jump to navigation

The Most Important Week of the Year. May 18, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Discipleship, Evangelism, Leadership, Planning.
add a comment

This, traditionally, is my Coaching Tip that closes out the campus year. I try to operate by the last thing said in the Spring is the most important thing in the Fall. However, next week, I am beginning a summer series of tips. Tune in next week at this time to learn more.

If you have received my tips for more than a year, you will no doubt have seen this one. These are Mike Woodruff’s thoughts on having a strong start in the Fall.

I like its focus on planning ahead, being intentional about our efforts and maximizing the single most critical week of the campus year. Not everything applies in our missional context, but this article speaks to the urgency of the first week on campus and the reality of how quickly a student determines allegiances on campus.

“Every group I’ve studied has followed roughly the same pattern.  In fact, with only two exceptions, I have never seen a campus ministry grow after the first month of the year.”

Off And Running by Mike Woodruff

Three weeks into the Fall quarter finds most students in a rut.  They’ve picked their classes, joined their clubs and scheduled every waking minute between now and Thanksgiving.  Some have carved out time for “significant others,” most will have set aside entire weekends for football, pizza and parties, and a few will even have blocked out an hour or two for class.  But by the end of the first month it’s all in stone.  And if attending your large group meeting isn’t in their schedule by then, there is little hope it will be there come May.

During my 8 years with a church-based campus ministry in Washington State, I watched student involvement at our large group meetings climb from 150 to 700.  With the exception of one small hiccup up, all of that growth occurred in the Fall.  If we ended Spring quarter with 200 students, we started back in September with 350.  That May we’d be down around 300-far from growing, every group seems to lose numbers over the year-but by the next Fall we started with 450.  We grew by starting strong.  Every other group I’ve studied has followed roughly the same pattern.  In fact, with only two exceptions, I have never seen a campus ministry grow after the first month of the year.  And that means that if you’re serious about expanding your influence you need to begin with a shout.  If ever there was a time for a home run, it’s the first meeting of the Fall quarter.

Be Ready:
 Of course, starting strong is hard to do because first meetings are full of early season mistakes. The worship team is rusty, the microphones are lost and no one can find a three-prong adaptor to plug in the overhead.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Use the summer to jump start the Fall.  Put summer students to work preparing publicity and drama.  Work on your first message during June and July so it’s one of the strongest you give.  Ask the worship team to come back to campus a few days early for a planning and preparation retreat.  Or hire the worship band from a local church to help you begin with a bang.  Hold a dress rehearsal the night before.  Make it a party and buy pizza for the whole team.

Additionally, apply the popular business philosophy of continuous improvement. Keep a separate file folder just for the events that occur during the first few weeks of the Fall quarter, and as those events unfold critique them.  What could we do next year?  How could we have reached out more effectively to freshman?  Should we have started the meeting earlier? Later? Gone shorter? Longer? By continually updating this file-technically called an After Action Report-you can insure that your kick-offs get better and better.

Be Visible:
  If you normally meet in a church or a room that is the least bit hard to find move your first meeting.  We picked one of the most visible buildings in the middle of campus even though that meant competing with a back-to-school kick off dance right outside the door. If your school has an activity fair where you can advertise, set up the best booth and offer the most free food. I’d suggest spending up to seventy-five percent of your advertising budget for the entire year on your first couple of meetings-and be creative.  Anybody can do posters.  Try banners, balloons, sandwich boards, flyers, blackboard blitzes and, of course, personal invitations. We sent out letters to all returning students welcoming them back to school and inviting them to our first meeting.  The invitation includes the who, what, where, when, and why of every event we have planned during the first week, and ends with me egging them to invite anyone and everyone they know to our very first meeting.  If they will send me the name of someone they’d like invited, I’ll send them a letter or give them a call.  We also make a special effort to reach freshman by handing out lots of flyers around the freshman dorms and in their registration lines. I know several Christian groups whose members come back to campus early just so they can help freshman move into the dorms.  They find that by being one of the first friendly faces a freshman meets it’s easy to form friendships that might later lead to a chance to share the Gospel or invite someone to a meeting.

The Sardine Effect:
  During the 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy’s advance man picked small high school gymnasiums for their political rallies.  He didn’t want the nicest auditorium to meet in; he wanted a place they could pack.  We’ve done the same. In fact, the room we now use seats 150 fewer students than we expect.  The fire marshal hates us, but the energy we create is incredible.

Pray, pray and pray:
  But not right before the meeting.  The last place you want your leaders just before the start of the first meeting is locked up in a room with you.  They should be out inviting friends, greeting early arrivals or picking up newcomers who need a ride.  Hold your prayer meeting earlier in the week or earlier in the day. That frees everyone up to deal with last minute headaches and mingle with people.

Force Fellowship:
  Helping freshmen feel welcome is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face; especially since upper-class students all gravitate to friends they haven’t seen in three months.  Place greeters at the door, plead with your Bible study leaders to befriend lost freshmen and end the meeting by asking people to find two people they don’t know and introduce themselves. I also explained that everyone-including our staff-feels like everybody here knows everybody else-except them.  The bigger the group the more of an issue this becomes and the more proactively you need to deal with it.

The Meeting:
  First meetings are not for regular attendees.  Serve food, skip inside jokes, explain all terms, don’t sing any songs that you do not have the words for and otherwise bend over backwards to make visitors feel welcome.  Screen all announcements and any drama to be certain they are done well.  Seekers and nominal Christians are more likely to check you out at the beginning of the year-actually, most everyone is there to check out the opposite sex.  This is a point I make during the beginning of my talk because it’s guaranteed to prompt lots of nervous laughter-so adjust worship and your first message. Be light. Be user friendly. Be funny. Be short. Your goal is to get them to sign up for a Bible study and come back next week, not explain the finer points of the hypostatic union.

“… the first 168 hours after a student sets foot on campus represents the most strategic time for them to get plugged into your fellowship.”

Follow Up:
  Life long friendships are often formed in the first few days of college, so cram as many opportunities for bonding into that week as you can.  We held a picnic the afternoon after our first meeting and sponsored a social event that weekend. Additionally, our staff worked around the clock placing people in small group Bible studies.  Our goal was that everyone who signed up for a study was contacted within twenty-four hours by his or her study leader.  That means at least one all-nighter for our staff, but it was worth it.  We wanted Bible Study leaders to be able to spend time with the members of their study during the first week.  They could meet with them at the weekend social, walk with them to church that first Sunday and sit with them at the next large group meeting.

Was all of this work easy?  Not hardly.  Trying to jump-start a college ministry is a lot like trying to kick start an aircraft carrier.  At least two or three people will nearly die of exhaustion.  But someone has to do it and without question the first 168 hours after a student sets foot on campus represent the most strategic time for them to get plugged into your fellowship.  Plan now to begin with a bang.

Tips for ending the campus year well
Ending the Year Well
March/April to do list
Transitioning to new leadership
Planning the first six weeks
Summer Survival
Summer Connect
Addressing Possible Leadership Holes

Six Principles of Relating to Adolescents May 14, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in High school students, Leadership.
4 comments

Today, as I write this, I learned that 704 individuals and groups have registered for Summer Connect. 173 of those applicants, 1 out of 4, indicated interested in reaching out to high school students while they are home for the summer.

Knowing how much those under 18 look up to college students and how responsive they are to the Gospel, that’s awesome!

But there are some things we need to know in reaching out to teenagers. Sensitive and legal considerations come into play in working with minors.

With that, let me share six principles of relating to adolescents that our high school ministry would want us to know.

SIX PRINCIPLES OF RELATING TO ADOLESCENTS

  1. YOU MUST ASSUME A LEADERSHIP ROLE.

Your relationship is not a peer-to-peer relationship. Due to the differences in age, experience and maturity, you must provide the leadership. It can be like an older brother or older sister or as an adult friend. Sometimes it’s much like a teacher-student or coach-student friendship.

As the leader it’s very important for you to be a positive model of maturity. You want to be real, but not if it means stooping to a lower level of mature behavior. High school students are very idealistic. They can become disillusioned easily if you appear inconsistent or immature.

On a college campus, staff and students can disciple each other more as peers. But in a high school ministry, the staff must provide more leadership in the relationship.

  1. FIND WAYS THEY CAN GIVE TO YOU. 

With all the input you are having in their life, it’s easy for the relationship to become somewhat unbalanced. You are helping them in many ways, but they also feel a need to contribute in some way to your life. Figure out what they can do to help you. Think creatively. They can help fix your car, teach you a new sport, help you with a hobby, or give you advice. In every case, your leadership is enhanced when there is balance. It helps to have give and take in the relationship.

  1. DON’T BECOME TOO DEPENDENT ON EACH OTHER. 

It sounds silly, but it happens. Obviously, your best friends need to be those your own age. You can’t expect high school students to meet all your friendship needs. And you can’t rely on your relationship with them – or ministry to them – to build your self worth.

Students can easily become dependent on us. Don’t ever control or smother their growth. They must become independently dependent on Christ. Be sure they are hearing from a variety of godly men and women.

Also, be careful about crushes that can sometimes develop. Watch how you relate with students of the opposite sex. It’s easy for them to grow fond of you and become emotionally attached. Our ministry’s standard operating procedure is for men to disciple guys and women to disciple girls. Serious counseling should also be turned over to a staff member of the same sex.

  1. BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR TRANSPARENCY. 

Imagine how you would have felt if one of the adults you admired had shared too much of himself with you. When we are overly vulnerable with young people, they don’t know how to handle it. Their idealism and lack of experience make it hard for them to understand the more intimate aspects of adult life. Be honest, be real, but be careful.

  1. BE AWARE OF HOW THINGS APPEAR TO OTHERS. 

Keeping kids out too late, telling parents you are going one place and then going someplace else, exaggerated physical affection, or even being alone with a student of the opposite sex can communicate things to other people that would make them suspicious of the relationship. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says to avoid all appearance of evil. Ask yourself: “Could this cause parents, an administrator, or any other students to distrust me in any way?”

  1. GET TO KNOW THEIR FAMILY. 

Did you have any significant relationships with adults whom your parents had never met? Obviously, knowing the family will enhance your ministry to the student, as well as give you an opportunity to minister to other family members. It’s important to establish a trusting relationship with them.

Do you want to go further?

Clarifying questions May 10, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Evangelism.
add a comment

I’m a part of a project this summer whose purpose is to compile the essential and best resources someone would use in growing a ministry from one person to a win/build/send movement.

These resources will then be put on a phone app, readily accessible for our student/volunteer/faculty leader. Each of us are looking over documents new and old and on lots of websites.

I don’t know if this will make the cut, but here are some questions that several of us over 25 years ago in New England compiled to help us in evangelism. This could be helpful for your students as they have Gospel conversations at home this summer.

Clarifying questions

A. Questions for breaking through barriers:

  • Do you consider yourself a truth seeker?
  • What’s your spiritual background?
  • Have you ever read the Bible?
  • Have your views on religion changed since you started college?  How?
  • What do you think the main message of Biblical Christianity is?
  • Why do you think you feel the way you do toward Jesus Christ and his message of love and forgiveness?
  • What is your philosophy of life based on?
  • Do you believe what you’ve been brought up with?
  • Do you think Christianity is relevant to your life?
  • If Christ is who He claimed to be, how would that affect your life?
  • What are you living for?  What do you value most?
  • If your questions could be answered in a way that would satisfy you, would you believe in Jesus?

Kennedy questions

1. Ask:  “If you died today, do you know for sure you’d go to heaven?
2. Or ask: “If you died and stood before God and He asked you ‘Why should I let you into Heaven?’ What would you say?”

B.  Questions to use while presenting the gospel:

  • What is sin?
  • Do you believe this definition of sin?
  • End of Principle 2: If this were all the Bible had to say about our relationship with God, what would you conclude?
  • What is a wage?
  • What is your concept of spiritual death?
  • Why did Jesus die?
  • It’s documented that there were more than 500 people who saw Jesus alive after he died. If this event went to trial and 500 witnesses were marched in, what would the jury decide? Is this eyewitness testimony enough to prove Christ’s resurrection beyond reasonable doubt?
  • What about Buddha or Mohammed? Did any other religious leader claim to be God? Did they overcome death?

C. Questions for bringing someone to a point of decision:

  • Who are you trusting to pay for your sin?
  • What would happen if you prayed this prayer?
  • What’s holding you back from making this decision? Why is____________ significant enough to keep you from deciding?
  • If ambivalent ask, “Do you understand the significance of this decision?
  • Why would anyone say this is the most important decision you’ll make?
  • Go to 1 John 5, then back to the circles.
  • How many times would a person need to make this decision?
  • How do we get Christ into our life?
  • What will Christ do if you pray this prayer?
  • What would happen to you if you were to die, according to your beliefs?

Some of these questions may be more comfortable than others. But hopefully, some can help us get to the heart of what others are thinking.

Tips for ending the campus year well
Ending the Year Well
March/April to do list
Transitioning to new leadership
Planning the first six weeks
Summer Survival
Summer Connect
Addressing Possible Leadership Holes

Only one number you need to know. May 4, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Launching.
add a comment

Wherever you go this summer, you will probably run into high school or college students that you wish were connected to a movement, or who you believe could start one.

All you need to know is “Call Pat” at 1-800-678- LINC (5462).

If a local team doesn’t have the capacity to service requests to launch a new movement, there are teams who can launch and build from a distance. So, whether the person asking is a high school, college, graduate, ethnic, or international student, an athlete, or someone in the military, Pat can connect them to someone who can help them get connected or start a ministry.

Years ago, Mike Tilley held up a sheet of paper representing a request to start a ministry on someone’s campus. He said we used to get hundreds of such requests a year. After a pause, he slowly wadded it up and tossed it in the wastebasket. That was our answer then. Thankfully, not today.

All you need to do is see yourself like the woman at the well who said, “Come see a man who told me everything I ever did…” (John 4:29a, NIV) She pointed them to the One who could help and many Samaritans believed that day. (v. 39).

If you have read this far, would you take one moment to pray this prayer: “Lord Jesus, lead me to one person this summer whom you have raised up to start a ministry on their campus that I may pass on to those who can help them.”

It may sound like a cliché, but it’s not. Pat is standing by at 1-800-678-LINC (5462).

Other tips on finishing the campus year

Prayer Mapping April 27, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Launching, Prayer.
add a comment

It’s the end of the semester and you’re probably wrapping things up and thinking about your summer plans. So, tuck this tip away for when you think about launching in a new context.

Eric Hiett and the Central West Oval team invited me to facilitate their student leaders in a day of planning for next year. We spent time planning the typical aspects of our ministry—prayer, winning, building, sending, being very visible during Freshman Orientation Week, and plans for the first six weeks.

When we talked about prayer, I had them work through a prayer mapping exercise that catalytic staff member in Russia, Coleen Harvey, sent me several years ago. Eric provided maps of each of the campuses represented and the students eagerly engaged in the exercise. Here is what Coleen sent me.

“Go to your campus info desk and get a copy of a campus map (or create a map yourself). Take the school’s map to a copy center and enlarge the map to fit on an 8 ½ x14 or 11×17 page (you might want to white out the info there that does not pertain to you and re-copy the page).

“You can map your campus as a group or divide up the regions on campus and assign each region to someone to find out the information and then report back to you. (If one student has most of his or her classes in one building, assign that region to them – they are already in the building at various times and they are familiar with the nooks and crannies where groups of students hang out.) You will want to know:

  • Where the dorms are and how many students live there (and any other important info…”freshman dorm”, “international students live here”, “party dorm”, etc).
  • How many commuter students there are & what do you know about them (“most live within 5 minutes of campus”, etc – write info about commuter students in the parking areas on your map).
  • if you have a Monday/Wednesday, Tuesday/Thursday set of students, identify which areas (buildings, times) those students are where (“M/W tend to use these buildings”, “older students attend evening classes here, etc).
  • Write on the classroom buildings what the main departments there are in which building…note any Christian faculty/administrators that you know. If you know of any classes that are “anti-God” note that so you can pray for those students, do the same for classes or teachers that are “pro-God”.
  • Note the areas where certain groups of students hang out (athletes, international students, skateboarders, Goths, ethnic students, non-traditional students, students with certain majors, student government, etc).
  • If the majority of students don’t hang out on campus, identify the places they hang out, especially if those places are near campus.
  • Try to identify the main groups of students that influence the campus the most (it could be the psych department, the school newspaper, the unofficial school newspaper, the off-campus house that has the most parties, etc).
  • Identify the main pathways on campus.

“You now have a great visual picture of your campus! As you look at the campus, pray for each segment. Commuter students are often the most difficult to reach. Pray that God would put ideas in your mind for what you can do to reach those students. Pray for ways you can reach out to international students in order to build relationships with them that will lead them to Christ. Pray for Christian faculty that they will be faithful witnesses for Him in their classrooms and with other faculty. Pray about strong non-Christian faculty, whom God will fill their classrooms with students who will speak out for Him in that classroom…

“The ways you can be prompted in prayer are unlimited! This could be a great tool for your campus prayer times or as a tool to use to guide you through prayer before you ask God to lead you in planning for your ministry. Prayerfully it will help to open your hearts and minds to thinking about areas on your campus that are “unreached” areas in your world. Prayer mapping will help you gain a “God’s-eye view” of your world.”

After watching the students in the Central West Oval jump into this exercise, I am sure your staff team will enjoy it as well.

Other tips on finishing the campus year.

Addressing possible leadership holes April 20, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Leadership, Student Ownership.
add a comment

A lot of us in campus ministry are thinking about next year’s leadership for some of the movements we lead in other contexts and locations. Maybe graduation is leaving a hole and we just don’t see others stepping up.

I wrote about this time last year how one coach was addressing this very issue. If you are seeing a vacuum in leadership in one of your movements, read on for some ideas.

Sustaining Leadership on Community Colleges

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 mission.

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 year students will 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.

Other tips on finishing the campus year.

Keeping Others’ Attention April 14, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Communication.
1 comment so far

I recently participated in a webinar entitled “Using Neuroscience to Create Presentations with Lasting Impact” by Dr. Carmen Simon, Cognitive Neuroscientist with Rexi Media. The session, sponsored by Poll Everywhere, was the most engaging hour I have spent in a long time.

The bottom line: We want others to decide to and then act on something. In our work, that could be any number of things. People act on what they remember, and remember what captured their attention.

So, do we speak, teach, train, counsel, mentor, etc. in ways that captures others’ attention? Dr. Simon talked about factors that cause others to “habituate”, or tune us out after a bit. But more than her content, her presentation techniques have me still thinking about this.

You will head home soon to speak at churches, Bible studies, and dinners about your ministry. Read on for one way that Dr. Simon kept attention throughout her session. I have used and recommend this tool.

Dr. Simon said that neuroscience shows that a hearer remembers less than 10% of what they heard after a day. Furthermore, the 10% they do remember is random, not entirely what we hope they remember.

In our world, where attention spans grow shorter and shorter, and the amount of stimulation the audience receives is greater and greater, we need to provide frequent cuts in our presentation throughout to focus the attention of our hearers.

I’m not sure how many were on that webinar, but at one point 460 had responded to one of her multiple-choice questions. You could watch on the screen as the numbers choosing one of three answers went up.

Dr. Simon asked several polling questions, asked our reaction to a picture, asked us to take a picture of our shoes with a two sentence “story” for a chance at a prize, asked us to read by ourselves some out of the box definitions of common words, etc. All designed to provide numerous cuts in her presentation, capturing our attention.

There were a number of other factors that Dr. Simon said neuroscience has discovered in aiding remembering that I am not going to get in to. But she made extensive use of Poll Everywhere, something I have used in presentations. That’s how I was invited to the webinar. So far, I have only used the free version limited responses to the first 25. But there is a range of plans and pricing packages.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 11.57.42 AMOne poll I did recently was during our Distance Ministry Roundtable. I was explaining  how our ministry values both “growing where we are” and “going where we aren’t”. My audience was able to see on the screen what you see to the right. I asked them to take out their phone, open their text messaging, type 22333 on the “To” line, and then type the code for each response in the body. Then we watched the responses tabulate on screen. That simple.

The value of the exercise was in the cutting away, in this case from the talking head, fixing their attention with a different method of presentation. You cut away when you ask for audience participation, have them discuss something at their table, vary your powerpoint presentation, and one that Dr. Simon spent a lot of time on, creating uncertainty in reward. (Maybe this is a topic for another time.)

I know I retained a lot more than 10% of that webinar. I would encourage you to try a poll sometime and watch the level of your audience’s engagement go up. When you do, tell me how it goes.

 

 

Summer Connect April 13, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Personal Growth, Planning.
1 comment so far

No doubt you have been hearing about Summer Connect, known last year as Mission Summer.

In a recent informational email to the MTLs in the PSW, Chris Comstock, MTL, UC Santa Barbara, explained everything from registration to the coaching process. I like how he explained what Summer Connect is.

“Summer Connect is Cru’s strategic attempt at capturing the 94% of Cru students who don’t end up participating in a traditional Summer Mission project each year. Whether they have internships, summer job opportunities, or simply need to be at home, Summer Connect will allow these students to get much of the same rich discipleship content, stay connected to the Cru community and DNA, and hopefully will set them up to come back to your ministry in the Fall more equipped than when they left for the summer, ready to contribute and lead in a meaningful way.

“The venue for this will be online engagement with material, recorded talks from national leaders, and Sunday Night Live which is a gathering of Summer Connect students from all over the nation tuning in for a live webcast where Cru national and other Christian leaders will be sharing with these students, with opportunities for discussion and connection with other Summer Connect students after.”

I remember going home one summer as a student at Penn State and leading two high school girls, a widow in her 50’s, and a young married couple in a study of our transferable concepts. That experience really helped me to continue growing in my faith and my understanding of how God might use me.

Imagine, the majority of your students being involved in Summer Connect and having opportunities to put their faith in action, sharing their faith, discipling high school friends, or even starting a ministry.

Here are some helpful resources.

Instead of wondering whether your students will make it spiritually, Summer Connect can help provide the community and context for growth this summer.

Other tips on finishing the campus year.

Summer Survival April 6, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Communication, Leadership, Personal Growth.
3 comments

“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 and your students make now can put them in a position of advantage and strength going 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 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.

Last year, Devin Tressler, writing in his Destino Tracks 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. [Summer Connect would] 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.

Other tips on finishing the campus year.

Planning the first six weeks. March 30, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Leadership, Planning.
1 comment so far

We all have a lot going on this time of the year. Ending the year well involves paying attention to the many details. Last week, I offered a coaching plan for this last month of school.

Today, I want to zero in on planning for the first six weeks of the fall semester.

You want to go into the busiest, and most critical time of the campus year knowing what you are doing and who is leading your scheduled venues. You don’t want to waste precious time setting up when you could be meeting and involving new students. This is even more important if you lead multiple movements.

  • How will you gather contacts? Will you do surveys? Have give-a-way tables?
  • Where are your first weekly meetings? Who is speaking? Who else has roles?
  • Do you have your first socials planned? Where? What can be done ahead of time?
  • What do you have planned for each campus’s Freshman Orientation Week? Every event you sponsor helps connect students to your movements. Who is leading? What can be scheduled now?
  • When is the earliest you can contact freshmen? Can you email or send something to them? What needs to happen?
  • Is there anything you need to do to make sure your status on each campus stays current?

Nine Principles for the First Six Weeks is very helpful in thinking through that strategic time. It mentions questionnaires for meeting interested freshmen and doing publicity so students can find you. There is also a chart at the end, for writing down plans for prayer, evangelism, discipleship and sending.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 62 other followers