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Volunteer Brochure November 17, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Leadership, Volunteers.
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Many of us were gearing up for a Metro and Distance Coaching Roundtable here in Orlando. Based on attendance, we reorganized our content and had a valuable set of meetings. One segment featured, Ben Rivera, Student LINC coach, interviewing Levi Boyenger, Part Time Field Staff at Kansas State.

You may recall that there was a feature article in Worldwide Challenge in October about Levi and Katie. They started out as volunteers leading a team of volunteers reaching campuses in Wichita.

Our roundtable enjoyed hearing how they got involved and some of their heart and vision. After we finished the video chat, there was lots of discussion.
Most of it focused on involving more volunteers in our movements.

One of those in the room, Erick Lettner, Milwaukee Metro, offered a volunteer brochure folks could use.

The best thing about this brochure is the many ways that potential volunteers can get involved. Most people tend to start at easy levels and then increase their commitment. Milwaukee’s brochure offers specific, tangible ways folks can commit to 30 minutes, an hour, 2-3 hours, 5-6 hours, or 10 hours a week.

Volunteers can help provide leadership and continuity when student leadership is in transition. We often say the best student-led movements have long-term indigenous volunteers around. They provide the glue from class to class, and from the community to the campus.

Going and Growing Near and Far November 14, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Launching, Student Ownership, Trusting God, Volunteers.
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Our vision of reaching every student and faculty member for Christ on every high school and college campus can create tension for us between “growing where we are” and “going where we aren’t”.

Nathaniel Broughton, MTL, Twin Cities Metro, is living out this tension first-hand. He and his family and a team of others are two weeks into a month-long expedition to Poland. Nathaniel left a young Bible study in the hands of a volunteer for the month.

Their goal is to raise up at least three Key Leaders and others aligned to our mission in their city of 100,000 college students. They hope to leave behind a self-sustaining movement to be coached from a distance by staff in country.

Two weeks into the expedition, Nathaniel joined our Distance Coaching Roundtable for a video chat. We were fascinated by their efforts to raise up leaders. After he finished with us, he was meeting with a pastor and had plans to take one student already interested out to share Christ.

But beyond raising the money to take his family to Poland, Nathaniel had other costs to consider, particularly as a team leader and for his Bible study on one of their campuses. It wasn’t an easy decision to go away for a month. Others suggested he not go. But Nathaniel had a volunteer who had not led before, and was able to get him up to speed to lead his study while they were gone.

Nathaniel is walking in the same tradition as Paul and Barnabas being sent out from Antioch. That church sent out leaders, those who had successful ministries at home. There was a cost to that church, but what a dividend in terms of many other churches planted.

Our roundtable noticed the obvious similarities between what Nathaniel and his team intends to do in Poland and what he had done at home. His volunteer is developing confidence as he leads. Students in Poland are entered into the mission. We seek to raise up laborers, students, faculty, volunteers, parents, etc. committed to winning, building, and sending for a lifetime.

Faith Building and Vision Expanding November 10, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Discipleship, Sending.
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I remember when I was a sophomore at Penn State, my Bible study leader, Doug Rhine, who recently went to be with the Lord, worked really hard to get me to the fall retreat. When all my excuses didn’t work, I eventually stopped by his room with my registration money.

The things I learned that weekend, the relationships I built, and the fun I had all made me want to go to every conference after that. At a winter conference, I decided to go on a summer project. On project, now called mission, I decided to join staff.

Think back over your own experience. What were those faith-building, vision-expanding events that helped you understand God’s calling upon your life? Who invited you to go? God may have used such a person and a conference or mission in a profound way in your own life.

This is the time of the year, when we think about recruiting for winter conferences. We also want to recruit for summer missions as well. Our students are going home over Thanksgiving break. That’s a great time to encourage them to talk with their parents about attending.

If it’s important to get students to conferences on campuses where we are physically present, it’s even more important on those campuses we occasionally or never visit.

Think how you can recruit widely, even to those campuses or communities where you may only have a name. It would be great if you can sweeten the pot for them to come. If they do attend, it may be the only face to face time you will get with them. And think what they might be able to trust God for when they get back to their campus.

Adding to what you do. November 3, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Discipleship, Evangelism, Partnering.
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As I write this we are visiting our oldest son’s family. They just had their third baby. Playing with big sister and brother and holding little Jude reminds us what it was like with our own three boys.

Caring for a newborn is a 24/7 proposition. Up nights. Feeding. Changing diapers. Getting pee-ed on. (Yes, I did.) Etc. Etc. His parents are tired. We’re here to help for a few days. As with most new parents, they love their kids, and they welcome involvement from others they trust.

The parallels to the spiritual realm are many. You share your faith, you lead someone to Christ, and then you follow them up. But what kind of care are you giving that newborn babe in Christ when you’re not there? All kinds of questions, doubts, and skepticism from friends can creep in when you’re not there to set their hearts at ease.

I was on a phone call recently with others talking about integrating EveryStudent.com into our normal day-to-day, face-to-face ministry.

Suppose someone prays to receive Christ. Ideally, you would try to meet with them the next day to go through initial follow up. In reality it might be several days, during which they could have lots of discouragement and doubts. Why not take them directly to StartingwithGod.com and have them sign up? By the time you meet again, they would have received one or two emails, answering questions, and providing assurance about their decision.

Then when you meet for normal follow up, what you would normally give them reinforces what they’ve read and solidifies their understanding.

Or how about this? Suppose you shared your faith and they had questions. Your first impulse is to schedule another meeting. But why not show them EveryStudent.com and point out some articles there? Then schedule that meeting?

Here is the point. EveryStudent.com and StartingwithGod.com are available 24/7. You won’t be in that dorm or the Union at 2:30am for their questions. But they can read an email, follow links, read more topics, wonder about that question too, and, generally, receive excellent input that you can help interpret. And you showed them how to access them.

Sometimes we dichotomize between personal and internet ministry. But by using EveryStudent.com right alongside your normal evangelism and discipleship, you partner more purposely with the Holy Spirit and increase the amount of care you provide.

If you are not familiar with EveryStudent.com or StartingwithGod.com, why not carve out 15 minutes to browse through the sites. Think who you would like to show these to that you will meet with this week. Then download the Ripple Effect, Marilyn Adamson’s free, e-book at EveryStudent.info, the resource site for the other two.

You can extend your reach and build disciples more effectively.

There’s got to be an easier way! October 27, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Launching, Student Ownership.
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  • Someone attended your Fall Conferences from another campus. They expressed interest in having Cru there.
  • A freshman with lots of promise told you they have good friends on a campus where there is no Cru and asked you if there was a way to get something started there.

You want to say “Yes!”, but you’re not sure you can swing spending a day driving to their campus to get things started.

Brian Hudkins, Launch Specialist on our Student LINC team, never travels to any campus where he starts a ministry. Instead he sends links to several articles to potential leaders and asks them to read them and record their impressions. His conversations focus on the heart of a leader and our ministry distinctives that they pick up from those articles.

You can do the same thing. In three or four phone calls you could start a new movement.

After his initial conversation getting to know them, Brian asks them to read these articles. They are all short, one or two pages only.

After discussing those, he asks them to read these.

After his third conversation.

The value of doing this from a distance is how clearly this communicates to them that they are the leaders and that they will be responsible.

But think how exciting it will be when you see God use you and to launch someone else into a ministry of evangelism and discipleship in their sphere of influence!

Natural Mode Evangelism, Part 2. October 19, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Evangelism.
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Last week, I wrote about training others to share their faith in their own spheres of influence, and to do it in a natural way.

I mentioned two of the five simple ways that my wife, Chris, helps graduates of our movements who are now in the marketplace to engage others in spiritual conversations, “Sometime.” and “I wonder.” Here are the other three.

Raising a faith flag.
A Faith flag is a simple, non-threatening way to introduce faith into a conversation. It’s a brief statement and is told in the natural course of the conversation. The point is simply to identify you as a person of faith.

Suppose someone mentions that she is discouraged. You might say something like “I was discouraged recently and a friend gave me a set of truth cards with some Bible verses. That was such an encouragement to me.” Or maybe you share a specific answer to prayer.

What you are doing is looking to see how they respond to the topic of faith. Just as a flag on a ship identifies its nationality, faith flags are all about identity. Do they shoot at the flag or do they salute it?

Telling a spiritual story.
If a faith flag is a brief statement, a spiritual story is about some way God has worked in your life. It’s still short, maybe only 30 seconds or a minute in length. It is a way to see the truth lived out in your life.

Stories speak to emotions first, often bypassing the listeners’ prejudices. Because people remember stories, the hearer will take what you’ve said away with them and think about it at a time and pace of their choosing. And in our Post-Modern world, where truth is personal and experiential, people base decisions as much on emotions as facts.

The spiritual story might be the circumstances about God answering prayer, or about some way that you have seen God work to remake your outlook on life or toward others. But it’s your story. You may not share how to know Christ, but you do show that He is at work and makes a meaningful difference in your life.

Your story.

Your story is your testimony. Helping others write their personal testimony to share them in an outreach has long been an important skill in our ministry.

But often that three-minute testimony can come across somewhat canned in conversation. You don’t want to give a speech when you are talking to a friend. You are telling how you came to Christ in a natural, conversational way.

Spiritual stories and your story are both about your life. But your story is specifically about how you came to faith.

These five simple ways to engage others spiritually are not original with us. Two books Chris suggests would be.

They’re out there! October 14, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Launching, Leadership.
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Stephanie Walker talked with two girls in two days gung ho about starting ministries in their high schools. Brian Hudkins talked with five college students in the last week psyched about starting ministries on their campuses.

God has prepared potential leaders to plant win, build, send movements on high school and college campuses. And they are out there waiting for us!

Hearing Stephanie and Brian tell about their conversations got me thinking.

  • Are we opening up our ministry to others?
  • Are we spreading the net wide enough to find potential leaders?
  • Are we casting vision in such a way that others can see themselves leading win, build, send movements?
  • Do people see me as someone who can help them fulfill their vision of God using them?

Come along with me and let’s wrestle with some of these thoughts.

When our Campus Field Ministry National Team met last month, we had a session in which we asked “What can we leverage or what do we need to change to launch and build sustainable movements?”

Several things came out of that discussion.

  1. Cultivate the different gifting of those on missional teams so that those who pioneer and those who build get to live out their gifting.
  2. Learn from the bright spots where launching and building are happening.
  3. Clarify the steps needed to grow from one stage of development to another (Pioneering, Key Leader, Launched, Multiplying).
  4. Training in a number of areas including working with volunteers, distance coaching, and how to quickly install others in team leadership.

You may have seen this diagram before.

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 9.17.07 PM I like how from the very beginning we help the Key Leader think about reaching other leaders who can reach every context and beyond.

But a leader won’t lead if we don’t let them. Ken Cochrum in Close: Leading Well Across Distance and Cultures, writes:

“Few of those I spoke with, if any, mentioned that they wanted to have their direction set, their strategies formulated, or needed to be motivated by more words from leaders above them…

Leaders want a clear challenge to contribute to the organization’s purpose. That’s why most of them signed on. They want more clarity on the whats of the mission, not the hows. They’ll figure out how to get there. They want to be entrusted with more…

Leaders want to share leadership…Many leaders initially resisted this, claiming that the essence of leadership—at least in their culture—was having someone in charge to make the final decisions. Yet people don’t want to be led that way. They want to voice their opinions. They want to help shape overall direction…be engaged in issues and decisions that they will ultimately own. They long to share leadership.” (All emphases were the author’s.) loc 490-502.

Quite frankly, most of us hang onto leadership way too long. The quicker we give leadership to others, the faster we will see multiplication.

I am convinced that God cares more about the lost and reaching them than any of us ever will. I am also convinced that He is raising up others to reach those we cannot. Are we willing to look outside of our normal spheres of influence for those whom God has prepared? Are we willing to believe that God can use people to make a difference that we might not expect? And are we willing to get out of the driver’s seat and let those with the permit get behind the wheel?

I’ve mentioned this in a coaching tip before. But if you didn’t see it, let me encourage you to read the article in the September/October Worldwide Challenge about Levi and Katie Boyenger, volunteers leading other volunteers leading campus ministries in Kansas.

Have a great week launching and building new movements.

Natural Mode Evangelism October 13, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Evangelism.
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Last Spring, I posted a tip about our R&D Team’s Evangelism Café. It was an opportunity to put in one place our best evangelism tools broken down by modes–ministry, natural, and body.

We typically begin the campus year using lots of ministry mode approaches in order to find the most interested students. But we do want to help our students and faculty learn how to share their faith in their own spheres of influence, in the natural mode.

My wife, Chris, coaches some who have graduated from our ministry and are now in the marketplace. She frequently talks about five simple things that they can do to naturally engage in spiritual conversations with those they work with. These are things our students can do on their dorm floor.

“Sometime”.

I’ve talked about “Sometime” in a previous tip. Something as simple as asking a “Sometime” question helps you find out their level of interest and takes the pressure off in the moment.

Questions like

  • Sometime could I share with you the difference Jesus Christ has made in my life?”
  • “I would enjoy hearing more about your spiritual journey sometime.”

make having spiritual conversations more natural.

“I wonder”.

This comes from God Space by Doug Pollock. It recognizes the power of good questions and gives you a place to start a conversation.

“I wonder” is a way to find out what others are interested in and can invite them to search for answers. Some “I wonder” statements include.

  • “That’s interesting. I wonder how you came to that perspective.”
  • I wonder what role religion has played in shaping in your life.”
  • I wonder how my answer to that question made you feel.”

“I wonder.” opens up dialogue. It communicates respect and can lead others to self-discovery. You could be helping them wrestle with contradictions within their own belief systems.

Jesus often led with questions. In fact, at times he answered a question with His own question. When you ask good wondering questions you demonstrate that you are listening thoughtfully. Such questions come from a desire to better understand the person.

Open-ended questions are best. They promote further dialogue and have the potential to cause others to reflect, possibly leading to their own questioning.

There are three more simple ideas for engaging spiritually with others that Chris uses in her coaching. Next time I’ll tell about raising a faith flag, telling a spiritual story, and sharing your own story, a conversational take on the three-minute testimony.

1/3, 1/3, 1/3 October 6, 2014

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Launching, Student Ownership, Volunteers.
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Here is a general principle:
“When you launch a ministry, look for long-term, indigenous leaders as part of your critical mass.”

Most of us have seen movements start over the years with a great student leader or leaders with good chemistry. But when those students graduate, sometimes it’s difficult to replicate that same vision in the next generation of leadership.  Many of us find that start/restart cycle frustrating.

Now we love it when students lead. But having a faculty member, someone in the administration, a volunteer in the community, or an alum can help provide continuity from one year to the next. Eric Dellaire, Student LINC consultant, says the best movements he coaches have volunteers connected in a significant way.

Lee Davis, former staff in the Greater NorthWest Region, made a habit of meeting volunteers as a part of his campus visits. He called it his “1/3, 1/3, 1/3” plan. He normally coached students from a distance, But if he had a day on a campus, he would meet for two hours with the student leaders, two hours with the faculty advisor and other volunteers helping out, and two hours in the community raising support for the ministry there. This took work and planning on his part. But having the right critical mass ensured the long-term growth and impact of that movement.

So before you head out to that campus on your launching visit, why not

  • Consider if there are any alumni from other movements somehow connected with the campus.
  • Ask Faculty Commons staff if they are aware of any faculty there.
  • Find out where students attend churches and call to see if they have any faculty or administration folks interested in seeing a ministry start.

If you didn’t see it, let me encourage you to read the article in the September/October Worldwide Challenge about Levi and Katie Boyenger, volunteers leading other volunteers leading campus ministries in Kansas. There is also a video about their efforts.

Imagine how just a few minutes decoding a campus on-line and making a few phone calls could reveal some of what God has already placed there for a successful launch. It could also help that movement enjoy many years of impacting students there and wherever they go.

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.

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