Other Ways of Getting Manpower in Houston

It’s said that leaders build critical mass. Much of that is manpower and funding. However, it’s easy to focus on not having enough of either to accomplish the vision God has given us.

Take manpower, for example. Do we wait until LD places staff on our team before going after greater scope? What if we don’t get more staff?

Barry Bowling, Houston’s high school ministry MTL, is trusting God for a team of 100 to reach the middle and high school students of Houston. That’s 25 staff, 25 gatekeepers, and 50 working directly with kids. To date, God has provided 35-40 for their team. Read on to see how 5 full time and 2 part time staff, 10 Gatekeepers, and 21 volunteers are using a variety of coaching approaches to reach high school students in Houston.

Barry told a group of us how they are growing their manpower base. He gave me his notes after that conversation.

“In the fall semester we brought our volunteers together once a month for vision, training and fellowship. We’ve seen fruitfulness in three areas.

1 Asking our current volunteers “Who do you know that might be able to help?”

  • Two parents from our initial gathering have connected us to 9 people…some are now leading Bible studies with students.

2 Empowering former students, now in college, who stay in town to serve with us.

  • One campus in Katy and Morton Ranch is being run completely by former students who we are coaching catalytically.
  • Two former female students are key volunteers at Cy Falls and Tompkins High School
  • Another guy helps by leading Bible studies and is going on a global mission to Spain over Spring Break!

3 SEIZING THE MOMENT: Jump on any potential recruiting opportunities that come our way:

  • An administrator e-mailed from a charter school. I quickly called and met with the administrator who introduced me to a student, We then met with the student and her Mom. Now the sophomore is leading a new Cru campus outreach and Laurie [Barry’s wife] is coaching her catalytically.
  • Another Mom e-mailed me….I called the Mom…and last week we met with the parents and their junior daughter….very interested, hope to bring a few friends to Fastbreak. If the daughter decides to start Cru for her campus we will come alongside to resource and coach her as well.
  • Both came to us via e-mail and it’s always tempting to let those slide until later…but we couldn’t afford to do that. When manpower opportunities come our way they have to be elevated to the top of the priority list no mater what else is going on because you never know what could come out of it!

So is it working in Houston? They have launched movements on 12 campuses with their sights on eight more. Since August nearly 350 students have indicated placing their faith in Christ in group meetings alone!

Barry told me that there may be 150 to 200 schools in Houston. He knows that to give every middle and high school student an opportunity to say “Yes!” to Jesus Christ, they cannot do ministry the way we have traditionally done it.

One thing he wants to do is air some kind of piece on the largest Christian station in Houston to expose people to opportunities to be a part of their team. Barry pleaded, “Please pray that that will happen and will connect us with communities all over Metro Houston that would want to start something on a high school or junior high campus where we are not currently!”

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