Preparing Hearts to Hear from God

Photo by Jamez Picard on Unsplash

The four conferences I told you about in my last newsletter went well. The schedule was tiring, but I was energized to see God work in the lives of those I trained. Here are some encouraging comments from two of the Cru staff members I coached in our small group practices during Emcee Lab (the fourth conference).

Beau will emcee a large regional conference for students during winter break. He wrote this:

Emcee Lab was one of the most practical trainings that I have experienced during my time on staff. The speakers and coaches made it very easy to stay engaged and locked-in during the entirety of the weekend because they definitely had the expertise. The tips were all extremely useful, the heart behind being an emcee was valuable, and the communication drills helped me become a more complete public speaker.

Angela emceed a conference for Cru staff leaders last week. This is from an email she sent the other day:

…Thank you for your work during Emcee Lab! You set me up so well to do what we were trusting the Lord to do. I’m sharing this feedback with you as it’s almost word for word what y’all challenged and trained us to do! Thank you!!!

———- Forwarded message ———

… I wanted to just tell you what an AMAZING job you did as an emcee. You were gracious and poised and had such a presence up there. I really felt like you led us through the sessions as one firmly planted, journeying with others, and reliant on the Lord. Thank you for all of your work…I know that is a LOT of work. You did a fantastic job!!

Although Emcee Lab was the smallest of the four conferences, I believe it will have a big impact through the Cru staff members (and one student) who attended. Some will emcee at large conferences like Beau and Angela. Others will emcee (or teach students to emcee) at weekly large-group student meetings on their campuses. Whatever the event, each one of them will have the opportunity to set the tone of the gathering and prepare the hearts of the audience to hear from God.

I want to thank you for your partnership in ministry. You are helping me equip Cru staff members, students and others with communication skills that will amplify their impact for Christ!

A Month of Conferences

Between now and November 11 my calendar is chock full! I will participate in four conferences

#1: Together 2018– Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX
Oct. 18-21 (including travel days)
My role: volunteer

People from across the nation are gathering together to pray for our nation, worship Jesus, and be equipped and commissioned to a lifestyle of moving closer to Jesus and the world around us. This is a collaborative effort of PULSE, Cru, InterVarsity, and the Circuit Riders to launch gospel movements on every campus in the U.S.

#2:Comm Lab Clinic– Minot, ND
Oct. 29 – Nov. 1 (including travel days)
My role: organizer and communication coach

Cru staff teams from Grand Forks, Fargo and Minot will be joined by some local church and parachurch workers for this two-day training event. Three other communication coaches and I will teach delivery skills in a supportive, small-group environment.

#3: Indianapolis Winter Conference Auditions and Worship Arts Weekend – Local
Nov. 2-4 (I only coach on Nov. 3)
My role: communication coach

Students from Cru movements in Indiana and surrounding states will come for training to grow as worship leaders on their campuses. Some of them will also audition to be part of the worship band at Cru’s winter conference in Indy right after Christmas. I will do some communication coaching and also teach clinics on running worship lyrics and other media shown onscreen during meetings.

#4: Emcee Lab– local
Nov. 9-11
My role: organizer and communication coach

I organize this annual training event for staff members and students who emcee at weekly meetings and conferences of all sizes.  An emcee (master of ceremonies) can do a great deal to guide an audience as they process how God is speaking to them during an event, and we want to help them grow in those skills.

Please pray

  • For stamina and good rest
  • For safe travel
  • For wisdom as I teach, coach and lead
  • For God to speak to the hearts of those who attend
  • That I would depend on God consistently in the midst of this busy time.

Thank you for praying!

Getting the Word Out

In an organization as large as Cru, some resources remain “hidden gems” unknown to many staff members. Our communication training resources (conferences and videos) fit into that category, so my teammates and I have spent the past several weeks planning and preparing ways to help get the word out within the Cru community.

  • We made a schedule for posting announcements to our in-house email newsletters and staff-only online bulletin boards.
  • We wanted a fresh, new look for our materials because we’ve used our previous designs for a long time. One of my teammates came up with a concept for a new logo for our conferences, and I finalized the design (below).

  • To help people mentally connect our events to one another, we tweaked the names. Comm Lab (the most well-known) remained the same, but Emcee Training became Emcee Lab and our 2-day communication training events (focusing on either delivery skills or story writing) are now called Comm Lab Clinics.
  • To create engaging content for our announcements, I edited video footage of testimonials about our training into seven “ads” of about 20 seconds or less. Here’s a link to the first one: https://vimeo.com/288213964.
  • I organized information on resources from my broader department (including our communication training) into a website. I also designed this sample one-page website (see screenshot below) that can be used as a template for anyone who hosts a Comm Lab Clinic.

While I was in “web design mode” I made some tweaks to this ministry website. I hope you like what you see!

Prayer Requests

  • For our announcements and website to be effective in reaching staff members (and their students) who can benefit from our training
  • For wisdom for me as I write and post the announcements
  • For MUCH wisdom for me as I write two talks I will give for the women of my church at our fall retreat September 28-29; the topic for the retreat is God’s grace

Thank you for your partnership and prayers!

Acts of Compassion Open Doors for the Gospel

At times I am asked to help with projects outside of my normal responsibilities. One was to help set up the registration website for a unique spring break mission for students. Traditional Cru spring break trips focus on evangelism at a beach or resort, but this one focused on service. Each week in March, a new group of students went to the Houston area to partner with churches and relief ministries to help rebuild after Hurricane Harvey. More than one thousand college students from 57 universities in 23 states gave 32,544 volunteer hours to repair damaged houses, demolish mold-infested homes and build new ones.

Here are the stories of two students who went on the Harvey Relief Mission.

Edgar’s Story

Edgar is a student at Indiana University (IU) who loves to cut hair. While building the foundations of a new home, Edgar met the homeowners, Pang and Kim. This Cambodian-American couple had been living in a corrugated tin roof shack ever since the floodwaters of Harvey destroyed their house. With the help of Google Translate, Edgar shared the gospel with his new friends. Both Pang and Kim committed their lives to Jesus on the spot. Edgar celebrated by giving Pang a haircut, and Pang and Kim celebrated by getting baptized later that week.

Pang, Edgar, IU staff member Brandon, Kim

Brittney’s Story

Today’s college student has a huge heart to show compassion and fight for justice, so 20% of those who served on the Harvey mission were not followers of Jesus. Brittney, for example, was one of the first students from Kansas State to sign up. During her week of hard work side-by-side with students who love Jesus, she began to yearn for God as she never had before. During the closing event for the week, the speaker asked the students to compare their personal lives to the homes they had repaired – perhaps looking good on the outside, but broken and even unlivable on the inside. He challenged them to surrender their lives to Christ, the only one who can fix broken lives. The Lord moved in Brittney’s heart, and she surrendered her life to Jesus that night.

It was encouraging for me to hear these stories of God at work through another part of Cru. I’m also glad I was able to help, even though it was only in a very small way. You, however, help me in a BIG way. Thank you for your partnership!

Please Pray…

  • For the gospel to continue to bear fruit from the Harvey Relief Mission.
  • For God to open up calendar spots this fall/winter for Emcee Training and for short versions of Comm Lab in East Asia (probably by video conference) and North Dakota.
  • For Comm Labs scheduled in 2019 in South Africa (February – and no, I’m not going on this trip) Raleigh, North Carolina (April) and Dublin, Ireland (November).

Thank you for praying!

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