Category Archives: Launching

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.

Previous Coaching Tips

 

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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.

Previous Coaching Tips

Believing that God is already at work.

Put today’s tip in the category of “Do it again, Lord!”

I’m writing this after three days at the Hawaiian Island Ministries conference. Several of us, representing Cru’s high school and college ministries, were here at this largest annual Christian gathering in Hawaii to see if we could connect with what God is already doing and possibly see new ministries start. Kent Matsui, our team leader at the University of Hawaii, Hilo, is particularly eager to see high school ministries start.

Scores of people, pastors, teachers, parents, and students expressed interest. And we will have a bunch to follow up.

One of those, Landon, came up to our booth. He stopped by earlier when no one was around, but was glad to see us. He thought we each could help the other and told us his story.

At 13, Landon started attending church on his own. He placed his faith in Christ and began to grow. One day his dad sat him down to say that his parents were getting a divorce. But he had noticed something different in Landon and thought it might be because he was going to church. So he decided to take the whole family to church. A different one. Landon followed.

One day he heard his pastor share a message about each person’s calling in life, and that’s when he felt God speak directly to him. “The person who will be leading the next generation of believers,” the pastor said, “won’t be a 20 year old or 30 year old man, but a 13 year old boy sitting in here today.”  Amongst the 500 plus attendees that day, Landon knew, with all of his heart, that this message was for him.

He started attending leadership classes in his church, and learned how to write sermons, lead small groups, and coordinate events. He was the only boy in a class of adults. Now equipped and inspired, he took the first steps toward his calling.

He posted a Bible study sign up sheet on the bulletin board of his school. The next day he came back to fine the sheet  filled front and back with names of the interested. As a middle school-er, he started a ministry that grew to over 100 kids.

Today at 20, he is a business major in a Christian university, and leads four high school ministries and one on a community college. Now we don’t want to change what Landon is doing. But we talked about ways we could begin to partner together.

Kaitlyn, a sixth grader, walked up to our booth with the bearing of a tenth grader. She told how she is leading a Bible study with other home schooled kids and wants to expand. She was looking for resources and, currently, is writing a devotion for home-school moms and daughters. We all were amazed at the vision of this 12 year old girl and her personal maturity beyond those years.

So yes, “Do it again, Lord!” or maybe I should say “Lord, expand my categories of what You want to do!”

Hawaii has cultural and historical distinctiveness that make ministry here unique from many places. Our team came in as learners and God blessed us with the realization that He is working in profound ways outside our categories.

This week:

  • What have you seen recently in which you are saying “Do it again, Lord!”?
  • Are there ways you might be putting God in a box?
  • What are some ways you would like to trust Him for people and communities you aren’t currently reaching?

Previous Coaching Tips

“Can I get in on this?”

Several years ago, I was coaching, Brian, a pastor in Canton, in upstate New York. He had students in his congregation from two campuses in town. As time went on, he began to spend more time at SUNY Canton and enjoyed getting more opportunities to minister there.

One day, I received a call from Sean. He introduced himself as a pastor of a sister church in Potsdam, 30 miles away, where there were also two colleges. He said that he had heard about the kinds of input I’d given Brian, and then he asked, “Can I get in on what your are doing with Brian?”

What we offer students, volunteers, and faculty, is incredibly valuable. The ministry training, the personal development, and the model of living missionally that we offer is something that many long to experience. When given the opportunity, I believe that many on campuses where we are not currently working wish they could “get in on what we are doing”.

I can imagine that many of those we are currently working with know friends on other campuses. Why not make a point of asking those who have benefited most from your discipleship and training if they know someone on a campus where we don’t have a ministry?

Just think. What if just one person on each of our current campuses would identify a friend on another campus who longs to live for Christ and make a difference for Him? And what if someone on your team decided to call them and walk through the Key Volunteer Challenge and they accepted? And what if they decided to call them each week with some simple steps for finding other Christian friends and together launch a movement?

Just think how many new movements we could launch before the end of the year. Just think how many others could be exposed to the Gospel? And just think how many others could see something of the purpose God has for them. Just by being intentional about asking about friends. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

In my case, it turned out that Sean actually saw more students take steps to make a difference for Christ at SUNY Potsdam than Brian had seen. It was a case of Henry Blackaby’s principle in Experiencing God, finding where God was at work and joining in by providing some simple coaching.

Previous Coaching Tips

Prayer, Evangelism, Biblical Content, and Community

There was a lot of talk in our ministry last year about the three different Movement Leadership Forms. We’ve identified them as square, triangle, and circle movements. By way of review

  • Square—Staff TLs, staff team members, staff modeling ministry.
  • Triangle—Staff TLs, Student/Faculty/Volunteer members, and staff modeling ministry to the team.
  • Circle—Student/Faculty/Volunteer TLs and team members, staff coaching the team as it stewards the movement.

Naturally some of us find ourselves gravitating toward one form of leadership over the others. And while it takes effort to launch, but it’s important to realize that you are not expected to lead everything you launch in the same way.

But we do anticipate that most of the future growth of our ministry will lie mostly with circle campuses led by students, faculty, and volunteers.

What makes that incredibly compelling is that this future growth will increase the number of vested leaders involved in evangelism and discipleship. As we distribute leadership to more students, faculty, and volunteers more will be able to hear and respond to the great Good News.

So I think most of us agree that it behooves us to grow more circle campuses. But none of us want to see those circle campuses only be just a group of believers, not reaching out or multiplying.

I had a conversation a while back with Rob Mittuch, Mission Director for New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He’s been unpacking with team leaders some of the movement building framework described in Acts 2:42-47. The Scriptures describes Prayer, Evangelism, Biblical Content, and Community as essential for growth and development of a movement. He urges finding leaders in these four areas for every type of campus, not just the squares and triangles, but for circles as well. This offers student leaders clear pathways for engagement and equipping is more specific.

I like this. Over the next two weeks, I will unpack more of what Rob is suggesting, how it helps ensure that our DNA is instilled and how beneficial it is as students help other students lead.

Fall Coaching Tips

Gap Year

Starting Fall 2018, Cru is launching our first ever Gap Year missions. A Global Gap Year is a 9-month adventure that will transform lives, give opportunities to trust God in greater ways, and to share the Gospel with high school students across the globe.

Recent high school grads will spend 2 months of personal training and development in Orlando followed by 3 months each in Africa and South America, working alongside Cru high school ministries in each country.

  • Do you know high school students who would be a good fit for this mission? They can indicate their interest here and high school’s Global Missions team will provide them more information.
  • Would you be interested in leading a gap year team?

Did you know that

  • Only 56% of all students entering college graduate with a degree within six years?
  • Or that an estimated 75% of all college students change majors at least once. Many as much as three times.
  • Or that 30 % of all freshmen drop out of college after the first year?
  • (Statistics come from the collegeatlas.org and American Gap Association.)

A few colleges support gap years. According to their websites, Harvard encourages students to defer enrollment for one year to take a gap year. And Princeton offers a Bridge Year Program that allows students to engage in a 9-month University sponsored international service project.

Why a Gap Year

  • To pursue other passions.
  • A chance to regroup and rediscover.
  • Find clarity about the future.
  • Help to develop a worldview.
  • Help alleviate academic burnout.
  • Improved career opportunities.

Benefits of a Gap Year

  • Better prepared for college.
  • Better sense of self.
  • A more focused student.
  • Typically higher GPA’s.
  • Better problem solving skills.
  • Better chance of graduating in 4 years.
  • Tend not to change majors.

Obviously, the high school ministry will benefit from their participation, as they will help launch new high school movements and provide lift to existing ministries. But Gap Year team members will benefit from the training they will receive in evangelism, discipleship and movement launching, and personally from this rich development experience.

To learn more go here, to indicate your interest fill out this form, or to talk with someone about Gap Year contact Jill.johnson@cru.org.

Fall Coaching Tips

A Launch Trip Offers Team Benefits.

For the last two weeks, I’ve talked about using the Key Volunteer Challenge. It was the primary tool teams used in different cities during the launch weeks to identify potential leaders to begin new movements. And Eric Hiett shared how it was their lead step as they visit campuses.

Then, I shared some insights Alana Schmidt, new staff participating in a launch week, had about the value of using the KV Challenge with current student leaders so that staff and leaders are all believing God for the same things.

Let me wrap up this series by offering some team benefits. The Florida State staff team spent three days last Spring away from campus and at Valdosta State with the intention of launching a movement there. I asked team leader and my son, Rick Kingsley, what he thought the benefits were of that trip.

First, it was a team bonding time. They all stayed in the same hotel, they ate meals together, and they got to hang out during down time. Even an event that didn’t pan out the way they wanted turned into time of tossing the Frisbee around. That kind of time is impossible to get during the normal schedule of ministry on location.

Second, there were training benefits. Using the Key Volunteer Challenge to surface potential leaders, meeting with leaders and faculty, taking the initiative, etc. gave the team a different type of ministry environment and focus.

Finally, Rick told me that what this did to increase their vision made the launch trip worthwhile. Seeing God do some really big things at Valdosta caused the team to go back to FSU encouraged to trust Him for similar things.

In the coming weeks you will be evaluating your fall ministry and looking ahead to the spring. Let me encourage you to consider planning a launch trip away to a campus where we currently don’t have one. Here are some helpful hints before, during, and after a visit to a campus if you do.

Fall Coaching Tips