Multiplying leaders and movements.

Today’s tip is the final in a series about the collaborative work done by Global Catalytic staff at a gathering in December. We’ve already looked at

  1. Exploring new locations to launch movements.
  2. Challenging those with potential to be Key Volunteers.
  3. Coaching effectively the students and volunteers leading their movements.

Today, let’s look at “Multiplying by increasing from one person to one team and from one campus to many.”

Some common elements, principles, and values of multiplying are:

  • Prayer: Pray when we plan, pray when we go, pray when we send.
  • Cast vision broadly. Discuss multiplication and challenge them at the beginning.
  • Find the right people and filter well.
  • Model multiplying by taking them with you as you go.
  • Any spirit-filled Christian can be a Key Volunteer (KV), regardless of background.
  • Don’t underestimate students. Give them freedom and trust their initiative.
  • Provide KVs with sufficient exposure, modeling, and evaluation in the field.
  • Don’t do what they can do or else we make them dependent upon us.
  • Be transparent and make everything simple and transferable.
  • Prepare them for obstacles.
  • Provide guidance to leaders until we are confident they have our win, build, and send DNA.
  • Coach KVs to transfer what they know and do to others. 2 Timothy 2:2.
  • Have a 100% mindset, that students can keep multiplying after they graduate.

As I’ve mentioned, this was a gathering of practitioners, staff who were already coaching seven or more separate locations, or supervising others who are. After all of our discussion about Exploring, Challenging, Coaching, and Multiplying, each person was asked to set some realistic goals for the coming year. Even with all that everyone was already doing, these staff intend to explore four or five new campuses and are trusting God for 10-15 new KVs each.

As I have tried to summarize our discussions over those four days in December, it has been great reliving many of the stimulating conversations that I had with these visionary staff. There are still ideas presented that week that I may try to pass on sometime.

Some related tips

Coaching more students and volunteers.

I’ve been telling about a December gathering of experienced Global Catalytic staff. 60 staff already coaching multiple campuses discussed getting to the rest of the campuses God is leading us to. Each of our four days together had a specific theme.

  1. Exploring new locations to launch movements.
  2. Challenging those with potential to be Key Volunteers.
  3. Coaching effectively the students and volunteers leading their movements.
  4. Multiplying by increasing from one person to one team and from one campus to many.

Today, let’s look at coaching.

Some common elements, principles, and values of coaching are:

  • Consistent, regular contact using a variety of means: the phone, apps, online, and face-to-face. Develop the relationship.
  • Connect students in community for encouragement and peer coaching.
  • Staff are not the only source of discipleship. Students need each other, local church, etc. God causes growth. Don’t make yourself essential.
  • Empower students by asking good questions and letting them discover answers.
  • Build trust in the Lord. Spend time on their spiritual development and character, not just ministry skills. Balance walk with the Lord and ministry.
  • Cast vision.
  • Helping them set goals and accountability to accomplish their vision.
  • Listen.
  • Transferability and transparency in all things. Make even coaching easy to reproduce by not positioning yourself as an expert. Explain how and why you do what you do.

Because one way doesn’t work in every situation, we engaged in a kinetic exercise to look at tensions in coaching.

  1. Do you spend time with your KV outside of coaching?

55% rarely do, 31% often do, and 13% may or may not.

  1. Do you use a set content as you coach your KVs?

12% no set content, 10% uses a set content, and 78% mix it up depending on the individual.

  1. Do you prefer Exploring or Coaching?

50% prefer coaching, 38% prefer exploring, and 12% like mixing it up.

Again, the value of such exercises shows up that not all who coach multiple campuses do it the same way. There is room for differing approaches.

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One way to inflame passion for evangelism.

A number of years ago, Greg came to Christ after a long period of searching for answers to his intellectual questions. I enjoyed taking him on evangelistic appointments with others with intellectual arguments. But one time we shared with someone really open to the Gospel. Afterward, he told me how much fun that conversation was and could we do that again?! He was more motivated by others’ hunger than common experience.

A few months ago, Dan Allan, ND Operations PSW, pointed me to a post by Rick Warren, How to Recognize Spiritually Receptive People in your Community. He suggested that this could be a timely message for us at the start of a new semester.

Regardless of how evangelism might have gone in the Fall, if we can find the most spiritually receptive students, we can inflame our students’ evangelistic passion. Consider these thoughts by Rick Warren.


Pastor, you’re surrounded by dirt.

To be more precise, you’re surrounded by soil – all kinds of soil. In your community, you have people who are ready to respond to the Gospel and people who aren’t. Your job is to isolate the good soil and plant your seed there.

Jesus clearly taught this notion of spiritual receptivity in the Parable of the Sower and the Soils (Matt. 13:3-23). Like different kinds of soil, people respond differently to the Good News. Everyone is not equally ready to receive Christ. Some people are very open to hearing the Gospel and others are very closed. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus explained that there are hard hearts, shallow hearts, distracted hearts, and receptive hearts.

If you want your ministry to maximize its evangelism effectiveness, you need to focus your energy on the right soil. That’s the soil that will produce a hundred-fold harvest. Take a cue from those who work with actual dirt. No farmer in his right mind would waste seed, a precious commodity, on infertile ground that won’t produce a crop. In the same way, I believe careless, unplanned broadcasting of the Gospel is poor stewardship. The message of Christ is too important to waste time, money, and energy on non-productive methods and soil. We need to be strategic in reaching the world. We should focus our efforts where they will make the greatest difference.

Spiritual receptivity comes and goes in people’s lives like an ocean tide. People are more open to spiritual truth at certain times than at others. Many factors determine spiritual receptivity. God uses a variety of tools to soften hearts and prepare people to be saved.

So who are the most receptive people? I believe there are two broad categories: people in transition and people under tension. That’s because God uses both change and pain to get people’s attention and make them receptive to the Gospel.

People in transition: Any time people experience major change, whether positive or negative, they develop a hunger for spiritual stability. This has occurred in America during the last several years. The massive changes in our world have left us frightened and unsettled and has produced an enormous interest in spiritual matters. Alvin Toffler says that people look for “islands of stability” when change becomes overwhelming. This is a wave the Church needs to ride.

People are also more receptive to the Gospel when they face changes like a new marriage, a new baby, a new home, a new job, or a new school. That’s why churches can generally grow faster in newer communities where new residents are continually moving in than in stable, older communities where people have lived for 40 years.

People under tension: God uses all kinds of emotional pain to get people’s attention: the pain of divorce, death of a loved one, unemployment, financial problems, marriage and family difficulties, loneliness, resentment, guilt, and other stresses. When people are fearful or anxious, they often look for something greater than themselves to ease the pain and fill the void they feel. I claim no immaculate perception on the list I want to share with you. This is not a scientific study. But based on my many years of pastoring, I offer the following list of what I believe have been the 10 most receptive groups of people that we’ve reached out to at Saddleback.

  • Second-time visitors to your church (unbelievers who come, regardless of the reason)
  • Close friends and relatives of new converts
  • People going through a divorce
  • Those who feel their need for a recovery program (any type: alcohol, drugs, sexual, etc.)
  • First-time parents
  • Terminal illness of self or family member
  • Couples with major marriage problems
  • Parents with problem children
  • Recently unemployed/major financial problem
  • New residents in the community

A great benefit of focusing on receptive people is that you don’t have to pressure them to receive Christ. I tell my staff: “If the fruit is ripe, you don’t have to yank it!”

I believe God has called pastors to catch fish and feed sheep – not corral goats! It usually takes about five times more energy to reactivate a disgruntled or carnal member than it does to win a receptive unbeliever. The truth is that some of your inactive members probably need to join somewhere else for a number of reasons. Growing churches focus on reaching receptive people. Non-growing churches focus on re-enlisting inactive people.

Once you know who your target is, who you are most likely to reach, and who are the most receptive people in your target group, then you’re ready to establish an evangelism strategy for your church. So my suggestion to you is this: start checking the soil.


Obviously, Warren is talking about a church context and not all pertains to us in campus ministry. Taking surveys is one way we find the most spiritually receptive students. While this isn’t the only factor in determining your evangelistic strategy, a lot can be said for giving your students a “want to” for evangelism.

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Challenging others to be Key Volunteers.

Last week I talked about some common elements, principles, and values while exploring the potential for launching new movements. It was the summary of a day of discussions by experienced global Student-Led Movements staff in Antalya, Turkey in December.

While already coaching volunteers on multiple campuses, they continue to look for what God might do on others. Today I want to pass on how they challenge potential Key Volunteers to launch spiritual movements on new campuses.

Challenging to become Key Volunteers

Some common principles and values that drives challenging:

  • Believe that God is already at work and has people in every place. He is the one calling students to be KV’s.
  • Take the initiative.
  • Base conversations in Scripture.
  • Encourage and listen to the vision KV’s have — not forcing “our” vision.
  • Choose wisely and look for responsiveness, action, and obedience.
  • Leadership can be learned. Willingness is key. Students can learn to lead.
  • Challenge them to walk in faith, dream big, and believe God.
  • Trust God that He is working even when others say “No.” or don’t follow through.

Common elements of challenging are:

  • Vision Casting
    • Asking, learning, studying God’s plan in Scripture for the world.
    • Hear what their vision is.
    • Seek the Lord together. Pray
  • Make the Key Volunteer Agreement clear and simple.
    • Charge them to action.
    • Help them to reach their mission field, campus.
    • Be clear in what we ask them to do.
  • Challenge broadly.
    • Find the right person. Be okay with “no” answers and keep looking.
  • Start with the gospel, focus on the mission.

Because one way doesn’t work in every situation, we engaged in a kinetic exercise to look at tensions in challenging.

1. Do you challenge to be a KV in one meeting, or over many meetings?

  • 54% challenge in one meeting, 22% over several meetings, and 24% use a mix of one or several.

2. Do you challenge to be a KV soon after meeting them, or after giving them some training?

  • 44% challenge quickly, 8% challenge only after giving them some training, and 48% use a mix depending on the individual.

3. Do you ask the Key Volunteer to sign an agreement, or is a verbal agreement sufficient?

  • 49% ask them to sign an agreement, 24% just use a verbal agreement, and 27% might or might not ask them to sign one.

Like we saw with exploring, staff approach challenging students to be Key Volunteers in various ways.

Global SLM has set a goal to be on 50% of the 32,000 major campuses of the world by 2020. Currently, we are on about 5000. The team recognizes that the lostness of millions of students compels us to do some things radically different to launch on more than 11,000 campuses in the next five years. But it begins with trusting God to lead us to those that God has already prepared.

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5 Attitudes and 5 Actions of Movement Launching

I think a lot about launching new movements. I love the “God factor” of seeing something begin where there was nothing before making it possible for hundreds or even thousands more to be exposed to the Gospel.

That’s why when I hear what others are doing to launch movements I take a close look. I was intrigued by a piece Linda Woods, Bridges International Campus Coach, shared with US and International students at the Bridges winter conference about launching movements.

What interested me were Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 4.00.49 PMthe 5 Attitudes and 5 Actions and how those fit into the various stages of a movement. For ease of viewing, I’ve separated the attitudes and actions.

These 5 Attitudes help us see that movement launching is not up to us. God uses our steps of faith, but in the end He is the one accomplishing this important work. We are “fellow workers” (1 Corinthians 6:1) in this endeavor.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 4.09.16 PMHaving the right attitudes flows naturally into the appropriate steps of faith seeing a movement launched and grow.

By way of reminder, a spiritual movement is GOD working through a team of like-hearted disciples to WIN, BUILD, and SEND toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

It is also helpful to realize that we employ different skills at different stages of movement development. Bridges International drew it out this way. You will actually find it easier to read by opening the document here.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 4.19.21 PM

Thank you to the Bridges International staff, Alyson Niemann, Chris Sneller, Adam Smith, Zeke Zeiler, and Linda Woods for giving us this picture of their movement launching process.

Exploring campuses for launching.

In December, I had the privilege of attending a Global Student-Led Movements gathering with about 60 Catalytic staff. The intent was to bring together many already coaching multiple campuses for the purpose of learning how to get to the rest of the campuses God is leading us to.

Each of our four days together had a specific theme.

  1. Exploring new locations to launch movements.
  2. Challenging those with potential to be Key Volunteers.
  3. Coaching effectively the students and volunteers leading their movements.
  4. Multiplying by increasing from one person to one team and from one campus to many.

Over the next four weeks, I will share some summary thoughts about each them along with some of what my table discussed. Today, we will look at exploring.


Some common elements of exploring:

  • Determine the appropriate scope for the team.
  • Look for potential Key Volunteers (KVs), those in whom God is already at work. In doing so, we should cast a wide net, going to churches, identifying existing believers, and even asking those in existing ministries for potential leads.
  • Share the gospel as part of our exploring efforts. This shows potential leaders the priority evangelism has in our efforts.
  • Take the initiative with others.
  • Cast vision to potential KV’s.
  • Identifying existing believers.
  • Prayer and fasting before and when we go.

Common principles and values that drive exploring:

  • Look for people in whom God is already at work in their hearts. These may be the ones to lead our efforts on the campus.
  • Join God where He is already working. Exploring to launch is a spiritual endeavor. We are completely dependent upon Him to lead us to those who will open doors and lead the movement.
  • God is at work and has prepared cities and students.
  • Believe in God and trust your students.
  • Keep what we do simple and transferable.
  • Prayer and fasting.
  • Obeying God – “just do it”.
  • Look for a “person of peace,” some may be believers, but others not.

We had a kinetic exercise each day when we looked at various tensions or options. Staff moved to the side of the room to indicate their preferred practice or approach. It showed us the different ways to explore campuses to launch.

On this particular day, we were asked:

Do you physically go to explore a campus, or do it digitally?

  • Of the 60 some attending, 78% physically go to the campus, 15% explore digitally, and 7% employ a mixture of the two approaches.

Do you explore a campus alone, or with others?

  • 76% explore with others, 3% alone, and 20% mixed.

Do you, first, look for believers, or share with non-believers?

  • 48% look for believers, 48% share the Gospel, and 4% do both.

Do you expect that God has prepared potential KV’s to lead already, that they will need to be prepared, or could it be either?

  • 14% said prepared already, 45% think they need to be prepared, and 41% could expect either.

Again, while everyone gathered coached many campuses and seek to launch even more, we had different expectations and approaches when exploring new campuses. One size does not fit all.

In trusting God to take the Gospel to every student, to build a movement on every campus, and to raise up leaders in every nation, exploring where God is at work, challenging others to join with us, coaching them as they lead their ministry, and multiplying our efforts are essential.

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Entering into Spiritual Journeys at Christmastime.

This is a wonderful time of the year with a wonderful message to share with others. The Gospel is outlined in most Christmas carols. And, while many don’t particularly like the commercial part of Christmas, they sense there is more to the season.

Most of us learned to share our faith with strangers. We survey hundreds of students and follow up those most interested in hearing the Gospel. We got practice in sharing Christ with those we did not know.

But many of us would love to share the Good News with family and friends. We intuitively know those in our circle of friends who are warm to spiritual things and those who aren’t. But we don’t know what is going on in hearts. Might God be doing something that we have no idea about?

Here are four simple ideas for you and your students to try when you’re home over the holidays. They are not original with me.

  1. Make a Top 10 list of those you would like to have a spiritual conversation with during your break. Put the list in your Bible. Pray everyday for God to open the door to a conversation. Here are some things to pray for the lost.
  2. Ask “How can I pray for you?” If appropriate, follow up with “Can I pray for you right now?” I was having lunch with a friend one day. We had been talking about ministry. After saying good-by in the parking lot, a complete stranger, who had been sitting near enough to us to hear our conversation, came up to me and told me some struggles he was going through. I asked if I could pray for him right there in that parking lot. He was so appreciative. We have no idea how much others appreciate hearing prayers on their behalf.
  3. Ask a “Sometime” question. For example, “Sometime, I’d like to hear about your spiritual journey…Would you be up for that?” (From “Sometime—An Overview and Guide“)
  4. When you do have a spiritual conversation, here are some questions. (From “Explorer: Discovering Spiritual Journeys.”)
  • What would you say is most important to you in life right now?
  • How important is the spiritual area of life to you currently?
  • What have you tried in your spiritual journey?
  • What has your search left you feeling?
  • On a scale of 1-10 (1-low and 10-high), how strong is your desire to know God in a personal way?

I hope these open up doors of conversation. I would also like to hear what you find useful in training others in evangelism in a high relational, small audience context. Feel free to write me and let me know what’s helpful.

I hope you have an enjoyable Christmas. This is the last coaching tip until January 11.

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Merry Christmas.