I am copied on emails that Neil Downey sends out to the student leaders on the Sioux Empire campuses. Here is one he sent recently. Neil told me they went to campuses where they had one or two students already aligned. It was meant to help give each campus a strong launch.
This week our staff team embarked on our first ever PELT day. For those of you dying to know about the new Acronym we made up, PELT stands for Prayer, Evangelism, Launching and Teamwork. On Wednesday morning (when it was very cold and very dark) our team split up into two groups to spend a day giving lift to a couple of fledgling movements on outlying Sioux Empire campuses. Team Luke traveled to Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, while Team Matthew made the long drive to Northern State University in Aberdeen. FYI, these teams were named after our two interns, not after the corresponding Gospels.
While I can only speak for myself, I would venture to say that all my fellow staff learned a thing or two as we experienced being part of a Missional Team – a group of people focused on seeing God raise up a Spiritual Movement – so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus.
Here’s what I learned:
- Even “professional Christians” fail – I attempted to initiate conversations with a lot of people, with varying degrees of responsiveness. But I wasn’t frustrated with people giving me the cold shoulder as much as I was by my own fear. On several occasions, I had a chance to strike up a conversation with somebody, but rationalized why it wasn’t a good idea (He looks busy, he doesn’t look interested, he’s eating, he might punch me, etc…) My own apprehension drove me to seek the Lord and the power of his Spirit to enable me to talk to people about the gospel. And that was a good thing. Moving from fear to faith to action is a tough but rewarding progression.
- It’s a small world – as soon as we set up our information table in the lobby of the Student Center, a Korean student approached us and said “You’re CCC?!? I was in CCC in Korea! I’ve been waiting for you to come here!” In addition to lots of Koreans, we encountered students from other nations and cultures (like Wyoming). The nations are here! And when students from around the world return home, I would love it if they’d take the gospel with them!
- God is at work – Yes, God is drawing people to himself, even on the frozen tundra of South Dakota. As we prayed for the campus, cast vision to Christian students, shared the gospel with nonbelievers and took steps toward seeing new movements launched, we couldn’t help but wonder how God would use people who truly follow him to bring himself glory. Time will tell.
As you think about what God has called you to do, I hope you realize that we are all Apostles (sent ones) – sent by the King to help build his kingdom. It took a road trip to remind me of this. But you don’t have to drive hundreds of miles in order to be sent somewhere. Maybe God is sending you across the hallway.
Remember that you too are a part of a Missional team. Campus Crusade is not a social club. We don’t exist for comfort, but for Mission. And we get to experience the mission together.
Neil told me after, “Now the real work begins. There were a bunch of students who indicated some level of interest – either in joining a bible study or just talking to people about a relationship with God. If we’re going to see any lasting fruit come from this trip, we (staff and student-leaders) need to be intentional about contacting all these people in a timely fashion.” Rick Pridey agrees saying “any intentional launching strategy needs a more intentional… coaching strategy to try and move things toward sustainability.”