Christmas Break: Preparing for a Lifetime.

Something like 1 out of 10 students in our ministry join us as interns, stint-ers, or staff after graduation. So that means what students experience over the Christmas break will more approximate what 9 out of 10 will find life and ministry like when they leave us.

How well are we preparing the large majority of our students for ministry after ministry?

Ministry on campus isn’t typical of what they find in the working world. If a freshman, eager to learn how to share her faith, can’t find others interested in her dorm, she can get experience sharing in other dorms. Our principle of “sowing broadly” makes it possible to train hundreds of students every year to share their faith, follow up new believers, and disciple others.

But what if the only ones interested in spiritual things are nerdy uncle Al and senile great-aunt Mabel? Do we just stop there and assume everyone else is not interested? How do we engage everyone else regardless of where they are on their spiritual journey?

I’ve talked about The Missional Map before. It could be really helpful in understanding where people that we spend time with are in their spiritual journey.

In addition, here are four simple ideas for you and your students to try when you are home over the holidays. They are not original with me.

1. Make a Top 10 list of those you would like to have a spiritual conversation with during your break. Put the list in your Bible. Pray everyday for God to open the door to a conversation. Here are some things to pray for the lost.

2. Ask “How can I pray for you?” If appropriate, follow up with “Can I pray for you right now?” Some time ago, I was having lunch with a friend. We had been talking about ministry. After saying good-by in the parking lot, a complete stranger, who had been sitting near enough to us to hear our conversation, came up to me and told me some struggles he was going through. I asked if I could pray for him right there in that parking lot. He was so appreciative. We have no idea how much others appreciate hearing prayers on their behalf.

3. Ask a “Sometime” question. For example, “Sometime, I’d like to hear about your spiritual journey…Would you be up for that?” (From “Sometime—An Overview and Guide“)

4. When you do have a spiritual conversation, here are some questions. (From “Explorer: Discovering Spiritual Journeys.”)

  • What would you say is most important to you in life right now?
  • How important is the spiritual area of life to you currently?
  • What have you tried in your spiritual journey?
  • How has your search left you feeling?
  • On a scale of 1-10 (1-low and 10-high), how strong is your desire to know God in a personal way?

I hope these open up doors of conversation. I would also like to hear what you find useful in training others in evangelism in a high relational, small audience context. Feel free to write me and let me know what’s helpful.

I’ll be taking a break. This is the last coaching tip until January 9.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Fall 2016 Coaching Tips


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