do next year.

Summer Survival April 7, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Discipleship, Personal Growth, Trusting God.
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“Let’s face it. Summers can pose a major challenge to our faith and obedience to Christ.

So begins the first article in the Summer Survival Guide.


Summers can be:

  • a very spiritually isolating time because you are away from the environment and friends that have helped you grow spiritually this past school year.
  • or a great experience as you see your faith tested and increased and take some key steps on your own (1 Peter 1:17)

What makes the difference? The decisions you make now can put you in a position of advantage and strength as you go into the summer. As a Christian, we can embrace challenges the summer brings because we recognize the opportunity to trust God in new ways and see our faith grow in ways that we would have never seen otherwise.

The Summer Survival Guide guide provides perspective and resources to help make the difference. The introductory article of the survival kit tells about three essentials with practical helps and further resources:

  • self-discipline
  • the right fellowship
  • daily time with God and His Word

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Concerted and consistent time in God’s Word will change our lives.

As I was these preparing thoughts, I happened to receive a Destino Tracks from Devin Tressler. He talked about staying connected over the summer. He had three concrete ideas:

  • Texting.  Contact your students two times a week. Shoot them a text to see how they’re doing, and connect with them via social media. It’s a simple way to help someone remember they’re remembered.
  • Virtual Bible Study.  Set up a weekly Skype [of Google Hangout] call to get in the Word with a group of students. Rotate who leads it to give students a task that will necessitate their digging deeper. Mission Summer might be a great option for your students…
  • Cast vision for sharing the Gospel at home.  Talk now with your students about what they’re looking forward to and what will be difficult about going home for the summer. Help them to see opportunities to share the Gospel with those who might know them from their lives before Christ.

Let’s do the best job we can to prepare all of our students to grow in Christ this summer.

Summer Project Openings March 31, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Discipleship, Evangelism, Personal Growth.
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I have a number of friends, and a son, leading summer projects.

At this time of year, I often wonder which projects are still accepting applicants. Maybe you do too.

With current programming, if a project is not listed on the public website gosummerproject.com, that means it is full for both men and women. If it is listed, there is no way of knowing if it is open to women as well as men. (Spaces for women generally fill up quicker than men.)

So Martha Langrill on the Summer Projects team has made it easy to find out. She created a public Google spreadsheet with the lists for openings for men and women. Anyone with this link can view it.

Still, there are a lot of great projects with availability. Go to gosummerproject.com for complete project descriptions and dates. And for questions about a specific project, click on the director’s name and send an email.

Finally, you may recall seeing my piece about Mission Summer in the March edition of QuickRead. If you have students who wish they could attend a project, but just can’t because of school, family or financial obligations, do encourage them to check out the info on Mission Summer at http://gosummerproject.com/projects/846

Sustaining Leadership on Community Colleges March 24, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Leadership, Student Ownership, Volunteers.
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I was talking with a ministry coach recently about how one of her campuses is struggling to find the right leader next year. They have had several years with solid leaders and backing by the college. Students have attended winter and big break conferences and one has gone on a summer project.

Typical of most community colleges, their turnover of students and leaders is accelerated. In a recent meeting, a show of hands revealed only 5 students returning next year. None of them want to lead.

In this case, they have one committed volunteer who drives 40 miles to be at most weekly meetings. The coach wants to call him. He has been a great help and she will ask if he would assume leadership, but to keep looking to give specific responsibility to others.

There is a dance that we do with the “long-term indigenous volunteer.” When student leadership is strong, they step back. But when it’s weak, they need to step up to take more of the leadership.

The coach also suggested some of this year’s leaders talk with local churches and youth ministries to learn of students attending next year. They were open to that, since they want to see things continue. She wants to talk with former leaders to come up with key churches to visit. Hopefully, some of those first years will be able to step into leadership.

She also thought this might be a way to find others who have a heart for the campus who would do some of the more behind the scenes things like fund raising, refreshments at meetings or sponsorship of events.

The coach is suggesting that her leader do a couple of Group Talks. These are an excellent way to help give confidence to those quiet and hesitant ones, at least in a small way, to exercise leadership.

Finally, the coach suggested they take time in each meeting to pray for leaders to be raised up and for many new students to get involved next year. Here is a great story on how God answered similar prayers.

So while this coach didn’t have the natural hand off to the next leader like she has in the past, she has an expectation that God will work in new and exciting ways. Because, after all, He is more concerned about the lost on that campus that we ever will be.

Passing the Baton March 16, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Leadership, Student Ownership.
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We are back from Spring break and there’s lots to do between now and the end of the semester. One big area is thinking about which leaders you can count on returning next year. Who will you ask to move into leadership?

A friend was telling about being asked to recommend someone for a ministry position. He asked the hiring agency if they were looking for someone available or qualified? They had not considered the difference. As we look at leaders of our movement, we want to think through qualifications.

The earlier you choose leaders for next year the more they can prepare for their roles. Here are some things to help in the transitioning process.

Passing the baton to new leaders

1. What is God calling our leaders to?

The Transformational Community article is very helpful in explaining what we are called to as a movement. Use the discussion questions at the end to focus on our DNA of winning, building and sending.

2.  What does a leader look like?

Picture of a Leader looks at qualifications for leadership. This could look pretty impossible. But the key here is not perfection, but growth in these areas.

3.  Developing personal vision.

Next, to give your new leaders personal perspective, have them read Cultivating a Vision for my Campus. This will direct them through a process of hearing from the Lord and putting their vision into action.

Vision and motivation are so important for your leaders. Another helpful diagnostic is Evaluating your Ministry.

4. Planning.

Finally, in preparation for the fall, have your leaders look at Nine Principles for the First Six Weeks. If they download the pdf, there is a blank planning sheet at the end to write down plans.

All three of our boys ran track in high school. The relays were always exciting races. I’ve seen teams blow leads and lose races because they messed up the baton pass. That hand-off is the most important part of any relay. If the baton is dropped, the team may be disqualified, or, at the least, looses precious seconds and momentum. The next runner gets into position to receive the baton and then takes off running. They must keep in mind both what is happening with the runner handing off and the race in front of them.

This is such an apt metaphor of what happens in transitioning leadership. They watch the current leadership to consider what and how to lead and they plan for their own time to lead.

Let’s do what we can to ensure that baton pass goes well.

Mission Summer March 12, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Discipleship, Leadership, Personal Growth, Prayer, Sending, Spirit-Filled Life, Trusting God.
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As I look back on each summer of my college career, certain things stand out.

  • Summer one. I was a new believer. A high school friend took me to his church’s youth group where I was discipled.
  • Summer two. I continued to be discipled in that youth group, but I began discipling others in my home church.
  • Summer three. The Hampton Beach summer project changed my life and put me on a full time ministry career path.

I was fortunate to have an environment of growth each summer. Otherwise, I question if I would be doing evangelism and discipleship today.

We all know the value of summer projects. But financial, school or even family obligations can keep many home who wish they could go. We also know that students can go home summers to difficult spiritual environments. Not all have positive environments of growth like I had.

Until now cost, staff participation, and number of venues limited project participation to just 6% of involved students. Until now…

Read on about Mission Summer, a new summer project-type experience that meets your students’ need for growth wherever they are this summer. The following information was sent to MTLs recently introducing the project

Mission Summer

The Summer Projects team is excited to announce a new summer project strategy, Mission Summer, which is designed to be an excellent complement to traditional summer projects, as well as a summer strategy for your movements.

In 2012, a group of local and national ministry leaders (including students) assessed some of the realities of our summer mission and training projects. Here are few of their findings that probably won’t surprise you.

  • Relatively Low Summer Project Involvement - Just 6% of our involved Cru students participate in a Cru summer project in any given summer.
  • Student Obstacles - Many students are unable to go due to finances, school, or family obligations
  • Higher Than Expected Attrition Rate- Only 1 in 3 students who start a summer project application end up participating in a Cru summer project
  • Lack of Spiritual Accountability -  Students who don’t participate in summer projects have, on average, a harder time walking with God and having missional impact during the summer than when they are on campus and involved with Cru
  • Students Want to Grow -  Involved students desire to grow spiritually and stay connected with Cru and their Christian friends over the summer, but often lack the structure to be able to do so.

As our team contemplated these realities in light of the Parable of the Lost Sheep we considered how Jesus left the 99 to go after the 1 or in our case leave the 6% to go after the 94%. This is in no way to suggest we are walking away from our traditional Summer Projects. We simply see a need to create a summer opportunity for the 94% of students in a way that meets them wherever they are this summer, complementing our traditional Summer Projects and local level summer strategies for each movement.  This is why we’ve created Mission Summer.

Mission Summer Described:

  • Open for All - a mission and training experience open to any student anywhere in the world
  • Local and National Connections - Driven by a priority to connect with people both locally and nationally, it will continue the great tradition of building deep relationships during the summer.
  • Prioritize Walking with God -  Mission Summer is driven by a priority of training students to go deeper in their walks with God and to live out His priorities.
  • Utilizing Technology and the Internet - Mission Summer takes advantage of technology to guide students through outstanding educational and experiential training all summer long.
  • Meets all Desired Outcomes for Traditional Summer Projects - The framework is being built around a core structure of Cru evangelism and discipleship training, weekly online LIVE webcasts, and possibly including IBS options. The core content will be made available in the coming month.

How will Mission Summer operate?

  • Dates - Sunday June 8th – Sunday July 27th.
  • Simple Enrollment Process - Students enroll (simplified application) through the project website: http://gosummerproject.com/projects/846. The National Pilot for Mission Summer will be free with the exception of the $25 summer project application enrollment fee.
  • Leadership - National and local leadership have enthusiastically endorsed this strategy. Mission Summer weekly webcasts (Sunday Night LIVE) will be hosted nationally, and the training content is being developed with coordination from national and local level leadership. Though Mission Summer is nationally directed, we would encourage identifying local leaders (students, staff or volunteers) because this is where we saw the the most positive ministry results in 2013.
  • Communication - Weekly theme and training points are emailed to participants, information posted on a web page/blog/facebook, with coaching calls for key student leaders as we have capacity to serve students.  Sunday night LIVE provides an hour for online connection, interviews, stories, content dialogue and celebration along the way. These nights will launch each week’s theme and encourage groups to stay connected.
  • Leveraging Technology to Learn & Connect - Cru is continuing to discover and use the best methods of leveraging technology that is helping faculty and students with Cru to connect and learn socially and lead more effectively.

How Does it Serve Students?

  • Every high school or college student from every ministry context has access to a summer project experience wherever God might call them as long as they have internet access.
  • Overview
    • Week 1 – Moving Where you Are - Spirit-filled Life
      • God is moving where you and invites us to live the Spirit-filled life.
    • Week 2 – God Moves Around Me - Personal Testimony
      • God moves around us and is inviting us to discover and use our stories to join Him in this work.
    • Week 3 – God Moves Through Me - Discipleship
      • God moves through us and is inviting us to walk in obedience in light of the Great Commission to disciple others.
    • Week 4 – God Moves Mountains - Sharing the Gospel
      • God moves mountains as we step out in faith to share the Gospel with other.
    • Week 5 – God Keeps Moving - Eternal Perspective
      • God keeps moving, an eternal perspective will help us to see that he is always moving–no matter our circumstances.
    • Week 6 – God Moves Me - The 5 Things
      • God moves me…this week we will talk through 5 Things to help you think through your unique gifts and talents, how to involve yourself in meaningful community, and ways you can make God known wherever He may lead you.
    • Week 7 – God Moves the Nations - Prayer for the Campus, Cross-Cultural Ministry, the Nations
      • God moves the nations and invites us to partner with him in prayer for our campuses and the nations.
    • Week 8 – Moving Out - 6 Week Plan for Returning to Campus. 
      • God has moved this summer. How is he calling you to move out?
  • Three “Routes” of involvement are available to students, to tailor their commitment based on their availability.  Each route includes Sunday night LIVE webcasts, steps for training and development and varied outreach and community events. Minimal involvement will mean connecting to the webcasts on Sunday nights.
    • Route 1 – Show up, read article, discuss
    • Route 2 – Step of Faith, Read an Article, Listen to a Talk
    • Route 3 – Step of Faith, Read an Article, Listen to a Talk (More Involved than Route 2)

How does Mission Summer serve our field staff and local movements?

  • Continues movement building into the summer.  Students will connect with each other locally and nationally for 8 weeks. As they continue to grow where they are for the summer, the hope is that they will stay connected with God and others, and be ready to lead from day 1 in the fall.
  • Multiplies the efforts of field staff into the summer, as students are trained and challenged in outreach and community building.
  • Invites field staff and/or local volunteers who have fewer summer responsibilities to coach student leaders, even if not on location with them.  Weekly coaching calls and emails provide encouragement and accountability for student groups.
  • Increases vision of student leaders in your local movements as they see and experience how God is at work over the course of the 8 weeks in other campuses and cities.  We hope this will spark each student leader’s motivation to continue be involved in your local movement and invest globally in God’s mission.
  • Sunday Night LIVE “broadcasts” also expand student vision for global missions through student testimonies from around the world, etc.

Action Steps:

  • Consider where you are in your summer strategy planning. How could individual students or your movement as a whole benefit from the Mission Summer experience of students growing in their faith and living on mission at home, their internships, or summer school?
  • If you offer a Summer Cru option, consider incorporating Mission Summer as part of the plan.
  • As you and your team transition from recruiting for traditional summer projects, challenge your key and emerging leaders who are unable to go on a traditional summer project to apply and give leadership to Mission Summer for your movement this summer.
  • Application Link: http://gosummerproject.com/projects/846
  • Want to help continue to shape Mission Summer with us? More Questions? We are here to help: E-mail or call Karl Glendenning, the Mission Summer project director - Karl.Glendenning@cru.org or (407) 826-2063.

Karl Glendenning for Mission Summer and the Summer Project Team

Destino Tracks March 10, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching.
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Devin Tressler coaches students leading Destino movements on several campuses around the country. He is also the Destino Ambassador Liaison, helping ambassadors launch and build Destino movements.

Since Devin covers essentially the same things with the couple dozen staff and student leaders, he found it helpful to start sending a periodic email to them. He calls it “Destino Tracks”.

A recent issue pointed me to Devin’s primer on ethnic identity, Exploring Ethnic Identity. Devin talked about how we are all created with culture. He also gave examples of familiar Biblical characters who were ethnic minorities living in a different majority culture. Moses, a Hebrew growing up Egyptian, Ruth, an immigrant marrying into a Jewish family, and several others had to contend with culture and ethnicity. Very helpful.

Other Tracks covered decoding, where to find Latino students, small group Bible studies, outreach ideas, and having a fiesta!

If you are coming across Latinos and have an interest in starting Destino, let me encourage you to subscribe to Destino Tracks. You can sign up here.

Student-Led Movements in Nebraska March 3, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Leadership, Student Ownership.
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In the last few weeks, I happened to be included in three different conversations initiated by others concerning Student-led movements.

In one conversation, CFM Executive Director, Patty McCain, asked Terah Wiekamp, where they have students as MTLs and what it was like. Terah and her husband, Ethan, are MTLs for the Nebraska Team. Besides working with the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, their team also coaches student leaders around the entire state.

Patty:  “Can you describe where you have students as MTL’s and what it’s like?” 

Terah:  “I love your question, and the short answer is—it’s awesome having students own the whole movement!!  Finding the right students is key, of course, but the campuses we coach that are student-led are some of the most fun for us to be on.

“Just to give you a short description of our team and scope…as we’ve joined with the past UNL team over the last two years.  Our scope consists of 17 schools that have a consistent group and are led in different contexts.  Seven of those campuses are 2-year Community Colleges and the other 10 are 4-year schools, both public and private.  As you mentioned, we have volunteers and pastors heading up the coaching on a few of these campuses, and some are purely student-led.

“The most success we’ve had with student-led ministries (where students are acting as MTL’s) are on our 4-year state schools, and a couple of our 4-year private schools.

“Probably the school we’ve seen the most from, as far as multiplying movements go, is Wayne State College, a campus of 3,200 students.  WSC is two hours from the city our team is in and was launched in 2000.  It has had a movement with anywhere from 120-250 students involved. On average, we go to this campus 2-3 times a semester and may see these student leaders at Fall Getaway, Christmas Conference, Men’s & Women’s Retreats, and Summer Project.

“The majority of our coaching happens over the phone and isn’t necessarily an every week appointment.  We have phone conversations and plan trips to campuses, kind of on a needs basis.  If student leaders want us to speak, do training, or come help with team dynamics or hard issues they are wrestling through, we plan accordingly.  We’ve encouraged students to seek out people in their church to connect with on a regular basis for discipleship sort of stuff and made ourselves available to call whenever for coaching and ministry related things (of course some personal development naturally happens in this as well).

“The paradigm we work out of is VR SELC.  Vision, Relationship, Surface, Empower, Launch, Coach.

  • Vision:  We are always casting vision for seeing multiple movements everywhere, so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus.  Vision is not a statement, it’s a word picture, and we make sure students and staff can paint that picture for people who are interested in getting involved.
  • Relationship:  We have real relationships with the students we are working with and initiating with.
  • Vision and Relationship are an umbrella over the next four part cycle.
  • Surface:  Finding people of peace and fresh leaders.  Seeing the places on campus we aren’t on and praying for someone in that context to be raised up.
  • Empower:  Calling out greatness in people and showing them they have what it takes to follow where God’s calling them.  We appreciate our leaders personally and publicly a lot.  We resource them to help them be successful.
  • Launch:  We let go!
  • Coach:  Just like a good coach on a basketball team, we observe from the bench, show them drills to improve their skills at practice, and demonstrate certain skills when needed.  We are only a phone call away and they know we are accessible.  We also lead with questions a lot while coaching so they figure out why they are doing what they’re doing.

“And then the cycle repeats itself.  At any point on campus we could be in one of these areas with one person and another with the next person. (Ethan has this paradigm in a training document we’ve used.)

“On any of the student-led campuses we coach, we are most intentional with the students who make up the Servant Teams.  Depending on the time we have on the campus, we may meet individually or in groups with these students.  We also have a retreat in August for every leadership team in the state for training, encouragement, and to take time to solidify plans for their first 6 weeks.

“One thing we consistently train on is DNA.  Check out thiscampus.org.

“One of the most important things on a student-led campus is transitioning the leadership well. This means we are looking for new leaders already in the Fall and begin asking our student leaders to write down lists of potential leaders by Christmas Conference (this includes any Freshmen they see as upcoming leaders).  Every Spring we spend much of March and April working on transitions.  We try to meet each of the people the Servant Team is hoping to invite on, and that also gives a quality control as far as getting the right leaders in place.

” feel like a lot of what we do is pretty simple, it’s just a matter of putting our feet on campus and being willing to start something new.  If staff are willing to let students have a few crazy ideas and fail every now and then they might be surprised!  Students are so effective at reaching their campus because of their presence in classes, the dining halls, clubs, etc.  Where we as staff come in as outsiders, students have an insiders-advantage at relational evangelism.  The campuses we see multiplication happening on are places where students understand that there are lost people on their campus and they care enough to do something about it.  They understand that the weekly meeting isn’t for them, as much as it is a venue for their non-believing friends to experience a Christ-centered community that is made up of transformed lives.

“When we came on staff Craig Johring would always tell us, “Do what only you can do”.  Empowering students to lead in the capacities they can enables us to go to new places on campus or even go to another campus that may have no Christ-centered community at all.  Until we launch them though, we may find ourselves “empowering” over and over again because true ownership has not been given.  Trusting students and allowing them to really own the mission and movement sometimes causes us to question whether we are useful or needed, but I think this insecurity comes only because we haven’t taken the time to think about where we could really be used or needed.

“I hope this answers some of what you were looking for!  We love student leadership and see it as incredibly strategic to reaching every student, but by no means do we think we have it figured out. We are working to establish UNL with a Servant Team currently and know that a larger University setting looks different too!”


Thanks, Terah, for letting me pass these insights along.

Previous tips on Student-Led Movements
- Student-Led Movements
- Moving from staff-led to student-led…from a student’s perspective
- Student-Led Movements in Brazil

Balancing Relationships February 24, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Leadership, Personal Growth.
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About this time of the semester you may be feeling a bit tired.

Ministry is great. It is a privilege to be involved in sharing the Gospel, leading people to Christ, helping them grow in a relationship with the Lord, and imparting vision to leaders.

But ministry can be tiring. Some people can be particularly draining. If you are an introvert, like I am, you may feel it more acutely. That’s why it is important for us to have people in our lives who build into us while we are giving out.

At a conference I attended last week our speaker talked about leading for the long haul. He mentioned a number of things, but one concerned balancing our relationships. He mentioned five types of people that Gordon MacDonald talks about in Restoring Your Spiritual Passion.

1. Very resourceful people. VRP. These ignite your passion.
2. Very important people. VIP. These share your passion.
3. Very trainable people. VTP. These catch your passion.
4. Very nice people. VNP. These enjoy your passion.
5. Very draining people. VDP. These sap your passion.

Many have referred to these five types of people. If you google “very draining people”, most entries reference these.

Those above the line, VRPs and VIPs, put energy into our lives. Those below take energy out. Most of us in ministry spend most of our time with those below the line. That’s natural, but we need to have some in our lives who ignite and share our passion to fill our tanks as we minister.

Two thoughts come to mind. First, even while you are at the height of busyness in the semester, why not consider a possible VRP or VIP who might impart energy to you. They may be in your church. They may be friends or mentors. Taking steps now to fill your tank will help you give out over the long haul. Second, which type of person are you to your teammates? Is there a possibility that you drain some more than you impart to them? An honest assessment, helps to know areas of personal growth.


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