The Power of the Scriptures

The group of new Cru staff I coached.
The group of new Cru staff I coached.

What a joy it was to coach six new Cru staff members in studying the Bible! Their love for the Lord and passion for serving Him was obvious.

Mornings started with a meeting for coaches to discuss the day’s lesson plan. Then came a 30 minute lecture on a Bible study skill followed by a 90 minute coaching group. Group activities included devotionals, prayer, discussion of the previous day’s homework, guided practice of skills presented in the lecture, and time to work on assignments.

At the end of the course, the new staff filled out an evaluation; one of the questions was, “How did God work in your life through your study, reflection, and application of Ephesians?” Here’s how three of my group members answered :

“He gave me a greater appreciation for His word and used it to bring about greater desire for Him and a greater sense of my place in the kingdom. “

“God reminded me of the power of the scriptures while studying Ephesians. There were a few times when things that I had read before struck me in new ways. I was reminded also of the richness of scripture. There is so much more in this letter than we even had the time to dive into. I’m more excited than I have been in a while to dig deep into the scriptures. “

“The assignment on the broken family relationship was pretty big for me.  He showed me how much I need Him to help me extend grace and forgiveness to others.”

What a privilege to be part of God’s work in the lives of these six missionaries-in-training! Thank you for helping me equip messengers for God’s mission!

The small group coaches for the Bible Study Methods course.
The small group coaches for the Bible Study Methods course.


Developing and Being Developed

“Thank you! You changed the way I read the Bible and gave me greater confidence and a vision for where I want to be.”

That’s what one person said after taking Bible Study Methods, a foundational course in the theological training received by all Cru staff members. From June 16 to July 2, I’ll serve as one of 20 coaches for the Bible Study Methods class being held in Fort Collins, CO. I’ll guide a small group of new staff members as they practice Bible study skills they learned during large-group lectures.

I love equipping messengers for God’s mission! Our staff members are wonderful, dedicated people who are winning people to Christ, building them in their faith and sending them out to reach others. I feel so privileged to have this opportunity to develop some of them as they embark on God’s mission!

As you know, my job throughout the year is to plan and teach at events designed to develop Cru staff members, students, and other Christian leaders. From July 19-26 it will be my turn to be developed! I’ll join 5000 other staff members at Cru19, our biennial staff conference, to hear exciting stories of what God is doing through Cru around the globe. I’ll be challenged by God’s word through skilled Bible teachers and experience the incredible joy of joining 5000 other voices in musical worship. I’ll hear from our leaders and gain renewed vision for our mission to give every person on the planet the opportunity to hear about Christ. It will be wonderful to simply attend Cru19 (also in Colorado) so I can be refreshed and developed.


  • for safe travel for both trips
  • for wisdom as I coach my Bible Study Methods group
  • that I would be encouraged and equipped by Cru19.

Thank you for praying. I am so grateful for your prayer partnership; you are helping me to equip messengers for God’s mission!

Ramen with a Side of College

Ramen with a Side of College is a short book (which Keynote is currently editing) written by students for students. Content includes study tips, questions to help you get to know your roommate, ideas for living a healthy and balanced life, reflective exercises to inspire spiritual conversations, and, yes, recipes to make with ramen noodles.

editing team
The Ramen editing team hard at work.


The idea was birthed in Keynote’s last Summer Mission Project when our students brainstormed new outreach materials for Cru to use on campus. They developed the concept and content and passed it along to our staff to edit. Our goal is to have it ready to include in Cru’s evangelistic “Freshman Survival Kits” next fall.

Please Pray…

  • For us to finish Ramen with a Side of College so it can be printed in time to include in “Freshman Survival Kits” next fall.

Thank you for praying!

Encouragement on Comm Training

Recently, several Keynote staff have been posting about the upcoming Comm Labs on Facebook as a way of promoting registration for the conferences. One of my film team students from the last summer project posted this in reply:

“Oh man if this is anything like the comm drills during summer project, then it is so worth registering. Comm drills was one of the best training Ive done in my life. Over the last semester i noticed so much change in myself and how i give presentations, approach others in a social setting, and even how i care for my patients in the hospital. Thanks again Julie, John, Pam, and Denise!”

Please pray…

  • for full attendance at both spring Comm Labs; right now there are not many registered
  • that God will use the Comm Lab to help attendees become more confident and skilled in communicating His message
  • that readers of my blog will be encouraged in their own study of Scripture 

Thank you for praying!

From Quietness to Confidence

They were quiet—very quiet. Six college students looked at me with varying degrees of discomfort as I explained what they would be doing in their ten Comm Drills. Only the seventh student (a returnee from last year) looked eager to start practicing public speaking in front of his peers.This was the Film Team—easily the most introverted of the five teams on our Summer Project. Unlike the performers on the other teams, they had no aspirations to go in front of an audience. But each one bravely got up to speak when it was their turn.

The 2012 Summer Project Film Team
The 2012 Summer Project Film Team

Each day’s drill introduced a new skill for the students to learn. And each day’s drill brought new improvements as my fellow comm coach and I encouraged the students to step out of their comfort zones. As they learned how to make eye contact, express emotions in their faces, and use descriptive gestures, something else began to happen. Something beyond the mechanics of public speaking.

Students Jon and Megan emcee a film outreach
Students Jon and Megan emcee a film outreach

Stevie showed a surprisingly lighthearted side instead of his usual serious intensity. Jess dropped her nervous mannerisms and became animated and engaging. Soft-spoken Stephen narrated part of a children’s story with the passion of a stage actor. Day by day they took small faith-risks to reveal their true selves, gradually moving from quietness to confidence.

Of course it wasn’t just the comm drills; they also learned together, studied the Bible together, played together, produced a film together, and did evangelism together. God used all of these aspects of the Summer Project to transform the Film Team students and prepare them to bring the good news of Jesus to others.

Megan chats with the audience after a show
Megan chats with the audience after a show

And bring it they did. They showed their finished short film with several others during a week’s worth of

outreach events. Two of them, Jon and Megan, emceed these mini film festivals where they led audience discussions and Jon explained the gospel. Then the whole team spoke with audience members after the show.

Thank you for partnering with me to help students grow from quietness to confidence in proclaiming Christ!

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