Developing and Being Developed

“Thank you! You changed the way I read the Bible and gave me greater confidence and a vision for where I want to be.”

That’s what one person said after taking Bible Study Methods, a foundational course in the theological training received by all Cru staff members. From June 16 to July 2, I’ll serve as one of 20 coaches for the Bible Study Methods class being held in Fort Collins, CO. I’ll guide a small group of new staff members as they practice Bible study skills they learned during large-group lectures.

I love equipping messengers for God’s mission! Our staff members are wonderful, dedicated people who are winning people to Christ, building them in their faith and sending them out to reach others. I feel so privileged to have this opportunity to develop some of them as they embark on God’s mission!

As you know, my job throughout the year is to plan and teach at events designed to develop Cru staff members, students, and other Christian leaders. From July 19-26 it will be my turn to be developed! I’ll join 5000 other staff members at Cru19, our biennial staff conference, to hear exciting stories of what God is doing through Cru around the globe. I’ll be challenged by God’s word through skilled Bible teachers and experience the incredible joy of joining 5000 other voices in musical worship. I’ll hear from our leaders and gain renewed vision for our mission to give every person on the planet the opportunity to hear about Christ. It will be wonderful to simply attend Cru19 (also in Colorado) so I can be refreshed and developed.

PLEASE PRAY:

  • for safe travel for both trips
  • for wisdom as I coach my Bible Study Methods group
  • that I would be encouraged and equipped by Cru19.

Thank you for praying. I am so grateful for your prayer partnership; you are helping me to equip messengers for God’s mission!

Response to the Gospel

I recently saw some encouraging results from a survey by the Barna Group. About 5,000 people were asked last fall how Cru has influenced them and how they’re influencing others as a result. One statistic in particular grabbed my attention:

“For our campus ministry in the past year, on average, one in three spiritual conversations led to a gospel presentation, and one in three presentations led to a new decision.”

Wow! One in three people who were willing to listen to the gospel trusted Christ as Savior! God is at work among students!

Prayer and Praise:

  • Praise God for how He is working on campus!
  • Ask Him to continue opening the hearts of students.

“Public speaking terrifies me”

Teaching one of my sessions at Comm Lab 2019
Teaching one of my sessions at Comm Lab 2019

“Public speaking terrifies me.” That’s why one Cru staff member decided to attend Comm Lab last month. She admitted her fears on a short survey I sent to the 35 attendees to find out why they came and what they thought of the training. Here are a few encouraging responses:

“…the talks were so well done and applicable, and the drills were incredibly helpful. I loved that the focus was on the message that the Lord has for us to give, and not on how we might look good before an audience. (Though you communicated well that we are called to excellence–not perfection–because of whom we represent!) The coaching time was invaluable!”

(Becky, human resources for Bridges, Cru’s ministry to international students)


“I was an education major in college and took a preaching class in seminary, but the Comm Lab was definitely the most intense communication training I have experienced. I had previously been taught a lot of the things mentioned at the Comm Lab (eye contact, gestures, facial expressions, stage movement, etc.), but no one ever really demonstrated why they are important and held me accountable to improve. Comm Lab did that for me; the coaches stretched me and pushed me. Now I can take that with me as I continue to improve as a communicator.”

(Justin, college pastor)


“…I now have a helpful grid for things to look for and continue to improve on. I definitely improved over the course of a week but what’s most encouraging to me is that I feel equipped to continue growing…”

(Juice, Cru’s campus ministry)


“I have never been so locked in to a conference, soaking everything up like a sponge. I didn’t miss a single session, because it was not only extremely valuable but practical. Practicing skills after each session was crucial for me to learn and grow. The whole conference was so helpful. I will take those skills with me the rest of my life! I believe that it was the single best conference I could have attended for personal growth in communication skills.”

(Danella, college and mobilization director for a church)

 

Prayer and Praise:

  • Praise God for how He used Comm Lab
  • Ask Him to speak through those who were equipped at Comm Lab.

2019 Comm Lab

Our annual Comm Lab will be in Raleigh, NC from April 8-11. It’s another opportunity to watch God transform people (this time Cru staff members and local Christian leaders) as they grow in both skill and confidence in public speaking.

Please Pray:

  • That God will prepare the hearts of those attending Comm Lab. (As of today we have 36 registered; we’d love to have 40.)
  • That I (and the rest of the Comm Lab team) will rely on the Holy Spirit rather than our own strengths as we teach, coach, and run the event.
  • For safe travel and good health for all going to Comm Lab and for any of their family members back home. (I’m riding in a van driving there April 6 and returning April 12.)

Thank you for your prayers!

For more info see the Comm Lab website: http://commlab.strategic-initiatives.us.

Watching Transformation

The students and staff at the Pennsylvania Worship Arts Weekend.

Thank you for praying for the Pennsylvania Worship Arts Weekend! As always, I loved watching God weave together the various strengths and experiences of our staff team into a tool to encourage growth in the students. Each student band had two or three of us helping them with music, sound, and communication. As the communication coach for one band, my job was to encourage them in their stage presence and expressiveness.

My favorite moment in rehearsal came after my band had worked hard on both the music and communication of one of their songs. Scott, the music director I was paired with, walked up to each music stand and swiveled it around so the students couldn’t see their song charts. They reacted as you would expect, with groans and anxious faces. But Scott made them play the song anyway…and to their surprise they made very few errors.

Then Scott had them play it again from memory. He encouraged them to focus on worshipping God instead of on the music this time, because they already knew the music. The transformation was wonderful! I watched their tension melt away as they began to freely express their love for Jesus in their faces and body language. And what’s more, their music was more expressive, too!

You can watch a recap video of the Pennsylvania Worship Arts Weekend below.  (And yes, I’m in it briefly!)

Please pray that the students will continue to apply what they learned at the Worship Arts Weekend, not only in music and communication but in spiritual things like dealing with sin and walking faithfully with God. Thank you for your prayers!

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