Category Archives: Evangelism

Core Essentials

Several years ago, I met one of my new volunteer leaders at a winter conference. After a while Garett showed me his notebook. He told me he downloaded all the content of the website I had referenced repeatedly, reading and printing these pages at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning…when I was asleep.

So, while I told him he didn’t need to print all those pages, I did appreciate his initiative and how he was finding valuable content.

Our Core Essentials is just like that. Screen Shot 2018-10-08 at 8.58.18 PMThink basic follow up and the Collaborative Discipleship’s Essentials pathway. The creators of Core Essentials developed a self-directive study of the most basic messages we want everyone to know.

The topics follow a logical progression.

  • Prayer
  • Spirit-filled Life
  • Growth
  • Quiet Times
  • Bible Study
  • Evangelism
  • Discipleship
  • Leading a Small group
  • Transformational Communities
  • Communicating Your Story

What I like about Core Essentials is the interactive approach to these key topics. Their use of brief videos, mouse overs, and periodic diagnostics all aid learning. Each lesson takes approximately 30-45 minutes.

I believe the Core Essentials would be helpful in at least a few different capacities: certainly as an aid in establishing new believers in their faith, giving someone interested in discipling others a broader understanding of these essentials, and for student leadership teams with newly launched movements to grow in their understanding of our DNA.

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Sending and Recruiting Starts Now.

Cru’s vision is for “Movements everywhere so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus.” Read on for some simple steps you can take this week to mobilize others to this worthy mission.

I was recently given a reading assignment for an input group I’m in. It was the summary of a Senior Leadership Initiative action learning project on sending and recruiting. Team members, Dan Allan, Lucas Lopez, Dan Miller, Chris Millheisler, and Emma Tautolo looked at our current sending and recruiting efforts, compared it to what our organization has always believed we were called to, and made some recommendations.

I was struck by their call for Cru to “give greater focus to the opportunity to mobilize others (outside of Cru) to reach beyond its current capacity. In order to do this, Cru needs to shift from an organization that primarily does ministry to an organization that primarily mobilizes others for ministry.”

The team pointed out that “Since 1951, the purpose of Cru (as stated on the official website http://www.cru.org) is: “Helping to fulfill the Great Commission in the power of the Holy Spirit by winning people to faith in Jesus Christ, building them in their faith and sending them to win and build others; and helping the Body of Christ do evangelism and discipleship.”

You are participating in very significant efforts to reach middle and high schools and college campuses in the US and globally. But we also know that the task is much bigger and that there are many outside our organization willing to participate if given the opportunity.

My friend, Barry Bowling, and his wife, Laurie, Cru’s high school and junior high team leaders in Houston, recently told me about a pastor and his wife that he met in southeast Houston. He wants to launch Cru in two high schools, a junior high, and a local community college. He wants to do this for us!

If Barry was thinking about this in a traditional way with a team of staff and interns, he would not have driven way across Houston to have that conversation. He just doesn’t have the capacity. Instead, he was thinking about how to connect him with a coach who would help him start movements in those schools.

Now here is something you can do this week:

  • Ask your students if they know someone on another campus that does not have Cru but wishes there was. Then send the name of your student and campus, and their friend’s name, campus, and cell phone to Pat.Senkbeil@cru.org. Launch specialists are standing by!
  • You can even refine the ask to include whether their friend has a heart to reach International Students. Cru has a Bridges coaching team that can connect with them.
  • Or you can ask if they know someone interested in starting a contextualized movement. I know two Destino coaches who would love to know the names of students interested in starting Destino.

In August, Jessica contacted Cru for help with her ministry on a campus in Montana. She had been Navigator staff in Maine, moved to Montana, and began volunteering with Young Life. When they pulled their staff, she was left in charge of their ministry. But with a growing family, and knowing she knowing she needed students to lead, she asked us for some coaching help.

You might be encouraged to know that Cru has several ways that we are “helping the Body of Christ do evangelism and discipleship”. Here are three.

  1. We are partnering with the Pulse Movement’s Together 2018 in Dallas, October 20, 21. We will be looking to involve and equip many as we can to go back to their campus and seek to make a difference for Christ.
  2. Cru and Intervarsity have teamed up on an EveryCampus project in which we are mobilizing others to prayer walk every campus where neither of us has a ministry by the end of 2019. Plus, we each are making available the best of our resources to anyone who would want to begin a movement on their campus.
  3. Cru’s Global Launch Week, November 5-9, will be a tremendous opportunity to prayer walk and look for Key Volunteers on hundreds of campuses worldwide. God will very likely connect us with perhaps thousands of others with a heart to reach their campus. Why not begin making plans now for your students to prayer walk a nearby campus during that week. You will be hearing more.

Sending and recruiting begins now!

Have you ever wondered…

We are days away from beginning another campus ministry year. There’s so much potential, and so much that actually happens during this time of the year.

Most of our efforts in the coming weeks are focused on inviting as many students as possible to get involved. But this is also the very best time of the year to ask students to consider launching a ministry on their campus if there isn’t one already.

A week ago, I was reflecting on John 15 and how the vinedresser works to see that the branches bear fruit. We aren’t just interested in gathering, but, rather, instilling a vision within each student that God can use them in a profound way.

One resource our team has begun using in our launching conversations with students is a video entitled “Have you ever wondered…’Why me?’” This video by our Global Missions’ folks, shows how God can use any of us. Wouldn’t it be great if every student connecting with us in some way this year would be absolutely convinced that God could use them to impact others for all eternity?

Check out “Have you ever wondered…’Why me?’”, put the link in your toolbox, and then consider which of your Christian friends you want to share it with this week.

Together, let’s believe God to open doors to more students on more campuses with the good news of Jesus Christ.

CoJourneying with a Wider Audience

You’ve probably seen this Journey Grid before. It’s a construct that helps us understand where someone is on their spiritual journey. The X-axis shows the Scale of Belief and the  29354772_557753214597459_7082904714142011143_oY-axis the level of benefit they’ve received from Cru. You know someone in every audience.

Most of us tend to focus our work on the C, D, G, and H Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 11.22.03 AMaudiences. But if you are like me, you often wonder how we could do more with those who would assign themselves to the lower and left parts of the grid.

I’ve come to realize that the answer isn’t what could I do, but, rather, what could we do?

Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 11.32.11 AMWe actually have a team in Cru who specifically thinks about helping us help others progress to where they want to go spiritually. It is called our Cru Concierge. I can see skepticism right now as you’re reading these words! But, here is how Ryan McReynolds, Campus Ministry Director of Marketing, describes the work of our concierge.

“The purpose of her role is similar to a hotel concierge: to offer help so that each person can get where they want to go. 
“Cru and hotels are institutions/organizations. And many people are skeptical of institutions. It is very common to hear people say, “I’m not a fan of organized religion”. 
“However, you never hear people say, “I’m not a fan of organized medicine”. That’s because when people are in pain or ill, they just want help; and organized help is much more effective than the alternative. People are grateful for effective help and this can overcome their distrust of an institution.
“The goal of the Concierge is to offer help that is as personal and friendly as possible and yet organized to be as effective as possible to meet people’s needs. 
“Cru is so large that we have lots to offer, but it must be offered in a very personal way in order for people to trust and receive what is offered. That is the role of the concierge.”

 

Our Coaching Center team received the names of over 3500 Christians this year who attended a partnering organization’s events. We worked hard to try to find those interested Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 11.28.32 AMin starting a movement on their campus. We were specifically looking for K’s to become L’s and H’s. And we found some. But after we did our initial pass, we forwarded the lists to the Concierge. In their “very personal way” they were able to surface dozens more interested folks. And that was during April, the worst month of the year to do this!

Our Concierge uses some simple surveys and tools with a proven track record in providing spiritual input and benefit for others. And if you are using MissionHub, you already have a huge start in being able to provide continued spiritual value to those who might have “slipped though the cracks”.

Does this sound compelling to you? Maybe you are a mom looking for a way to impact students. Or maybe you want to be a better Guide to help more students in their spiritual journeys. Contact concierge@cru.org to learn more.

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A “review” session before the final.

Do you remember how valuable the review session was before finals? Maybe you didn’t need them, but I sure did. It was a way for me to learn what I had forgotten and what I never did learn in the first place.

You will be saying goodbye to your students for the summer and some to graduation. How about a review session to bring to mind those things you have talked about and trained them in?

It might be good to spend some time reviewing some things about prayer, evangelism, discipleship and sending.

Prayer. Certainly there are the elements of worship, praise, adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. But prayer is being in partnership with the Lord. Nothing happens on our own. Your students will be entering an environment that is not naturally conducive to ministry taking place. Prayer needs to be an ongoing conversation with the Lord, and involves an expectant heart to be alert to opportunities that God brings our way.

Evangelism. Your students have seen a lot of harvesting types of evangelism. They might even be aware of the three modes of evangelism—ministry, natural, and body. But they will be entering a place where most of what they will be doing sowing. As they transition from a large to small audience, most of their evangelism will be in the natural mode. They must begin by building the relationship with those they work with and meet regularly. Using the Missional Map“I wonder” questionsasking Sometime questions, acts of service, etc. all build trust so that when opportunities come up where their friends show curiosity, openness to change, and interest in the Gospel, then their considerable training in evangelism comes to bear.

Discipleship. Most Christians they encounter have not had the type and depth of training your students have had. They will appreciate that as time goes on. Many believers don’t know how to be filled with and walk in the power of the Spirit, share their story, have a personal devotional life, or know how study the Word. They will be encountering non-believers, but they also have something to offer other believers. But it is essential they begin with a spirit of humility.

Sending. The fact of the matter is they are now the ones being sent. They are taking a job, moving into a new neighborhood. But sending may not happen just once. They may take another job or position; they may participate with a mission in their church. They will continue to be involved in activities that build their faith and vision. These are all part of the sending that God takes us on. The Life On Mission pages will be most helpful.

You will have your own particular emphases, but maybe this has given you some ideas for a review session to prepare your students for a summer of growth and a lifetime of ministry.

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Summer Growth Options.

Most of us are aware that Greek has two words that are usually translated into our English word “time”.

  • Chronos, χρόνος, is where we get “chronology”. It marks the successive aspect of and measurement of time.
  • Kairos, καιρός, is also translated “time”, but contains a sense of an opportune moment or occasion, such as “make the most of your time”, or “taking advantage of the opportunity”.

I’ve been talking these last few weeks about the many important priorities we have going on at this time of the year. During these weeks, we aren’t just counting down the chronos time. These are kairos moments. And we are keeping spring, summer, and fall emphases in mind all at the same time. Last week, I focused on sending seniors well (spring), and the week before on passing the baton (fall).

In today’s tip, let’s look at some summer options.

For years, we had a specific focus on summer survival for students not attending a summer mission. Some of us would hand students several pages of information about time with God, fellowship, and personal discipline. While this material is dated and there are other ways to meet these needs, some find that some of the material is still helpful.

For most of us, Summer Connect is a great way to help students grow over the summer and come back to campus in the fall with an anticipation of what God will do in and through them. Here is the promo video if you need it. This is where to register: Cru.org/summerconnect. And this is the process for joining Summer Connect.

Some of your students may be interested in putting their faith into action in a more specific way. One way is to consider ministering to high school students back home. Our high school ministry offers several ministry ideas with that in mind. High school students often look up to college students and that could be a great way for them to pass on some of the training they received from you this year.

And finally, you may be aware that InterVarsity and Cru are teaming up on a project to see a ministry launched on every campus in the country. The first critical piece in that endeavor is to prayer walk campuses with a view to seeing what God is already doing and whom He has prepared to reach their campus. The EveryCampus project will officially launch this Christmas. But our Prayer team, headed by Dave and Courtnee White, said that 340 campuses have already been prayer walked.

If you have students who would be up for prayer walking a nearby campus, they can go to the EveryCampus.us site, indicate the campus, and post their story and pics to Instagram.

As you meet with students and prepare them for the summer in these and other ways, you may be creating kairos that may have far-reaching impacts.

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A Volunteer Leading in Hawai’i

Cristina Cabansagan, volunteers in our ministry as the Epic-Cru Team Leader at the University of Hawai’i, Mānoa. She spends the majority of her week on campus and the rest of the week in her family’s business, managing real estate properties. Read on for more of her story and her experience volunteering in our organization.

Cristina grew up in a Filipino home in San Francisco. In college she attended InterVarsity for a short time, but still struggled with following Christ fully, leading her to leave the ministry by her junior year. After college in 2010, Cristina decided to fully commit her life to the Lord at a young adults summer camp. Shortly thereafter, she attended an Assemblies of God training for urban mission in Oakland, California where she grew in her passion for evangelism. As she prayed about staying with the denomination, Cristina kept hearing in her quiet times over a two-month period, “Campus Crusade for Christ”.

During the summer of 2014, Cristina looked up Cru online, and was able to connect with Jamie Lam, the Epic Team Leader at UH Mānoa. After a brief conversation, Cristina felt the Lord opening the door to make the move to relocate to Honolulu. She got involved with the movement at Mānoa right after arriving on island. Along with serving on campus, Cristina manages her family’s real estate properties.

In August 2016, the team of seven staff abruptly decided to move to different roles and locations. Cristina, became Team Leader soon after. A new intern and another volunteer comprised her team. Jamie, now Epic Movement Mission Director, coaches Cristina from California.

Today about 40 students are involved at UH Mānoa. The night our team visited the weekly meeting, every aspect was student-led. It was well led. The worship was excellent. A senior student gave a talk on evangelism. Student leaders did a role-play on how to approach a person on campus and share the gospel. There may have been a couple of rough spots, but it was all student led.

Hilo

Cristina, third from left, with her impact group on their annual vision trip to Hilo on the Big Island.

When I talked with Cristina about her experience as a volunteer leading the efforts at Mānoa, I learned that students were involved from other campuses as well, notably Hawaii Pacific University and the University of West Oahu. Cristina said, “The Hawai’i Epic-Cru movement has such a melting pot of students that are reached–some include faces from the continental US, Hawai’i locals, out-islanders from Maui and Big Island, internationals from Japan and China and even islanders from Fiji, Guam, and Saipan.  This semester we began launching at Kapi’olani Community College. Lord willing, we hope to even see movements launched at two other community colleges on island, as well as another on the island of Maui. ”

By handing off responsibility to students, which they were eager to assume, Cristina found that she was both freed up to care for the students spiritually, and to focus on other locations. By making sure the students were equipped, they had confidence in being sent out to minister in their own right.

Small Group

Cristina with her small group.

By handing off responsibility to students, which they were eager to assume, Cristina found that she was both freed up to care for the students spiritually, and to focus on other locations. By making sure the students were equipped, they had confidence in being sent out to minister in their own right.

Cristina generally loves how she has been accepted in her non-traditional status in Epic. But there are times when she experiences the bias our organization has toward only staff leading. We gotta change that.

I loved hearing Cristina tell about totally believing Bill Bright’s vision of reaching college students. Oh, may God give us hundreds more volunteers like her with a passion for making a difference for Jesus Christ. And may we as staff make it easier for others like Cristina to find in Cru the natural place for living out their passion for reaching the lost and helping them become multiplying disciples.

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