Uh oh! Now what?

You just found out that
…one of your key leaders is transferring.
…or one of your students leading the key leadership students is sleeping with his girlfriend.
…or two of your up and coming leaders are dropping out of school for financial reasons.
…or one of your staff has to pull back to work on ministry partner development.

Now what?

When you assess where you are and realize that for whatever reasons you don’t have the availability or abilities in others that you thought they had, here is the general principle:

“When capacity decreases, focus on building critical mass.”

And while we are considering the subject of building critical mass, here is another general principle:

“When you launch a ministry, look for long-term, indigenous leaders as part of your critical mass.”

Most of us have seen movements start over the years with a great student leader or leaders with relational chemistry. But when those students graduate, sometimes it’s difficult to replicate that same vision in the next generation of leadership. Many of us find that start/restart cycle frustrating.

Now we love it when students lead. But having a faculty member, someone in the administration, a volunteer in the community, or alumni can help provide continuity from one year to the next. Most of our Student LINC coaches find that the best movements we coach have volunteers connected in a significant way.

Long time friend, Lee Davis, working from his home in Oregon, made a habit of meeting volunteers as a part of his campus visits. He called it his “1/3, 1/3, 1/3” plan. He normally coached students from a distance. But if he had a day on a campus, he would meet for two hours with the student leaders, two hours with the faculty advisor and other volunteers helping out, and two hours in the community raising support for the ministry there. This took work and planning on his part. But having the right critical mass ensured the long-term growth and impact of that movement.

So if you find yourself back in a place of acquiring critical mass, let me encourage you to broaden your categories of what counts as critical mass. See if you can:

  • Track down believing alumni from the campus.
  • Connect with Faculty Commons staff to see if they know of any faculty there.
  • Call some local churches to ask if they have faculty or campus administration congregants interested in seeing a ministry start.

Fall Coaching Tips


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