Decoding Family and Friends over Christmas December 2, 2013Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Discipleship, Evangelism.
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Typically, 1 out of 10 students in our ministry join us as interns, stint-ers or staff after graduation.
So that means what students experience over the Christmas break will more approximate what 9 of 10 will find life and ministry like after graduation.
Ministry on campus isn’t typical of what they will find in the working world. If a freshman, eager to learn how to share her faith, can’t find others interested in her dorm, she can get experience sharing in other dorms. Our principle of “sowing broadly” makes it possible to train thousands of students every year to share their faith, follow up new believers and disciple others.
But what if the only ones interested in spiritual things already profess to be Christians, nerdy uncle Al and senile great-aunt Mabel? Do we just stop there and assume everyone else is not interested? How do we engage everyone else regardless of where they are on their spiritual journey?
I’ve talked about decoding office co-workers before in a tip called Missional Map. The Missional Map and “How to” guide could be really helpful in understanding where people are that we spend time with over Christmas.
Demarick Patton on the 100%Sent Team developed the map to help us see that people don’t just fit into interested/not interested categories. Rather, it asks five questions about each person in our lives.
- Do they Trust Me?
- Do they have a Growing Curiosity?
- Are they Open to Change?
- Are they Seeking God?
- Are they Following Jesus?
The Missional Map helps us to engage specifically with each person. Ministry is much more relational. Most of it begins on that trust level. Are we building the relationship? Do they know we care? Can they trust us enough to share deeper stuff? This is more typical of what a graduate will encounter as they seek to have a ministry in the marketplace.
While the Missional Map was designed for team use, why not print out a bunch of copies of page two of Demarick’s how to guide? Then when you meet with disciples over the next few weeks, give them a copy and encourage them to decode their families and friends over break. Ask them to write down who they expect to see over break. Encourage them to make a point to learn where each person is on their spiritual journey and which threshold they need to cross first.
Then in January, sit down with each student to ask how it went, where did God open doors that were unexpected, where were folks on the map, and what would be the next logical step to help each one step over their particular threshold of faith.
Their main focus is to ask questions to learn where folks are and then determine how to encourage others to cross that threshold. These are all skills everyone needs to develop if they want to minister for a lifetime out of the overflow of their lives. It is what our graduates will need if they intend to have a ministry in an office with 18 co-workers?
Ideas Generating Ideas November 25, 2013Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Leadership.
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Have you looked at CruPressGreen lately?
I went to CPG recently to look for a document and decided to poke around a bit. It has been re-designed and it’s easier to navigate through the hundred’s of resources.
- Growing movements.
- Small groups.
- Body life.
Each category is broken down into sub-topics. For example, Evangelism organizes around Outreach Strategies, Evangelism Training and Apologetics. It is easier to find something when I don’t know I what I’m looking for.
Some of the other features include.
- “Green Blog”—Great insight from various staff.
- “New on Green”—New resources and ideas for our ministries.
- “Featured Resources”—Some of the best of what staff, students, faculty and volunteers are using.
Just for the fun of it, I clicked on something listed in the New on Green section called “Text 4 Cookie Outreach“. It describes it as a “two-day outreach strategy that gives Residence Hall students an opportunity to get free cookies and ask their questions about God while training your Cru students in apologetics and evangelism.” I was intrigued.
Years ago I did a tip on Christmas outreach ideas. I keep looking for new ideas that others use. I thought this Text 4 Cookie idea could easily be adapted to ask what people think of Christmas or whether they think Jesus’s birth has any relevance to us today.
One of our high school coaches, Stephanie, says she makes sure to take time each week to look at resources on our websites. That is a good practice. If you haven’t bookmarked CPG, why not put it in your favorites and make it a practice to go through one section every week? Just call it “continuing education”. What new idea can you come up with each time?
Group Discipleship November 18, 2013Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Discipleship.
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One of our MTL’s in a meeting of metro directors asked if others did discipleship one-on-one or in groups. The consensus seemed to be mostly by groups.
Shawn Cramer, City Director, Denver Cru, shared some of the reasons why he went from one-on-one to group discipleship. I asked if he would tell me more and if I could share with you. Here are his thoughts.
I’ll never forget Ken Cochrum (then leading the global student-led movement team) putting a $100 bill on the front of his podium, and saying, “This one hundred dollar bill is for the person who can show me a passage where Jesus meets one-on-one with one of his disciples.”
I quickly went through a Rolodex of verses, and couldn’t think of any. There are one-on-one times with the lost (like the woman at the well), but never with his disciples.
I believe Jesus tapped into something powerful in this group dynamic. He had his “twelve”. He also had his “three” who saw some of the most amazing of Jesus’ miracles, witnessed him at his emotional highs and lows, and leaned against him during the last supper.
Consider with me some of the great advantages of group discipleship:
- Time efficiency.
- The power of students beginning to hold other students accountable.
- A great means for introverts to meet (counter intuitively!). Introverts can be formulating their answer while another is speaking (I fell on to this bonus by accident over breakfast at a conference with a bunch of engineering majors.).
- Time spent on dating relationship drama is kept to a minimum (Thankfully!). I think this is because students self-consciously don’t want to monopolize the time.
- The great honor when students begin affirming and encouraging other students.
- Students become less and less dependent on the staff.
- More time is available to have those rare one on one appointments.
- My life post-college is one of initiating with my mentors if I want time. This sets that tone early.
- Disciples learn from us by what we do with them and away from them. Spending time with the lost has been the best thing I’ve done for discipleship. These believing students know that I’m with them on mission.
Try it this next semester! I hope and pray students begin playing off each other, encouraging each other, meeting without you and you magically have hours and hours freed up in your schedule to be on mission with God seeking and saving the lost.
I like these thoughts. They brought to mind the Christian classic, Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman. Jesus selected a few. But it was a few. I especially liked Shawn’s comments about introverts. As one whose first language is introversion, sometimes the hardest people for me to draw out are other introverts!
There are times, as Shawn said, when it is appropriate to meet one-on-one. But he taps into the idea of the Holy Spirit using the group environment to cause growth.
Building Trust in Evangelism November 14, 2013Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Evangelism.
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James and Elizabeth Medina, Destino MTL’s in Los Angeles, began their ministry last year with a handful of students. But they said the learning process for building a Destino movement has been difficult.
James explained that the main issue is “How do we build trust with the non-believer in 30 seconds? In a minute? In 5 minutes? Over 3 appointments?” They purposely wait to share Knowing God Personally until they have built trust, typically not until the third appointment.
I was intrigued, so I asked if they would tell me more. Read on for more about Building Trust in Evangelism.
Like many of us, James and Elizabeth conduct surveys and seek to follow them up. When they call for an appointment, they explain that they want to learn more about them and how they got there.
Also, like many of us, they often get stood up. After an hour, they will text them to say that they were sorry to miss each other. Then they ask about trying next week. They minimize the missed appointment, because nothing is gained when if they focus on shame. Instead, they praise the circumstances of their life that led to the missed appointment. If it was because of studies, they commend them for valuing their academics. They operate on the principle that “it is better to leave a gift, than a guilt.”
Sometimes after several attempts they are able to meet with the student. They find that their persistence shows care for that student.
I asked what they talk about in the first conversation. James said he focused on getting to know them. They ask lots of questions.
- How did you get here?
- What do you want to do?
- Does your family want you to do that?
- What does your family think of your being here?
- Did anyone else come with you?
- What do you want to get involved in?
They look for common ground. They ask about their spiritual background. They ask if they can show them the perspective cards sometime. They offer an open invitation to attend events.
They try to use the language of the community. Academics, leadership, service, mentoring, and giving back. They talk about spiritual mentoring and leadership development.
In the second conversation, James and Elizabeth ask how they are doing in the activities they talked before. They try to learn more about what their own needs are. As a result, they are painting a picture of spiritual need. In that context they share more about Destino and their own spiritual journey. They might bring up the Gospel in the conversation.
It’s during the third conversation when they are intentional about sharing the KGP. It seems to be a more natural way to connect the dots of activity, background, spiritual journey and the Medinas’ own story.
James, who is half Chinese and half Mexican, said, “My culture needs me to do a better job at expressing genuine care. I have watched a face go from interested to no longer interested. They shut down.”
Elizabeth observed that when they have had multiple interactions with someone before going through the Gospel, the student is more willing to continue the dialogue. She said they are seeing more genuine life commitment because they slowed the process down, but grew the level of trust.
Listening to them talk reminded me of the lessons learned in reading I Once Was Lost. The authors talk about five thresholds a non-believer must cross before entrusting Christ.
- Trusting a Christian. Moving from distrust to trust.
- Becoming curious. Moving from complacent to curious.
- Opening Up to Change. Moving from being closed to change to openness.
- Seeking After God. Moving from meandering to seeking.
- And Entering the Kingdom. Actually crossing into the Kingdom itself.
Each threshold has specific faith issues the non-believer must have satisfied and there are ways for us as believers to come alongside them in their journey.
It also reminded me of the SomeTime focus designed by our R&D Team.
Thanks James and Elizabeth for your contribution to sharing the lessons you have learned with us.
Some other resources that might be helpful.
Partnering for a Common Cause November 11, 2013Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Partnering.
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One of the Student LINC coaches, Daniel Hensley, told recently that one of the Cru ministries he coaches partnered with a gay and lesbian group on campus. They got together to collect clothes for a shelter.
It is likely that many Christians and probably some from the gay and lesbian community would oppose such working together.
So how do we decide with whom to partner?
I happen to be in a Skype meeting last week about partnerships and working to transform a city. The presenter was Sam Williams, a former pastor, seminary professor and global urban consultant who co-leads Vision San Diego, a coalition of business, government, education and churches working to make a difference in their city.
Here are some of my notes from his talk on principles related to partnering.
Partner around Purpose, not Program
We tend to think “Do you believe what I believe?” If the answer is “Yes.” then we can partner. Instead we need to look at partnering around a purpose, not a program. In other words, partnering doesn’t happen around worship, prayer or doctrine, but around things we care about.
Partner around Common Concerns
Ask the question “Do you care about what I care about?” How do we partner with those we don’t agree with? By doing things we do agree on.
He illustrated this by saying that 92% of prisoners are functionally illiterate. By helping teach 3rd graders to read we help to get to the root of illiteracy. Anyone can help them read. You don’t have to be a Christian to care whether people can read. But we know that if they can, they are more likely to make a positive contribution to society.
Partnering around Blessing
Jeremiah 29:4-7 NIV says,
“This is what the Lord…says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:…’seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because as it prospers, you too will prosper.’”
That word, “peace”, is shalom, meaning, “the complete welfare of.” He said people are rarely blessed and it’s easy to complain about public figures. But the easiest and most significant thing we can do is pray for someone.
Ask, “How can I pray for you?”
Then, “Can I pray for you now?”
He told of asking a mayor from a Jewish background and Buddhist in belief. Pastors gathered around and prayed for him. When they finished they noticed he was crying. He said, “That is the first time I have ever heard anyone pray for me.”
All cities have three sectors, and what he called nine domains of influence.
- Public. Domains include government, military and education.
- Private. Domains include business, media and arts/entertainment.
- Social. Domains include families, non-profits and the faith community.
Each sector has its unique strengths. The public sector makes the rules. The private sector has the resources. The social sector has the relationships, often with large numbers of volunteers who can and want to serve.
When partners from all nine domains participate, all share an interest in seeing kids graduate from school, the homeless cared for, battered woman protected, etc. We tend to have a lot more things in common than we think. The problems in our world today are too big for anyone to address alone. True partnerships are formed when everyone needs everyone else.
Williams suggested that in a campus setting, we could meet with administration with a spirit of wanting to serve. He said “How can I help you?” is a magic question. Other questions include
What do you see are the biggest problems on campus?
Who is responsible for solving them?
How can we help?
Daniel, encouraged his Cru leaders to get to know those they were partnering with in the gay and lesbian group. There were several reasons, but foremost was how we live out our DNA by serving and showing the love of Christ. Those relationships become the carriers of the Gospel.
So, who might we talk with about partnering from a set of common core concerns?
Many More Gospel Presentations November 4, 2013Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Student Ownership, Volunteers.
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“The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.”
Linda Woods, Bridges International Campus Coach, says this is the vision that motivates her. She coaches staff, students and volunteers to launch Bridges movements on campuses around the country where we don’t have full-time Cru staff. Here are her words.
I coach 18 campuses around the country from Orlando, Florida. I love my job!
I didn’t always ﬁnd it motivating though. The ﬁrst year I started out as a “distance ministry coach” I really missed the more personal face-to-face contact. I also felt like I couldn’t give my leaders the concrete help they needed. Also, how could I know that I was pouring time into the “right” leaders anyway?
It was around Christmas time of that first year, and I had a particularly discouraging day at the ofﬁce. I could hear my fellow ministry coaches on phone calls all around me. Of course, I felt they were better at this work than I was.
It was at that time that God showed me something I’ll never forget. He prompted me to add up the number of international students who had heard the Gospel message, during that Thanksgiving and Christmas season. I was coaching people at just three locations at that time.
When I did, I was blown away! I don’t remember the exact number, but it was well over 100. I remember being impressed that I could have never done that if I, as an individual, was working on one of those campuses. Yet, through my encouragement, prayer, training, resourcing, and planning, I have been able to help others accomplish this feat.
It is said that a coach can make or break a team. Well, I am not a perfect coach, but I know when to give ministry away and how to get out of the way. My team has grown since then, and so has the number of people we can inﬂuence, but I will always remember the way the Lord met me that ﬁrst Christmas and the vision He gave me for why I am a distance coach!
Today many, many more than those hundred plus on three campuses are being impacted by the vision, passion and considerable ministry experience that Linda has.
One of the tools Linda utilizes is Bridges in a Box.
Student-led Ministries in Brazil October 28, 2013Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Leadership, Student Ownership.
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Here is a story that needs to be told. I think you will find the level of student ownership really encouraging.
I was at a set of meetings recently where I met Liege Lopes. She sits on the Brazilian national team. As expansion director, she oversees summer projects, catalytic movements and stint.
Over a lunch I asked about their student-led ministries in 25 cities in Brazil. Here is one example.
- Elvia was Liege’s student leader in Natal. She was a very good leader. After graduation she married Neuber, a student in another city. For the next two years, Liege had no contact with Elvia and often wondered how she was doing. One day Liege received an email from Camila, a student on another campus in Picos. She said that her teacher, who turned out to be Elvia, told her to start a movement there and to contact Liege for help. Apparently, Elvia’s first step was to look for students to start movements. Her husband also started a movement on a university in yet another city. At this year’s student conference, many of the students attending came from those two campuses.
Liege has been on staff for eleven years now. She became a team leader in Rio and attended a catalytic training in 2004.
When the two who coached Brazilian campuses from a distance left staff in 2010, Liege was asked by her leadership to meet with the student leaders on those campuses. They were spread out in different five cities. She visited with all of them and learned all about their ministries.
While remaining team leader in Rio, she began to coach those leaders. In the meantime, Liege also became the coordinator for global and summer missions projects. The Brazilian national team sees the need to open in other cities and so they send projects to those cities to launch. But another key way to launch is with students. Liege and her student leaders follow up contacts left by those projects. Today there are ministries in 25 cities.
While the students have reproduced themselves, what, in effect has happened, are generations of cities with student-led ministries. The student leaders look at both their own city and their expansion team. Here is an example.
- Since 2010, Liege has coached her three main leaders in Maceio. They have a leadership team of 9-12 and have about 90 students involved from the three big universities there.
- That leadership team in Maceio provides leadership for the student leaders in another city, Arapiraca, with two main universities and 50 involved.
- Leaders in Arapiraca give leadership to the leaders in Delmiro Gouveia with 30 involved and in Palmeira dos Indios where there are over 20 involved.
I found Liege’s manner rather matter of fact. She wasn’t trying to impress me with stories. In fact, I sort of had to pump her for examples, like this one:
Aline came to their conference in 2011. She attended Liege’s two hour workshop on starting movements. One handout talked about growing from 1-10. Six months later, Aline had 30 involved. She called Liege saying she didn’t know what to do, because the paper only showed how to grow to 10! Now Aline is doing movements in two other cities. Liege has never visited Aline’s city, nor has she ever met with her personally.
One last thing you need to know, Liege doesn’t even live in Brazil today. For the last year, she has been living in Texas attending Dallas Baptist University and majoring in global leadership. She supervises two men coaching student leaders in nine cities. But she is still coaching her leaders in 16 cities by Skype or by phone calls and she stays connected by Facebook.
As we were wrapping up, Liege asked if she could share some hints.
- This is God’s work. Liege said she doesn’t have enough training and doesn’t think she is organized. She questions whether she is doing a good job or even doing things right. While Liege has a humble attitude about her own efforts, she believes God will work in big ways. She encourages others to look for God to work beyond what we are capable?
- We have to be flexible. She has appointments with students at midnight. But Liege would not say she is a workaholic.
- She is aware that students are busy. Many are studying and working, so we want to honor their efforts to serve and come alongside them. Sometimes she has all her leaders in a city on the call. Sometimes she Skypes into a leadership meeting. The students want to see her face.
- Liege tailors her coaching to the needs of her leaders. She distance coaches with most every other week. But some she only calls monthly. She tries to visit each city once a year, but there are some she cannot.
- She makes a point to answer emails and stays current on Facebook. She has a group on Facebook with all the leaders. They share ideas and have monitoring. The students are proud that they are sharing their faith.
- Obstacles may be blessings in disguise. There is one very interesting dynamic that Liege has been able to take advantage of. School years stagger across the nation. Some are on vacation while others are in session. They send students on vacation to meet with students that are in class.
This is a great story and these are great hints, Liege. We are challenged by what you have seen God do. Your ministry is proof that students can lead at a very high level. Sometimes we forget that.
It’s obvious that God is doing something supernatural in Brazil. Let us keep praying for God to work in ways far beyond what our own labors can accomplish. May we be willing to put ourselves in places where He must work.
Stephanie’s Coaching Practices October 21, 2013Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Student Ownership, Volunteers.
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Stephanie Walker is part of the Cru High School Coaching Center. She coaches high school students and volunteers in Orlando, California, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Alabama, and Mississippi. She also supervises a part time field worker in California and another in Alabama.
Stephanie was invited recently to share some of her distance coaching practices with a group of high school staff. Here is some of what she shared with them.
- Call every one, two or three weeks
- Call on the same day and time, if possible
- Take notes of the conversation
- Text several days before your appointment to confirm
Things to keep in mind
- State vision each week
- Keep their next steps simple and doable
- Each volunteer is unique and so is their ministry
- Praise every step forward; pour on the encouragement
- Move then toward the next stage of development
- Start with a personal question
- Follow-up with the prayer requests from the previous call
- Ask how they did on their next steps from that call
- Set new next steps
- Write down prayer requests
- Pray for them on phone
- Make next appointment
- Send any information they need in 24 hours
Stephanie shared with the group how meetings looked different if they were being held during the noon hour or after school. A coach provides direction for the student or volunteer leader. What works in one situation may not always work in another.
She also said that she as a coach takes 20 minutes each week to skim contents of their resource center. This helped her to stay current and to learn new tools to help her students and volunteers. She listed a bunch of her favorites.
- Preparing Yourself to Work With Students
- Planning Now for SYATP and SYATP website
- Speed Traps for Students
- Mobilizing Students to Pray
- Most Wanted
- Planning and Conducting an Outreach
- Testimony- Telling Others About Christ
- Testimony Worksheet
- Soularium and the training videos on CruPressGreen
- Essentials studies
- Falling Plates
- I Am Second
Finally, Stephanie gave her listeners ideas for keeping win, build, send central in their ministries. The things she gave them were specific to students leading in a high school setting.
From my seat, I hear Stephanie coach her volunteers. It is fun hearing her talk to, laugh with, and pray over her leaders. If you get a call from someone who wants to start a ministry on a campus that you can’t drive to, why not try coaching them from a distance.
Two previous tips on coaching plans.
Discover, Understand & Embrace Your Scope, Pt. 2 October 14, 2013Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Launching, Prayer, Student Ownership.
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In my last tip I mentioned a website that our Global ministries use to train staff to launch new movements. I focused on one of their training modules. But I only gave you part of it, the discovering and understanding part. Today, I want to pass on the prayer aspect.
MOVEMENTS OF PRAYER: THE SUREST WAY TO LAUNCH NEW MINISTRIES
Many of the universities we are seeking to reach have been under the enemy’s domain for many years. He will not give them up without a fight. We are in an intense spiritual war. We need to fight the spiritual war with spiritual weapons.
When Dr. Bright began CCC in obedience to God’s call on his life, he knew that there was a real battle, so he recruited a 24 hour prayer chain in his church to recruit believers to pray as they took the gospel to the University of California in Los Angeles. The rest is history. In that first year over 200 students indicated decisions for Christ and CCC was born…all out of a movement and foundation of prayer.
Beyond any doubt the most important thing you could do is recruit and mobilize prayer for the universities you are seeking to reach.
DEVELOP A PRAYER STRATEGY FOR YOUR SCOPE: MATTHEW 9:35-39
- When you look at the scope, what kind of prayer support do you need?
- What is God calling you to do internationally, nationally, and locally to mobilize a broad prayer initiative?
- Who can you call to join you? How can you call them to prayer?
Get students involved in praying for their own campus! Often a new ministry starts in a university as God moves in the hearts of 2-3 students to pray for their university and for laborers. Even if new students don’t know how to share their faith yet or make disciples, they can begin to pray and ask God to use them to take steps to reach their university…
Primarily through a movement of prayer, Ethiopia’s SLM ministry grew from a few to over 7000 trained student leaders in just a few years!
May this be an encouragement to you in your own ministry and launch attempts. As Gadissa, a student leader on his campus said, prayer is “changing the past history of our country.”!
Talking to those who intimidate October 11, 2013Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Leadership, Personal Growth, Trusting God.
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I was in a conversation recently on the topic of college students doing high school ministry. They said it was like running through the adult gauntlet. When I asked how so, they said that someone ministering on a high school level must navigate several audiences in addition to students (parents, teachers, youth leaders, principals, etc.). This could be rather intimidating.
Read on to see one simple way to help prepare students to minister to those who might be more intimidating such as what they would find in a high school setting or even when they minister in the marketplace after graduation.
I’ve been hearing that leaders in our ministry are asking our staff to take a significant faith step by talking with college presidents. Mark Gauthier has told new staff classes to meet presidents. And Rick Hove, Executive Director, Faculty Commons, asks their staff to do the same thing. Doing so is a more visible and, likewise, riskier proposition than ministering only to faculty and students. I like that.
My wife and I pioneered the ministry at the University of Rhode Island. I got fairly comfortable ministering to students, until one day someone introduced me to the Leadership Interview and suggested I begin going through this with fraternity presidents, athletic team captains, faculty, administrators, etc.
That got me out of my comfort zone. But one of my most memorable conversations from eleven years at URI occurred on when I interviewed the president of the wildest fraternity on campus. I will write about it sometime. But talking with leaders built my faith and raised the visibility of my ministry. I could no longer minister in obscurity. And…it prepared me for greater ministry opportunities.
I don’t have the interview form I used. But here’s one that’s similar.
- What position do you hold and what are the major responsibilities of your position?
- What caused you to seek this leadership position?
- Do you enjoy leading and leadership? Why/ why not?
- What are your greatest motivations in life?
- Who is someone you admire as a leader? What qualities in them do you admire?
- What kind of person are you wiling to follow?
- Characterize your leadership style?
- In what areas would you like to develop as a leader? What skills would you like to develop?
- From your perspective, what are the greatest needs people have? What are the hot topics those you lead talk about?
- As a Christian group on campus, we are interested in how people feel about Christianity and the person of Jesus Christ.
- What qualities do you admire about Jesus?
- What do you think he offers people today?
- On a scale of 1-10, what do you feel is the spiritual interest of students today?
- If you were in our shoes trying to expose students to Christ in a positive way, what would you do?
- Are you familiar with what we share with students on campus?
You may want to change some of the questions. But let me encourage you to ask student leaders to interview other campus leaders above their current comfortable zone, for all the faith growth reasons mentioned.
That way, if they did want to minister on a high school, it wouldn’t be a stretch to speak to parents, teachers and principals. Or, once they graduate, they will be prepared to speak with supervisors, superiors, and owners of the company if they intend to minister in the marketplace.