Category Archives: Launching

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

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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

Launch Week Side Benefits

Last week, I mentioned that teams of Cru staff have been visiting new campuses for the purpose of finding potential key volunteers. Six teams visited five different cities in two weeks. Every team in Florida had staff go to Miami for a second launch week, including four new staff and interns from Florida State.

My wife and I just happen to be in Tallahassee this weekend visiting our eldest son, Rick, and his family. We also happened to meet Alana Schmidt, one of those who went to Miami. She told me a little about her experience.

Alana is new staff, and just reported to campus. Ironically she spent her first week post-MPD in Miami. She pointed out to me that the Key Volunteer Challenge training emphasizes how God was already at work before we ever talk with students. She went on to say that it was a really good reminder that we are in partnership with Him, and that He continues to be at work. Because Alana had been an intern before, she experienced how easily that in the middle of ministry week after week we can forget that God is at work.

One of Alana’s takeaways is to go through the challenge with current student leaders. Her launch week experience convinced her of the importance of working with the right people, those with the right heart. The challenge helps to have conversations about what we are trusting God for together and to articulate and expand the vision of those we work with.

Finally, Alana mentioned that there are other campuses nearby. The KV Challenge could help identify student leaders on those campuses with a heart to reach their own campus. While she didn’t mention circle campuses, she did say that they would certainly need to lead efforts differently.

You can find videos of the KV Challenge, the description of Three-Thirds and more on the videos page of Expedition Teams page on Facebook.

Fall Coaching Tips

Key Volunteer Challenge

Good Monday Morning,

Teams of staff visited campuses where we don’t already have movements in Seattle, LA, and Miami last week for the purpose of launching ministries. I was one of those that went to Miami. We had a great time seeing God lead us to those whom He has prepared to start and lead ministries. This week, another team will be go back to Miami and others will go to Charlotte and Salt Lake City.

Our team initiated conversation with at least 100 students each day on 13 campuses as we looked for potential key volunteers. At least 10 accepted the challenge.

Some time ago, I received Eric and Liz Hiett’s newsletter, describing how they use the Key Volunteer Challenge on their campuses on the Monterey Coast, Central California, and Southern Nevada. I asked Eric how they specifically use the KV Challenge. With some nuances, he pretty much described the typical way to use it, which was what we did too.

“As we go on campus to launch we search for Christian students interested in starting a Christian group…If yes, we then set an appointment for the next week. This [shows] if the student is really interested or not. As we meet with them on the next appointment, we go over the Key Volunteer Challenge. The first question can sometimes be a little difficult as we ask them what they want to see happen on their campus. Many times they talk about social issues. We then answer the question ourselves stating what we believe God wants to see on this campus. Most of the time students understand and agree.

“Then we walk them through Matthew 28:19-20 and ask what Christ is asking us to do. We focus on win, build, and send. Most students agree. We move on to 2 Timothy 2:2 and walk through the discipleship process letting them know that the Lord can use them in reaching out to their campus…

“Then we have them write down 5 people that they can share with (This might be where the network map might come in handy once we have done it with them). Sometimes this can be a struggle especially if they do not have a non-Christian community. We help them to figure it out. We usually get 2 to 3 names on average. Then follow that up with 5 believers they can go through the KV challenge. This is the most difficult one, as they can come up with names but are reluctant to go and actually walk through the challenge with them.  [Occasionally] we go with them and have them watch us…

“If the student says yes and goes for it, we set up another appointment to go out sharing, following up the next time with the Key Volunteer Covenant.  At this point when they sign the covenant, we now know they are on board with us.

“We make it a point to share this with all of our leadership so we can all be on the same page. It is a great aligning tool. We are using this at UC Merced this semester and we have several students involved, with one leading a small group. Once we have at least 2 or 3 students as key volunteers, we then proceed with this group becoming what we call a Three-Thirds group, which is for another day.

“It has been a great tool to get us going.”

Eric

Thanks, Eric. What you all are doing is similar to what is happening on campuses and in cities all over the world.

You can find videos the KV Challenge, the description of Three-Thirds and more on the videos page of Expedition Teams page on Facebook.
Fall Coaching Tips

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

Can Incoming Freshmen Launch?

If you are Cru staff, you may have seen this piece in the last QuickRead. Sponsored by Campus Renewal, the vision is to connect every incoming freshman with a campus ministry at college. It’s great seeing emails from these students expressing interest in our ministry. They can select from any of the following options, and many select all:

  • Being contacted by someone with Cru at my college.
  • Knowing when and where Cru meets.
  • Receiving Cru e-newsletters.
  • Getting the time and place of a Bible study.

You may have already received emails from these students forwarded by Pat Senkbeil, our Student LINC and Coaching Center Assistant.

Connecting them to a ministry on campus is easy. But if they are on a campus where the movement is small, re-starting, or you’re just beginning, it might be a bit more challenging to help them.

It is very possible that God has brought them along to help you with that ministry at this time. I think of the old “Cornelius Principle”, about God at work in ways apart from what the apostles were doing. While not everyone wants to, our team has found many incoming freshman do want to start something on their campus.

Whether you’re busy in following up survey contacts, helping with Hurricane Harvey clean-up, or your schools have been closed because of Irma, why not check out “Want to Start a Ministry on Your Campus?” page on Cru.org. Then suggest interested students read through the first six steps. They can also get a preview of some of the possible resources we might use in our movements under Prayer, Evangelism, and Discipleship at the bottom.

Fall Coaching Tips