Making a Tool More Useful

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.

Please Pray:

  • 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

Thank you for your prayers!

Instruction page for Rock Your Meeting discussion series.
Instruction page for Rock Your Meeting discussion series.

 

 

 

The Power of the Scriptures

The group of new Cru staff I coached.
The group of new Cru staff I coached.

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!

The small group coaches for the Bible Study Methods course.
The small group coaches for the Bible Study Methods course.

 

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.

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