I recently saw some encouraging results from a survey by the Barna Group. About 5,000 people were asked last fall how Cru has influenced them and how they’re influencing others as a result. One statistic in particular grabbed my attention:
“For our campus ministry in the past year, on average, one in three spiritual conversations led to a gospel presentation, and one in three presentations led to a new decision.”
Wow! One in three people who were willing to listen to the gospel trusted Christ as Savior! God is at work among students!
Prayer and Praise:
Praise God for how He is working on campus!
Ask Him to continue opening the hearts of students.
In December and January, thousands of college students across the US attend Cru Winter Conferences during their winter breaks. Each conference is crafted to help students move toward God, toward others and toward a life well-lived for Christ. The one thing we hear the most from attendees all over the country is: “God changed my life at winter conference.”
I worked at the conference in Indianapolis, which was held between Christmas and New Year. I was part of the tech team, running lyrics and speaker slides on the big screens. And yes, as you can tell if you look closely at the picture, I was sitting behind the screens seeing everything in reverse. :-)
Over 1500 students attended this conference and participated in a day of outreach when they partnered with local churches to distribute food boxes in the inner city of Indianapolis. These “boxes of love” opened doors for conversations about Jesus. In a nutshell, here’s what happened:
Praise God for what He did in these lives!
This coming weekend (February 22-24) I will be on the teaching & coaching team for another of our Worship Arts Weekends. College students involved in musical worship for weekly Cru meetings on their campuses will come to a church camp in western Pennsylvania to learn and grow in both art and heart. Although these conferences are much smaller than Cru’s winter conferences (currently 29 students are registered), God still works in big ways.
Please pray for me as I coach and teach:
I will coach one student band in communication skills, encouraging them to apply the principles l will teach in my session on communication in leading worship.
I will also teach a session on a Biblical view of excellence, especially as it relates to worship leading.
During the breakout sessions, when students attend clinics related to their specific skills, I’ll teach about running lyrics and media.
Please pray that God would prepare both my heart and the hearts of the students for what He wants to do in our lives.
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
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.
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.
At times I am asked to help with projects outside of my normal responsibilities. One was to help set up the registration website for a unique spring break mission for students. Traditional Cru spring break trips focus on evangelism at a beach or resort, but this one focused on service. Each week in March, a new group of students went to the Houston area to partner with churches and relief ministries to help rebuild after Hurricane Harvey. More than one thousand college students from 57 universities in 23 states gave 32,544 volunteer hours to repair damaged houses, demolish mold-infested homes and build new ones.
Here are the stories of two students who went on the Harvey Relief Mission.
Edgar is a student at Indiana University (IU) who loves to cut hair. While building the foundations of a new home, Edgar met the homeowners, Pang and Kim. This Cambodian-American couple had been living in a corrugated tin roof shack ever since the floodwaters of Harvey destroyed their house. With the help of Google Translate, Edgar shared the gospel with his new friends. Both Pang and Kim committed their lives to Jesus on the spot. Edgar celebrated by giving Pang a haircut, and Pang and Kim celebrated by getting baptized later that week.
Today’s college student has a huge heart to show compassion and fight for justice, so 20% of those who served on the Harvey mission were not followers of Jesus. Brittney, for example, was one of the first students from Kansas State to sign up. During her week of hard work side-by-side with students who love Jesus, she began to yearn for God as she never had before. During the closing event for the week, the speaker asked the students to compare their personal lives to the homes they had repaired – perhaps looking good on the outside, but broken and even unlivable on the inside. He challenged them to surrender their lives to Christ, the only one who can fix broken lives. The Lord moved in Brittney’s heart, and she surrendered her life to Jesus that night.
It was encouraging for me to hear these stories of God at work through another part of Cru. I’m also glad I was able to help, even though it was only in a very small way. You, however, help me in a BIG way. Thank you for your partnership!
For the gospel to continue to bear fruit from the Harvey Relief Mission.
For God to open up calendar spots this fall/winter for Emcee Training and for short versions of Comm Lab in East Asia (probably by video conference) and North Dakota.
For Comm Labs scheduled in 2019 in South Africa (February – and no, I’m not going on this trip) Raleigh, North Carolina (April) and Dublin, Ireland (November).
Last month I told you about Hannah, one of the staff members we trained in public speaking at Comm Lab last April. As the lead singer of Cru’s band Anthem City, Hannah shared her story of how God met her in a time of deep grief. She then offered audience members an opportunity to place their trust in Jesus Christ.
I’ve been encouraged to hear how God used Anthem City (and especially Hannah’s story) during their Christmas tour. Here are some excerpts from an email they just received about their concert at Pendleton Correctional Facility.
I wanted to let you know at least some of the impact of the Anthem City Concert at PCF that I had personally heard about from some of the inmates.
Raymond – an inmate (part of the Church Inside – Kairos community) said that … it was the best concert he had heard at the prison. As well as the excitement and energy, the witness from the lead singer … brought tears to the eyes of many of the hardened inmates as they listened to her story.
The week after the concert there was a baptism for those who had given their lives to Christ and Kairos had a reunion immediately after the baptism which I attended. This is where Raymond told me about the wonderful concert and the fact that at least 3 of the people who had been baptized … had made the decision as a direct consequence of attending the concert. Praise God!
As if that was not enough I also talked to one of the leaders of the Church Inside (Chris) who had been wrestling with a decision. He had been approached by other Church leaders and asked to take on the role of Pastor. He was resistant to the call and struggling. He also attended the concert and in his words “the love of God was so obvious in the girl singing at the front”. He ended up being one of those crying (not understanding why), surrendering his resistance, and agreeing to take on the role of Pastor. …
Please let the group know that the effect that they have on those Inside is huge and that through them souls are brought to God and the Church Inside grows and becomes stronger.
Thank you so much for partnering with me in ministry! You make it possible for me to organize communication training events and resources like Comm Lab, which help people like Hannah become more effective in sharing the good news of Christ!
Total Attendance: 3125
Number of concerts: 22
Indicated salvation decisions: 238
Indicated recommitment decisions: 361
Total indicated decisions: 599
That God will continue to work in the hearts of those who heard Anthem City