The Will to Prepare

My pastor used as an illustration once about an exchange someone had with legendary basketball coach, Bobby Knight. They asked how he was able to win so many games. He must have had quite the “will to win”. Knight was reported to have said, “The key is not the will to win… everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.”

I think about what’s involved as we prepare to launch and build movements.

First, we need to understand the different stages of development of movements. Our ministry uses the following four terms for these stages.

  • Pioneering– Actively doing something to start a ministry.
  • Key Contact– Found a key leader – student, volunteer, or partner.
  • Launched– Has a critical mass of five students, staff coach, etc.
  • Multiplying–Is a Movement of 50 or more students involved, or 1% of the student body..

Second, we must understand that there are different sets of skills for each stage of development. I go back to Robert Coleman’s, “Master Plan of Evangelism”. The principles he outlines in that classic relate very well to the various skills, tactics, ministry perspectives and tools that we use along the way as our movements develop.

1. Pioneering–Association, Selection

  • Skills include networking, visualizing something when there is nothing and being a spokesperson with churches, faculty and administration, gathering, casting vision, being a change agent and motivating others to the vision.

2. Key Contact– Consecration, Impartation

  • Skills include recruiting, training, being an effective coach, helping our leaders assess their own skills and needs and how to build a team around them.

3. Launched–Demonstration, Delegation

  • Skills include training in evangelism and discipleship, the ability to impart our core DNA into others and effective delegation.

4. Multiplying– Supervision, Reproduction

  • Skills include setting direction for leaders and knowing how to set others up for success in ministry.

Much like the skills that we develop when we went through our New Staff Development, the skills required of us change as movements develop. Our leadership must adjust and adapt to those needs. As ministers, we must grow in our ability to lead at each stage of development. The tools we use change with a growing movement.

While our ministry requires us to become proficient at every stage of movement development, over time we begin to figure out how we are uniquely wired for ministry, what our gift mix is and how to steward those gifts. Some of us are simply better at networking, gathering and recruiting. Some are better at coaching, training and developing leaders.

This is an interesting tension for us in Cru. With an expectation of proficiency at every stage but a tendency toward specialization, this is where our team comes in. Hopefully, the team we are on has the desire and the breadth of skills to launch and build movements, some who love to start new things and others who can develop those starts.


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