April 9 Online Prayer Event

I hope this finds all of you healthy and safe! I am doing well and working from home as part of the “new normal” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Campuses are closed and Cru has also cancelled all conferences for a least the next couple of months. So we are all finding new ways – mostly by internet – of sharing the message of Jesus and helping people grow in their relationship with Him.

Within the past few days, Cru has put together a special online prayer event for tomorrow night. Here’s the info:

Join Rend Collective, Louie Giglio, Crawford Loritts, Ney Bailey, Mark Gauthier, Jamie Lam, and others on Thursday, April 9th, 9 PM (EDT) live on YouTube and Facebook. This special event kicks off a 40-day, 24-hour prayer chain. This is a time to lift our eyes to Jesus and fervently seek Him together.

As the COVID–19 pandemic disrupts and damages our lives and our world, we join together from our homes to be still, to consider what the Lord is saying to us personally as well as globally, and to pray individually and in our communities. Learn more at www.cru.org/mycampus/bestill.

If you’re not able to watch live on Facebook or YouTube tomorrow night, you can still sign up for the 40-day 24-hour prayer chain at this link: http://calendly.com/bestillcru/prayerchain.

Thank you for your partnership with me in equipping messengers for God’s mission! May you sense God’s presence with you during these days of worldwide crisis.

A String of Conferences

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:

running media
Running slides at the Indy Winter Conference
  • 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.

Comm Lab

CL20 coaching group
My Comm Lab coaching group, minus one who ministers in a sensitive country.

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!

Winter Praise and Prayer

Photo by Adam Chang on Unsplash

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!

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.

 

 

 

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