The students in the conference center had just sat down after worshiping God through music. Seth Irby, the worship leader, now taught them from Isaiah 6. As Seth walked them through Isaiah’s awe-inspiring vision of God’s presence filling the temple, he challenged the students to relate it to the purpose of worship. Seth’s passion for God was unmistakable as he declared, “It’s all about God’s glory!”
From September 22-24 we conducted a weekend of worship arts training here at the Cru Indianapolis Office. The training was combined with auditions for the student band that will lead worship for the Cru Indianapolis Winter Conference. I was privileged to help train 53 Cru students from 12 campuses in 6 states.
Our desire was to help them grow both spiritually and in their musical and/or technical skills. Throughout the weekend we encouraged them to use their talents and abilities to serve others and glorify God, rather than to serve or bring glory to themselves.
One student leader sent us the following email after arriving home:
… I was just at the music leadership conference this weekend in Indianapolis. I just wanted to let you know how encouraged I was after this amazing experience. I can’t tell you how much not only I needed this but our campus as well. I am a part of M— University’s Cru and we are so young and vulnerable that this weekend was imperative to future growth. I can see Jesus working so much in the things you are doing and I wanted to encourage you in your missions. I again wanted to thank you for everything you are doing for the Lord!
Through your partnership in ministry with me, you helped to encourage and equip these students. Thank you!
Please pray that the students will grow in skill and servant-heartedness as they begin to apply what they learned during the conference.
PS: I ran the computer for song lyrics and speaker slides during the event (see pictures below). I also taught two clinics about running lyrics and media to equip students who do that job for their campus’s weekly Cru meetings.
The training material I helped edit recently called Students Reaching Students is now being field-tested at Taylor University. (Those of you outside the midwest may not know that Taylor is a prestigious non-denominational Christian liberal arts college here in Indiana.)
A small group of students is going on a school-sponsored mission trip to Ecuador during their January break. Cru staff member Darin Buffkin is using Students Reaching Students to equip them to share the good news about Jesus Christ with Ecuadorian students. After the trip, Darin will let us know how well the material worked and if we can improve it in any way.
Please pray that the materials will be effective in preparing the Taylor students for their mission trip and that we will receive valuable feedback as a result of this test.
In July I spent a week in Colorado attending Cru’s U.S. staff conference. The theme of the conference was “WITH” – connecting
- WITH God
- WITH one another as staff members from different backgrounds and ethnicities
- WITH people who don’t know Jesus as their Savior
- WITH other ministries outside of Cru to partner in the work of the gospel.
I was particularly encouraged to hear about some of the partnerships we have been building with others in the body of Christ. God has been bringing together churches and mission organizations worldwide to help give everyone on the planet an opportunity to hear the good news about Jesus.
Cru has started a growing partnership with Christian colleges for short-term international mission trips for their students. Before the trip, Cru staff members train the students in some practical ways to share the gospel in another culture.
Our team is pulling together the content used by different trainers and combining it with a few new items into a packet called “Students Reaching Students.” Our goal is to produce a resource that is attractive, engaging, and practical for both students and trainers. I’m excited that I can use my editing skills (for both content and video) to help further this partnership and train new short-term missionaries!
- For the “Students Reaching Students” team: Pray that we will be sensitive to God’s guidance so that we will produce material that will meet the needs of those who will use it
- For Charlottesville: In light of the recent tragedy pray that God will use His people as beacons of His love and justice, both in Charlottesville and the nation, and that many will turn to Jesus who alone brings true reconciliation with both God and humanity.
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is helping missionaries from all over the world grow as communicators. In May we sent communication coaches to Australia to teach curriculum that I helped write and edit. Power to Change (Cru’s Australian ministry) handpicked a group of influential staff members to receive our training.
Teresa, one of our coaches, gave a glimpse into what God did:
“The Aussie [team] has been amazing to work with and so responsive to the coaching and teaching. Several of them have thanked us for how they are being stretched and challenged. I’ve never seen such an eagerness to learn and grow.”
One trainee later wrote this:
“I didn’t really know what to expect, but had heard great things about this training. Well, I can tell you now that the training certainly lived up to all the hype…Needless to say, we were all so grateful for this training and to our coaches who ran it and guided us each step of the way. Now for the next step: to keep putting what we learnt into practice and to continue growing in the skills we were taught :-)! For His glory!!”
Thank you for partnering with me in ministry! You are helping missionaries around the world become more effective in communicating the life-changing message of Christ!
- For the Australian staff members who received training to continue to learn and grow as communicators.
- For safe travel and open hearts to hear God for all Cru staff members and guests who will attend our biennial staff conference in Colorado next month.