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Planning the first six weeks. March 30, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Leadership, Planning.
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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.

Ending the year well. March 23, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Leadership, Planning.
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If you receive the QuickRead, you may have noticed my piece in the last one listing all the various topics we want to cover with students and volunteers leading ministries. There is a lot to keScreen Shot 2015-03-22 at 4.42.30 PMep in mind. I called it our March and April to do list.

I would encourage you to print out this list and tack it over your desk as an aid in planning out your coaching conversations with your leaders. (If you click on the list, it will take you to my blog post where highlighted text is hot-linked to helpful resources.)

Those of us in the Campus Field Ministry in the US are being asked to fill out an end of the year report for each unique movement we have. It can feel like a lot of work. But as you look at the questions being asked, it’s the very information we would want to know about for each movement in ending the year well—evaluation, goals, and the overall health and vitality of that ministry.

As our Student LINC and Coaching Center teams discussed the movement report, we saw corresponding connections to our to do list. And just as we would cover all those topics in multiple conversations with our leaders, we could fill out the reports in multiple sittings. The Survey Monkey platform makes it easy to do part of the report and then come back to it later to record more.

Again, the value of the report is in helping us gain a real time picture of what God is doing in the movement, to set realistic goals, and to plan adequately. This is even more important if you are overseeing multiple movements, because you don’t want to overlook critical details for any of them.

So, in the remaining weeks of the campus year, you could lump the various topics this way.

  • Week 1. Identify new leadership and begin to set them up to lead next year.
  • Week 2. Evaluate every aspect of the ministry, from win, build, and send, to leadership development, to the growth of the movement, and identification of new contexts within which to launch. And finally, submitting movement indicators.
  • Week 3. Plan out the first six weeks and that all-important Freshman Orientation week, so that everyone knows what to expect. Then, when August rolls around, you simply execute those plans, giving you the greatest possible number of touches with the most incoming freshmen, during the time when they are deciding their values and affiliations.
  • Week 4. Celebrate what God has done, and send well—for those who are returning, to the summer, and for those graduating, to the future.

With Easter just two weeks away, we are all reminded again of what God has done for us. And the life we now live, we live by faith in the Son of God. (Galatians 2:20) It has often been said that our leadership is not seen by what we do, but by what others do because of what we do. I consider that the coaching I provide others, leading their own ministries of win, build, and send, will have far greater impact for Christ than what I can do by myself.

I want to be intentional about setting up others well so they can see God use them. Then, what Paul says to the Corinthians will be realized: “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:15, NIV).

Why not take a look at that to do list above and think through the conversations you want to have with those whom you are coaching so that each of your ministries end the year well.

Evaluating Ministry to Generation Z. March 16, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Leadership, Student Ownership.
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We are entering a season when we will be evaluating how we did in our ministries this year, as well as setting plans and goals for next year.

We can, and should, look at our efforts. But have we taken the time to consider how our audience has changed and how our approaches are perceived by this new generation?

I was sitting in a meeting recently and saw a presentation, by Sparks and Honey, an NYC advertising agency, “Meet Generation Z: Forget Everything You Learned About Millennials.” This was so intriguing, that I did some further looking into the research.

Those born after 1995 will be freshmen and sophomores on our college campuses next year. What I am reading, gives me a lot of hope for this next generation. They are being hailed as entrepreneurial, DIY-ers, global minded, frugal, and ambitious. They want to create the future. If we expect them to sit long in a discipleship group before getting to lead, they won’t stick around.

An interesting article in Maclean’s magazine, Get Ready for Generation Z, says, “Research, though still in beta, points to the emergence of a stellar generation: educated, industrious, collaborative and eager to build a better planet…Gen Z is already being branded as a welcome foil to the Millennials…”

Many are already currently employed in part time jobs or apprenticeships. Part of it stems from six years of recession during their formative years. So they are busy. They are considered career multi-taskers. If they will jump from job to job, we can expect to continue developing and challenging them to stay involved with us. Think “student ownership.”

They expect to be informed, to be allowed to respond, and to have their responses heard and acknowledged. One source said they don’t wait for email responses. We will want to answer inquiries about involvement quickly.

One other worthwhile article to read is “Meet Generation Z”, on GettingSmart.com.

So as you make plans for summer ministry and your first few weeks back on campus in the Fall, consider how current research on this generation might inform how you minister to Gen Z.

March and April “to do” list. March 13, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Leadership, Planning, Student Ownership.
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The Student LINC and Coaching Center teams recently listed all the topics we need to cover with our student and volunteer leaders between now and the end of the campus year. It was a rather daunting list.

So, here is a sample “to do” list with helpful resources.

We wouldn’t want to give that whole list to our leaders all at once. We’ll want to prioritize these and then coach them through this in the four to six weeks remaining this Spring.

Transitioning to new leadership. March 9, 2015

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

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

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

Passing the baton to new leaders

1. What is God calling our leaders to?

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

2.  What does a leader look like?

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

3.  Developing personal vision.

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

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

4. Planning.

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

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

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

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

Helping education majors on mission. March 2, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Partnering, Sending.
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Fallon recently told how on a particularly depressing day in her troubled life someone noticed her and asked how she was doing. A teacher expressed care and concern. Eventually, they began to discuss personal faith and Fallon began asking questions.

This teacher told her that her greatest need was to know Jesus. Over the next year or so Fallon would grow closer to that teacher and closer to Christ. In referring to her teacher, Fallon says that she has become like a second mom to her.

Scott Livermore, Director, Educators on Mission, and personal ministry coach with our high school ministry’s Coaching Center, asks the question, “Isn’t that why so many Christ followers get into teaching in the first place – to have an eternal impact in the lives of their students?”

He explains that “Educators on Mission” is a strategic initiative helping current and future teachers grow in their relationship with Christ. And since ministry is an overflow of intimacy with God, to also help them grow in their effectiveness as a witness for Christ, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Sending our disciples to the mission field is a critical part of what we do in Cru. Some join with us on staff, but most follow another calling God has for them.

Most of us have education majors involved in our ministries. At one point a few years ago, our conference registration system listed 7000 education majors who had attended a Cru venue.

Most of those left our movements and went on to teach. Teachers have direct access to students. They have influence in the campus community. Their administration and peers trust them. According to Scott, there are believing teachers in every community.

He shared with me that our ministry has talked about “every” for a long time – every student, every campus, that everyone knows someone who knows and follows Jesus. Teachers offer us a strategic leap forward in helping fulfill the Great Commission, making that “every” possible.

Why not take some time as a staff team and list the education majors in your movements and former students teaching today.

Scott mentioned specific resources to help current teachers.

  1. The opportunity to be in a mentoring group for those in their first three years of teaching, led by a seasoned, mission-minded educator.
  2. Connect with Christian Educators Association, International (www.CEAI.org). They have great resources for inside the classroom.
  3. International teaching opportunities. Many places in the world would love to hire American teachers (some are Christian School opportunities and some are public schools).

There are also opportunities for future teachers.

  1. Education Majors Summer Mission. Two weeks in the Colorado Rockies learning what’s legal, practical, and possible as a public school teacher.
  2. Volunteer opportunities with high school students leading training seminars at high school student conferences.
  3. Community with other Education Majors.

Here is a video of three teachers talking about how God is using them to impact students.

Finally, Educators on Mission offers a number of Educator Resources that you can use to help current and future teachers. If you have specific questions, you can email Scott at Scott.Livermore@cru.org.

Another Look at “Return to Mogadishu.” February 23, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Uncategorized.
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The headline read, “21 Egyptian Coptic Christians Beheaded in Libya”. For many, such a headline elicits fear or even thoughts of possible retaliation.

As Christians, how do we react in a way that brings honor to Christ?
Is there a way for us to speak about the life-changing difference Jesus makes within in light of the gut-wrenching things that are happening today?
Does the peace of Christ truly transcend in every situation?

Some time ago, I wrote a tip about Return to Modadishu: Remembering Black Hawk Down. Much has happened with this film since then and I thought you’d be encouraged to hear about some of it.

Return to Mogadishu: Remembering Black Hawk Down is a short film with a compelling story. What would make someone want to return to a place of trauma? a place of great danger? How do soldiers deal with the horrific things they experience in combat?

Can we have a meaningful discussion about Jesus Christ when the topic is about terrorism or warfare?

Mary Beth Minnis, Cru Austin and producer of Return to Mogadishu: Remembering Black Hawk Down, had a desire is to use 1996 Army Best Ranger, Jeff Struecker’s story.

  • To help educate the next generation about our country’s history.
  • To foster gratitude for our servicemen and women.
  • To inspire people to consider issues of faith.

Over the last year “Return to Mogadishu” has screened at:

  • Baylor University.
  • University of Iowa.
  • Rutgers University (Division of Global Affairs).
  • Texas Tech University (Student Activities Board).

It has also screened in private theaters and homes including:

  • The SoHo House NYC to benefit the Fisher House Foundation.
  • In Rome, Bari, Mudugno, and Florence, Italy.
  • The United Nations in New York City during the 2014 Nexus Global Youth Summit.
  • The Brooklyn Navy Yard in celebration of Veterans Day.
  • On Capitol Hill to the 157th Joint Reserve Detachment with Congressional Members in attendance.
  • In Washington, DC, to the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy and Fulbright Association.

Return to Mogadishu has been featured on the following media outlets:

  • ABC This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
  • Fox & Friends.
  • BBC News.
  • Al Jazeera.
  • CCTV (Chinese TV Station).

This film has been seen around the world and has caused many atheists to reconsider if God is real. How could you use this film to spark people to consider Christ? Perhaps you could help arrange a screening or share about it on social media? Here are some ideas to get you thinking…

1. Post a link to the film on your Facebook wall or on a friend’s wall with a comment/question:

  • “Just watched this…powerful. The courage he displays is incredible. It makes me thankful for our military. Watch it and tell me how it hits you.”
  • “Whoa. Intense. Check it out…what is your first thought after seeing this?”
  • “Seriously? Who is this guy? What would make him go back to Mogadishu??”

2. Send an email to friends in the military with a few thoughts and a link to watch the film.

  • Hey – I just saw this video. It made me think of you. Thank you for serving our country. Would love to know what you think of the film…

3.Tweet to @JeffStruecker @R2Mog @MaryBethMinnis with thoughts/feelings about the film, and perhaps ask a question:
@R2Mog Just watched www.ReturnToMog.com. Wow. Powerful. Especially after seeing #AmericanSniper.

Here are links to Return to Mogadishu and Bullet Proof Faith.

Finally, Oscar winners, Congressional Members, and Foreign dignitaries have seen Return to Mogadishu. Would you stop and pray right now for God to work in the hearts of those that watch the film? May the peace of Christ rule in all of our hearts as it did in Jeff Struecker’s heart on October 3-4, 1993.

Prayer-walks February 15, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Prayer, Spirit-Filled Life, Student Ownership, Trusting God.
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When I was a student at Penn State, Wayne Okamoto and I prayer walked around East Halls every Thursday night for a year. I remember very specifically how we prayed that as the lights of those dorm rooms shown in the dark night, that God would cause Christians in our dorm complex to be light in a dark world.

God did some incredible things during that time. First, it cemented our friendship. Wayne and I were in the same study for two years. We would eventually serve together in New England on different teams several years later. I think we would each say that we benefited more from the relationship than we were a benefit to the other. But I would be right!

Also, that time of prayer grew our vision of what we were trusting God for in our dorm complex. We would collaborate on outreaches and growing our discipleship groups. Each of us discipled guys who discipled guys who discipled other guys.

Wayne and I weren’t the only ones praying. There would eventually be more than a hundred students praying most nights from 6-7pm in an unused stairwell for spiritual openness and awakening as well as for our friends. Most of us believe we saw something of a spiritual awakening in East Halls during those years. We know He was hearing our prayers.

As I write this, it’s February. Much of the north is under wind chill and winter storm warnings. It’s not fun to walk around a dorm complex in the dead of winter. But Wayne and I committed to doing just that. Gosh it was cold some of those nights on that 45 minute walk around those dorms, especially with the wind whipping on the north side. But God used those times in us and in many of our believing and non-believing friends.

Why not grab a partner and take a prayer walk tonight. Be sure to bundle up! Let’s see what God will do.

Some other tips on prayer:

3, 12, 70 and more. February 13, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Coaching, Launching, Leadership.
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Kevin Young, CFM National Director with our high school ministry, said to me, “Every week our MTL’s are getting requests asking to help someone start a ministry at another school.”

He said that they wished they could, but either they just didn’t have specific resources or because they are so busy, they simply ignore it. In a recent meeting with Kevin, many MTL’s asked how they could say “Yes.” to those situations.

As we talked, I was reminded of how Jesus had his inner three, his 12 apostles, the 70, and still related to the masses. He gave varying degrees of attention and priority to these widening circles of people. With that in mind, how do we say “Yes.” to somebody who wants to start a ministry on another campus? Read on for more.

I take it as a given that most of us wish we could say yes.

Often times the request is just for help. They care about students and are trusting God to do something. But they don’t know how to start or what resources are available. A phone call with a few simple steps, where to find some key resources, encouragement that God can use them, and prayer for them could be all it takes to launch a work of God among students there.

Be sure to ask them to call you back next week to let you know how they do with what you gave them and if they have questions.

You won’t be letting them down if you don’t do the work yourself. There is a poignant scene in the soon to be released movie, McFarland, USA, where the coach is telling his runners that he can’t run the race for them. They have to run it themselves. When they do and they are victorious, it will change how they see themselves. And they in turn will make a difference in others. (By the way, go see McFarland, USA. There are great leadership lessons in it.)

Patty McCain and David Martinelli, CFM Executive Directors, put together a one-page rubric that you might find helpful for allocating our time to movements in various stages of movement development.

As you coach that parent, volunteer or student to launch the movement, they will develop their own trust in the Lord and see their own vision stretched. It’s better for them and for others in the end. You still keep your focus on those who would be your “3” and “12”, but you will have multiplied your influence.

If you have questions or are looking for ideas to help in coaching others, call us in the Student LINC office at 1 (800) 678-5462 and we would be glad to help.

Helping others open up to change. February 9, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Evangelism, Trusting God.
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Good Monday Morning,

In last week’s tip, Awareness of Heart Responses to the Gospel, I referred to previous references I’ve made to the book I Once was Lost by Don Everts and Doug Schaupp.

Subtitled, “What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us About Their Path To Jesus”, the authors cover five thresholds a non-believer must cross before placing their trust in 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.

Today I want to discuss how we can help those we share with become open to change.

I’ve shared with many over the years who seemed interested but were not willing to change from living for self to living for God. I took care to ask permission to share Christ. Some have been attentive and even seemed to enjoy spending time with me (trusting a Christian). They might have even asked questions (provoking curiosity). But I mistook their friendship and curiosity for a desire to change the direction of their lives.

A friend of mine says, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. But you can put salt in it’s hay.” Here are some ways to help make them thirsty.

  • Ask questions about their assumptions.
  • Point out inconsistencies in their thinking.
  • Ask if they are settling for lesser goals or standards.
  • Have they accepted mediocrity, pain or personal failure as just the way it is?
  • Share your own struggles and how God has come to your aid.
  • Offer to pray for them. If they agree, pray with them right then.
  • Involve them in Christian service or acts of kindness

Beware of setting up “gotcha” scenarios with your friend, but, rather, engage them with gentleness. We respect the process that God is taking them through. Everts and Schaupp say that it is important that we be patient as they “try on” what it would be like to change. It’s also important that we be praying “our guts out for them”.

Francis Schaeffer used to talk about “taking the roof off”, pointing out the logical inconsistencies or the natural consequences of their belief system.

I happened to be looking through our MyStory@cru.org page recently. Leslie’s story caught my eye. If you read her story, notice her transition to becoming open to change and how that was key to her to placing her faith in Christ.

Have a great week launching and building new movements.


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