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!

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.

 

 

 

Preparing Hearts to Hear from God

Photo by Jamez Picard on Unsplash

The four conferences I told you about in my last newsletter went well. The schedule was tiring, but I was energized to see God work in the lives of those I trained. Here are some encouraging comments from two of the Cru staff members I coached in our small group practices during Emcee Lab (the fourth conference).

Beau will emcee a large regional conference for students during winter break. He wrote this:

Emcee Lab was one of the most practical trainings that I have experienced during my time on staff. The speakers and coaches made it very easy to stay engaged and locked-in during the entirety of the weekend because they definitely had the expertise. The tips were all extremely useful, the heart behind being an emcee was valuable, and the communication drills helped me become a more complete public speaker.

Angela emceed a conference for Cru staff leaders last week. This is from an email she sent the other day:

…Thank you for your work during Emcee Lab! You set me up so well to do what we were trusting the Lord to do. I’m sharing this feedback with you as it’s almost word for word what y’all challenged and trained us to do! Thank you!!!

———- Forwarded message ———

… I wanted to just tell you what an AMAZING job you did as an emcee. You were gracious and poised and had such a presence up there. I really felt like you led us through the sessions as one firmly planted, journeying with others, and reliant on the Lord. Thank you for all of your work…I know that is a LOT of work. You did a fantastic job!!

Although Emcee Lab was the smallest of the four conferences, I believe it will have a big impact through the Cru staff members (and one student) who attended. Some will emcee at large conferences like Beau and Angela. Others will emcee (or teach students to emcee) at weekly large-group student meetings on their campuses. Whatever the event, each one of them will have the opportunity to set the tone of the gathering and prepare the hearts of the audience to hear from God.

I want to thank you for your partnership in ministry. You are helping me equip Cru staff members, students and others with communication skills that will amplify their impact for Christ!

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!

Getting the Word Out

In an organization as large as Cru, some resources remain “hidden gems” unknown to many staff members. Our communication training resources (conferences and videos) fit into that category, so my teammates and I have spent the past several weeks planning and preparing ways to help get the word out within the Cru community.

  • We made a schedule for posting announcements to our in-house email newsletters and staff-only online bulletin boards.
  • We wanted a fresh, new look for our materials because we’ve used our previous designs for a long time. One of my teammates came up with a concept for a new logo for our conferences, and I finalized the design (below).

  • To help people mentally connect our events to one another, we tweaked the names. Comm Lab (the most well-known) remained the same, but Emcee Training became Emcee Lab and our 2-day communication training events (focusing on either delivery skills or story writing) are now called Comm Lab Clinics.
  • To create engaging content for our announcements, I edited video footage of testimonials about our training into seven “ads” of about 20 seconds or less. Here’s a link to the first one: https://vimeo.com/288213964.
  • I organized information on resources from my broader department (including our communication training) into a website. I also designed this sample one-page website (see screenshot below) that can be used as a template for anyone who hosts a Comm Lab Clinic.

While I was in “web design mode” I made some tweaks to this ministry website. I hope you like what you see!

Prayer Requests

  • For our announcements and website to be effective in reaching staff members (and their students) who can benefit from our training
  • For wisdom for me as I write and post the announcements
  • For MUCH wisdom for me as I write two talks I will give for the women of my church at our fall retreat September 28-29; the topic for the retreat is God’s grace

Thank you for your partnership and prayers!

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