I am a staff member with Cru, a caring community passionate about connecting people to Jesus Christ. I work at Cru's Indianapolis Office as a communication coach, writer/editor, video editor, and conference administrator.
Thank you for your prayers! I really needed them, because the last two and a half months have been a whirlwind of conference activity for me:
I ran the song lyrics and speaker slides for the Indianapolis Winter Conference (December 27 – January 1). 1346 college students came from throughout the Midwest. During an outreach at a local men’s prison, 75 students and staff shared the gospel with 93 inmates, and 18 indicated decisions to trust Christ!
Emcee Lab, our weekend of personalized coaching for emcees scheduled in November, was postponed when our main instructor had a family emergency. To make up for it, we trained two staff members in December and six college students in January.
From January 13-29, I was one of 11 small group coaches for a two-week course on Bible Study Methods. I had the privilege of coaching 11 new Cru staff members who will serve in assignments across the U.S. as well as in South America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
I taught communication skills at a Worship Arts Weekend in Sharon, PA (February 21-23) to college students who lead musical worship for weekly Cru meetings on their campuses.
23 people came to Indy February 10-13 to attend Comm Lab, our annual communication training event. Here is what a few of them had to say about it:
“This was an amazing training. The coaches were so helpful and kind, and the community it built so quickly between the participants was so fun. I loved everything about this not just the irreplaceable training I received!” – Jenn, Cru staff member
“I loved how practical and applicable the sessions were and how easy it was to transfer those principles into practice. The coaches were incredibly personal and encouraging as they pushed us to dig deep and work hard. I have a degree in communication and think I learned more in 4 days than I did in 4 years!” – Maria, Cru intern
“This was the most practical training I have ever attended. It was focused and purposeful. The coaches were kind and pushed us to the next level. I finally have a little bit of a handle on my movement, eye contact, facial expressions, and voice. Wow!” – Lee, pastor
Thank you for your partnership with me in equipping messengers for God’s mission!
Thank you for your prayers for the Worship Arts Conference and Auditions! 76 students came from 29 campuses. 55 auditioned for the student band that will lead worship at the Cru Winter Conference in Indianapolis, while the others attended sessions on the essentials of communication. The students I interacted with gave encouraging feedback, and it was fun to help coach a band from Detroit and watch them gain confidence during our session.
In the next three months, I look forward to equipping students and staff members at other Cru conferences and training events.
Winter Conference: Thousands of students will attend conferences across the country where God will work in their lives in significant ways. I’ll serve on the production team for the Indianapolis conference, which starts right after Christmas.
Emcee Lab: A small group of students and staff members will come to our office in January for a weekend of personalized coaching. I do most of the prep work for this one, and even though it’s small there are still a lot of details to arrange.
Bible Study Methods class: January also brings me a chance to coach a small group of new Cru staff members taking a two-week course on how to study the Bible and teach it to others.
Comm Lab: Our annual communication training event will be in February in Indy.
And finally, right on the heels of Comm Lab, another Worship Arts training weekend, this time for students in Pennsylvania.
As Christmas and a new year approach, your prayers will play a significant role in all of these events. Please ask God to keep me dependent on His power as I follow His lead, and to work in the hearts of everyone who attends training.
I want to thank you for your partnership in ministry. You are helping me equip messengers for God’s mission!
Instrumentalists. Vocalists. Sound techs. Weekly meeting program teams.
This weekend, 75 (or more!) college students from Indiana and neighboring states will come to the Worship Arts Conference and Audition here in Indy. The weekend gives them the chance to experience
hands-on clinics for worship band members and leaders;
hands-on experience for instrumentalists and vocalists;
practical input for music directors, program team planners, sound techs, etc.;
opportunity for individual worship band coaching,
challenging content for the heart;
optional auditions for the band that will lead students in worship during the Cru Winter Conference in Indianapolis (December 28-31); and
lots of fun!
Students arrive Friday night and leave Sunday afternoon. The auditions will be held Saturday morning while the 30 or so students who are not auditioning receive additional training. In planning the sessions in this segment, I’ve included part of the Rock Your Meeting video discussion curriculum described in my last newsletter. At other times this weekend, I have the opportunity to teach two communication sessions, offer a workshop on lyrics and visual media, and coach a student band in communicating worship songs.
for all of us who are teaching and coaching this weekend to be deeply dependent on God rather than relying on our own strength;
that God would prepare the hearts of the students for what He wants to do in their lives;
that the students in my Saturday morning sessions would share the Rock Your Meeting curriculum with other students who serve on worship teams, weekly meeting program teams, etc.
Thank you for your prayers!
On a personal note…
I recently attended an 80th-anniversary showing of The Wizard of Oz at the Heartland Film Festival, an annual event here in Indianapolis. This was the first time I had ever seen it in a movie theater, and it was amazing on the big screen! The special effects were especially impressive in light of the creativity and effort needed to produce them in 1939. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing one of my favorite classic films as it was meant to be seen!
Mid to late August is the start of a new semester for most colleges and an increasing number of high schools, so it also starts a new season for many staff teams in Cru, including office teams like mine.
One of the things we did during our kickoff meeting was to pray, plan and dream about projects we’d like to accomplish before the Christmas break. One project I feel God leading me to focus on is the Rock Your Meeting series of training videos.
Over the past several years I’ve helped in various aspects of production for the 27 Rock Your Meeting training videos, including final editing. They now have a home on the Cru website at www.cru.org/rockyourmeeting. These videos are designed to help students (and staff) grow in skills for planning and presenting weekly meetings on campus.
Although they are useful as is, my involvement with the Worship Arts Weekends (retreats for college students who lead worship at Cru meetings) has given me a desire to make them even more useful. For a session at one of last year’s trainings, I showed the students four of the videos (each is less than 5 minutes long) and asked discussion questions after each one.
The Rock Your Meeting videos worked really well as discussion starters, so I’ve written questions for each of the 27 videos and posted them on a test website (www.rockyourmeeting.org) where they are grouped by topic. (The site’s instruction page is pictured below.) The next step will be to have several Cru campuses try them with their student worship teams, program teams, etc. I’ll then ask for their feedback, which will help me finalize the material.
For the testing process for the Rock Your Meeting discussion questions:
connection with campuses willing to test the material
helpful feedback from the testers
my sensitivity to God’s guidance throughout
For diligence and wise use of time on this and other projects
What a joy it was to coach six new Cru staff members in studying the Bible! Their love for the Lord and passion for serving Him was obvious.
Mornings started with a meeting for coaches to discuss the day’s lesson plan. Then came a 30 minute lecture on a Bible study skill followed by a 90 minute coaching group. Group activities included devotionals, prayer, discussion of the previous day’s homework, guided practice of skills presented in the lecture, and time to work on assignments.
At the end of the course, the new staff filled out an evaluation; one of the questions was, “How did God work in your life through your study, reflection, and application of Ephesians?” Here’s how three of my group members answered :
“He gave me a greater appreciation for His word and used it to bring about greater desire for Him and a greater sense of my place in the kingdom. “
“God reminded me of the power of the scriptures while studying Ephesians. There were a few times when things that I had read before struck me in new ways. I was reminded also of the richness of scripture. There is so much more in this letter than we even had the time to dive into. I’m more excited than I have been in a while to dig deep into the scriptures. “
“The assignment on the broken family relationship was pretty big for me. He showed me how much I need Him to help me extend grace and forgiveness to others.”
What a privilege to be part of God’s work in the lives of these six missionaries-in-training! Thank you for helping me equip messengers for God’s mission!