By now it seems like a year ago, when you said good-by for good to your graduating seniors, and until August for those returning. You have picked up on Facebook or messages directly to you that the summer has been harder for some than they anticipated.
You’re crazy busy right now on Summer Mission. You want to help, but, hmmm, how?
First, make sure they are participating in Summer Connect.
Second, encourage them to invest in their relationships with close friends and family. The Missional Map is a great way to see where people are on their own spiritual journey.
The campus is a great place to learn basic ministry skills. With a large pool of humanity, we typically can find enough people to share Christ with and follow up those who respond to the Gospel, modeling to those we are training or discipling. Our principle of “sowing broadly” makes it possible to train thousands of students every year. You know those going on a mission will have evangelism and discipleship opportunities.
But, how about those at home this summer where ministry is slower, more relational, and riskier? What happens when a student graduates, leaving a campus of thousands, taking a job in an office with 18 co-workers? What if they aren’t able to find anyone interested in that office, and the only believer is twice their age, divorced, and someone they can’t relate to? How do they “do” ministry there?
That’s why I like the Missional Map found in the Life on Mission section of Cru.org. Rather than categorize people as interested/not interested, it asks five questions about each person we are trying to reach.
- Do they Trust Me?
- Do they have a Growing Curiosity?
- Are they Open to Change?
- Are they Seeking God?
- Are they Following Jesus?
If you are familiar with “I Once Was Lost” by Don Everts and Doug Schaupp, these questions summarize the five thresholds of faith a person must cross to come to Christ.
The Missional Map helps us to engage specifically with each person. While it was designed for team use, it’s great for anyone thinking about their relationships at work or at home.
In a more relational ministry context, we start with trust. Are we building the relationship? Do they know we care? Can they trust us enough to go deep with us?
In Going Public with your Faith by William Peel and Walt Larimore MD, they tell the story of Jim. He graduated and found a job in a large office. With his campus ministry experience and passion for the lost he set a goal of sharing with everyone in the office.
After several weeks, his leadership let him go. It wasn’t because of the quality of his work, but, rather, the complaints by others about pushing his faith. Jim determined that he would not speak up again in the next job.
Jim went from one extreme to the other. Most alumni of our ministry think those are the only options concerning ministry in the workplace. The Missional Map offers a better way for God to use them in a work environment.
As long as you are forwarding the Missional Map to your students, why not send them my tip on “I Once Was Lost”? It contains some practical ways to build trust. Incidentally, I just heard that our Western European Staff really like this book and every participant in our Cru Study Abroad will receive it this fall.