Comm Lab 2017

Just one week after the end of the three Big Break conferences I worked at in Panama City Beach during March, I headed up another week-long conference in Orlando. This was our annual Comm Lab, held this year in Orlando from April 3-7.

Comm Lab main session

Compared to the hundreds of college students who attended each week of Big Break, the 37 attending Comm Lab sounds small. Yet these staff members of Cru and other ministries have far-reaching influence, so it’s a privilege to help them develop as communicators of God’s message.

As the event planner, I coordinated both the team and the curriculum. Messages discussed a wide variety of topics: insights from the Book of Proverbs on the power of words, how to build bridges with those who need to hear the gospel, steps to writing a talk, writing and using stories from your personal life, delivery skills such as eye contact and gestures, and more. Our team of very capable coaches did a wonderful job with both delivering and demonstrating the material.

leading a workshop

In addition to teaching a workshop on a talk-writing technique called storyboarding (above), I co-coached one of the small groups where participants practiced their delivery skills during what we call “Comm Drills” (below).

coaching at Comm Lab

I loved being part of what God was doing that week in the lives of these precious servants of the gospel! You were also part of God’s work during Comm Lab through your partnership with my ministry. Thank you for helping equip missionaries to communicate the message of Christ to those who need to hear!

Responses to Comm Lab 2017

“I loved getting feedback from experienced coaches. The content was relevant and easy to refer back to when needed. My communication skills were honed, making me more comfortable with taking on speaking engagements.”
– B. H.

“The lectures and the drills were extremely beneficial. We were given the theory of speaking then allowed to practice, practice, practice. That really helped me to internalize and put into practice the theory. In addition, having a great coach (go Don!) to help give guidance while practicing was critical. I also enjoyed the time/space we were given to meet with God. I was impressed by how much focus was given to intimacy with the Lord. It was encouraging and meaningful.”
– C. B.

“I thought the emphasis to stay connected to Jesus was great. ‘It’s out of the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks’ We can’t expect to glorify Him with our words if we’re not in His. The practical techniques were very helpful. Dan and Vicki were great coaches. I appreciated the vulnerability of the speakers in their messages. Thank you all so much!”
– M. G.

Prayer Requests

  • For those who attended Comm Lab to continue to learn and grow as communicators.
  • For spiritual and emotional refreshment after a very busy spring.
  • For focus, discipline and God’s provision as I seek for new financial ministry partners in Indiana this summer.
  • For healing from recent dental work. After breaking a tooth in February, I had a root canal on that tooth April 27 and had a temporary crown put in May 11. Pray that all pain will be gone by June 1 when the permanent crown is put in.

Thank you for praying!

Big Break Report

Big BreakThree one-week conferences in Panama City Beach, FL, each with hundreds of college students from around the country worshiping, learning, praying, sharing the gospel – that’s Big Break.

(Below) I served on the tech team running the videos and slides and I also helped with the bookstore.

(Above) In the morning sessions students learned to use evangelistic materials such as The Words Project, a conversation-starting tool developed by our team in Indy.

beach outreachIn the afternoon, students put their morning training into practice by starting conversations that often resulted in sharing the gospel.


Beach Outreach Results

Spiritual conversations initiated – 3338
Gospel shared – 1470
Decisions to follow Christ – 222


digital outreach


Students also reached out to their friends back home by using email, text, Facebook message, etc., to ask their friends’ opinion on a video that expressed the gospel in a very artistic way. (You can watch it at


Digital Outreach Results

Spiritual conversations initiated – 11170
Gospel shared – 3024
Meetings set up to talk personally about the gospel – 601
Decisions to follow Christ – 104


Please pray

  • that those who heard the gospel through the outreaches but have not yet trusted Christ will do so
  • that those who began a new relationship with Him will grow in their faith
  • that the students who attended Big Break will continue to apply what they learned and diligently follow the Lord.

Thank you so much for your partnership and your prayers!

Pray for “Big Break”

Tomorrow I leave for Panama City Beach, FL, where our team is helping to run three “Big Break” conferences. The heart of Big Break is to help college students grow in confidence and skill when sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through practical training, biblical teaching and hands-on experience we pray that they will discover the joy of helping to fulfill the Great Commission Jesus gave us in Matthew 28:18-20.

Cru conducts Big Break conferences every year during spring break, and since different colleges take spring break at different times, we run the one-week conference three times (March 4-11, 11-18 and 18-25).

Please pray:

  • for creative opportunities for students to share the gospel
  • that God would speak to the hearts of the all who attend
  • for times of rest and refreshing, especially for those (like me!) who will work all three weeks.

Thank you for praying!

Upcoming Worship Arts Weekend

Worship Arts Weekend logoAs students lead musical worship for weekly Cru meetings on their campus, they too can lead others to the throne of God. Every semester we conduct a Worship Arts Weekend training conference to help these students grow as both worshipers and worship leaders. Our next Worship Arts Weekend will be held February 17-19 in eastern Pennsylvania. This will be the first time we’ve taken this event “on the road” to another location outside of our Indiana facility.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for our staff team to depend on God as we plan and execute the details needed to take this event off-site.
  • Pray for safe travel for the students and staff members heading to the conference.
  • Pray that God will work in the hearts of the students and help them grow as worshipers and worship leaders.

Thank you for praying!

Leading Students to the Throne

One of my teammates recently led worship at the Cru Winter Conference in Minneapolis. He later received this story from the conference director.

“There is a student named Brad [not his real name] from South Dakota State University. Brad is not a believer, but hangs around Cru all the time. Funny I know….he knows he’s not a believer, everyone else knows he’s not a believer, but Cru is his community. He actually grew up in a Christian home, but could never bring himself to place his own faith in Christ.

“At Winter Conference, you guys were leading us in the song ‘No Other Name.’ God started to do something in Brad’s heart. As the lyrics, ‘Chains will break as heaven and earth sing,’ were sung – Brad said he couldn’t help it…all of the things he heard about God growing up all clicked and he just had to make them his own. In the ballroom, as you guys were leading us to the throne of Christ through worship, Brad placed his faith in Christ for the first time.

“Brad shared this story at Campus Time. Then yesterday as the staff team gathered together, one of our staff girls shared that on that very day, as that song begin to play, the Lord placed a huge burden on her heart for Brad. In that moment all she could do was pray. She prayed that God would make himself real to Brad and that he would truly understand God’s love for him. She didn’t know what happened with those prayers, until Campus Time on the last night.

“The power of prayer, the power of worship, the power and pursuit of an Almighty God that never quits chasing us….

“Thanks for all you do…”

What a tremendous privilege to lead people to the throne of grace!


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