Worship Training This Weekend

Worship Arts Conference and AuditionInstrumentalists. 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.

Please pray

  • 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!

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.

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