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.

 

 

 

Watching Transformation

The students and staff at the Pennsylvania Worship Arts Weekend.

Thank you for praying for the Pennsylvania Worship Arts Weekend! As always, I loved watching God weave together the various strengths and experiences of our staff team into a tool to encourage growth in the students. Each student band had two or three of us helping them with music, sound, and communication. As the communication coach for one band, my job was to encourage them in their stage presence and expressiveness.

My favorite moment in rehearsal came after my band had worked hard on both the music and communication of one of their songs. Scott, the music director I was paired with, walked up to each music stand and swiveled it around so the students couldn’t see their song charts. They reacted as you would expect, with groans and anxious faces. But Scott made them play the song anyway…and to their surprise they made very few errors.

Then Scott had them play it again from memory. He encouraged them to focus on worshipping God instead of on the music this time, because they already knew the music. The transformation was wonderful! I watched their tension melt away as they began to freely express their love for Jesus in their faces and body language. And what’s more, their music was more expressive, too!

You can watch a recap video of the Pennsylvania Worship Arts Weekend below.  (And yes, I’m in it briefly!)

Please pray that the students will continue to apply what they learned at the Worship Arts Weekend, not only in music and communication but in spiritual things like dealing with sin and walking faithfully with God. Thank you for your prayers!

A Month of Conferences

Between now and November 11 my calendar is chock full! I will participate in four conferences

#1: Together 2018– Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX
Oct. 18-21 (including travel days)
My role: volunteer

People from across the nation are gathering together to pray for our nation, worship Jesus, and be equipped and commissioned to a lifestyle of moving closer to Jesus and the world around us. This is a collaborative effort of PULSE, Cru, InterVarsity, and the Circuit Riders to launch gospel movements on every campus in the U.S.

#2:Comm Lab Clinic– Minot, ND
Oct. 29 – Nov. 1 (including travel days)
My role: organizer and communication coach

Cru staff teams from Grand Forks, Fargo and Minot will be joined by some local church and parachurch workers for this two-day training event. Three other communication coaches and I will teach delivery skills in a supportive, small-group environment.

#3: Indianapolis Winter Conference Auditions and Worship Arts Weekend – Local
Nov. 2-4 (I only coach on Nov. 3)
My role: communication coach

Students from Cru movements in Indiana and surrounding states will come for training to grow as worship leaders on their campuses. Some of them will also audition to be part of the worship band at Cru’s winter conference in Indy right after Christmas. I will do some communication coaching and also teach clinics on running worship lyrics and other media shown onscreen during meetings.

#4: Emcee Lab– local
Nov. 9-11
My role: organizer and communication coach

I organize this annual training event for staff members and students who emcee at weekly meetings and conferences of all sizes.  An emcee (master of ceremonies) can do a great deal to guide an audience as they process how God is speaking to them during an event, and we want to help them grow in those skills.

Please pray

  • For stamina and good rest
  • For safe travel
  • For wisdom as I teach, coach and lead
  • For God to speak to the hearts of those who attend
  • That I would depend on God consistently in the midst of this busy time.

Thank you for praying!

“It’s All About God’s Glory!”

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.

First Field Test for “Students Reaching Students”

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.

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