Our vision: “We believe God for movements everywhere so that every student and faculty member knows someone who truly follows Jesus.”
That vision encompasses every middle and high school and college in the world.
Bill Kollar was MTL at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and now is on the Cru High School Executive Team doing Leadership Development. He shares his heart for reaching reaching middle and high school students and how that fits into our vision for every college student and faculty member.
I took the leadership development role with Cru High School in part because I want to see God raise up laborers to bring the gospel to high-school and middle-school kids so that they can know and follow Jesus. As a group, there’s never a time in their lives when they’ll be more open spiritually. And there’s enormous potential to mobilize them as Christ-centered laborers who can have impact from Day One in our collegiate movements and for the rest of their lives. So it’s critical to reach them now. And I’m convinced that the lion’s share of laborers we need to reach them will come from the college campus. So that makes it critical for us to lock arms with the rest of the US Campus Ministry.
Bill knows the weight of “one more thing” that most of us feel in collegiate ministry. He came up with three simple, practical way to minimize that weight in reaching every student–including middle and high school students:
1. Pray regularly with their teams that God would raise up movements for Christ on the high-school and middle-school campuses in their scope.
2. Promote the opportunity to reach out to high school and middle school kids through Cru, whether as a college volunteer or by joining us as a staff or intern. This could be as easy as showing a video at a weekly meeting and inviting interested students to talk to you afterward (video examples: Reach Me, U Can 2, or He Could, She Could, Change the World.)
3. Provide connections for those who respond to the opportunity, typically by referring interested students to a local Cru staff who works with high school students or sending them to http://www.gocampus.org, where we’ll provide them with all the coaching they need.
I like this approach because the ‘Pray’ part is easy to do but engages our hearts with something that’s on God’s heart. I also like it because it seems to have the potential to surface laborers with a heart for high-school and middle-school students while making little extra work for collegiate staff.
To be honest, I struggled with ideas like this during a lot of my time as an MTL. While I valued our high school ministry, I didn’t like the idea of ‘losing’ key students that could be laborers in a residence hall or Greek house. But a couple things changed my perspective.
First, we’re all part of the same campus ministry (you might remember “We Are the Campus Ministry” from CSU 2011). God has called me to help reach every middle-school student, high-school student, college student, and faculty member, regardless of my daily focus.
Also, I’m convinced that every collegiate movement has students with a heart for high-school and middle-school kids. We surveyed more than 8,000 Cru collegiate students last summer and found that 28 percent are ‘interested’ or ‘highly interested’ in reaching out to youth and that 19 percent are already doing it. If they already have that heart, it only makes sense to give them a chance to run with us.
High School Leadership Development
And now there’s an app for that.
Dave Merit, Cru High School R&D, and The Coaching Center recently developed the Cru High School Playbook mobile app that anyone interested in reaching out to high school students can download. It is available for both Android and iPhone.
The playbook offers suggested plays in doing evangelism, leading Bible studies, relating to students and their community. Also, there are training videos and more as you seek to make a difference in the lives of teenagers.