A Destino multiple movements case study.

The Destino Movement is in a significant growing phase. Sandi Ireland, National Field Director, reported that they added at least 12 new campuses to their ministry last year, and, so far this semester, have added 18 more, through both their campus teams and distance coaching. One was just added two weeks ago, bringing to over 80 total locations.

I was honored to provide some launching and building movements training to their Destino MTLs earlier in the month. Following that time, Sandi presented some case studies for discussion. Here was one, along with a summary of the discussion among the MTLs.



Destino Case Study

You have 5 campuses that you’re currently working on, and you feel stretched too thin. You have a “main campus” and a community college that feeds into it that your team spends most of its time and energy on. In addition you have added 3 “expansion campuses” each about 90 minutes from your house where you had launch weeks last semester. Now, there’s a student leader and a Bible study at each one of those expansion campuses. But meanwhile, at your two “main campuses” the numbers at the weekly meeting have gone down a bit. You’re on more campuses, but have the same number of students involved city wide. This makes the staff feel tired and discouraged. They are concerned that there are less resources available and that the big movement might die.

  1. How do you think you’d be feeling in this situation?
    • Excited, but because the other places are at the same place, its discouraging. Where do I put my time?
    • I would probably be feeling the same way: tired and discouraged. Wondering how to get the enthusiasm back up.
  2. What other underlying sources of anxiety might exist for your team?
    • Big movements ARE fun, and I’m worried that students in our dwindling movement aren’t going to have that great an experience.
    • How I determine self worth and success. I don’t see my team. Is the main movement going to keep shrinking? A crisis of belief.
  3. How would you affirm what your team’s doing in the midst of their anxiety?
    • Pray and ask the Lord to restore our joy. Remember that the size of the movement isn’t the only indicator of success…you can also define success by the number of students walking with Jesus and taking steps of faith to own the ministry. Affirm that prayer is real work.
    • Looking at Jesus’ model. Have I been explicit in the risks involved with this? What’s our timetable for success? What is the wisest use of our resources? Did we overextend? How can we be encouraged by the risks we have taken?
  4. How would you help your team thrive? Any experiments you’d want to try?
    • Honestly assess what’s going on on each campus, and ask each staff person what is most life-giving in what they do. Maybe a staff person loves discipleship at the distance campus, but can’t drive there that often. Maybe s/he should start a distance coaching strategy with Skype appointments more often.
    • Try to bring the leaders together from all campuses so that the leaders on the main campus and community college see these are real people and we are all part of the family. They can have compassion for those outside of their own campus.

Just for the fun of it, I brought the case study back and asked my team to answer her questions. Here is a summary of their insights.

  • The team is sowing broadly. They can rejoice that there was real growth from last year. God is at work.
  • Affirm that they are investing in good things—empowering students to lead, switching from staff doing to staff coaching, and finding themselves in a place of greater dependence, where they must pray more.
  • What they are experiencing is typical. Anytime we change the paradigm of ministry or the definition of success (such as “not what you do, but what others do because of what you do), there can be difficult adjustments.
  • Consider taking students from the main and community colleges on the trips to the other three. Discipleship can take place in the car. And the students gain a heart for those on the other campuses.
  • Are there volunteers, professors, etc. who can do some of the face-to-face at the main?
  • Consider the gift mix on your team. Some may prefer to disciple students on the distance campuses using Hangout. There can be other advantages of coaching the circle campuses this way.

Finally, Katie Nelson, one of our high school coaches, offered this insight: “Mark Batterson said we often overestimate what we can accomplish in one year and underestimate what God can accomplish in 5 years… I think this case study, and having a greater scope in general, means trusting God with current uncertainty (not having big numbers on each campus) for future success (being present on more campuses so more students can meet Jesus).”

Fall 2016 Coaching Tips

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