Worship Training This Weekend

Worship Arts Conference and AuditionInstrumentalists. Vocalists. Sound techs. Weekly meeting program teams.

This weekend, 75 (or more!) college students from Indiana and neighboring states will come to the Worship Arts Conference and Audition here in Indy. The weekend gives them the chance to experience

  • hands-on clinics for worship band members and leaders;
  • hands-on experience for instrumentalists and vocalists;
  • practical input for music directors, program team planners, sound techs, etc.;
  • opportunity for individual worship band coaching,
  • challenging content for the heart;
  • optional auditions for the band that will lead students in worship during the Cru Winter Conference in Indianapolis (December 28-31); and
  • lots of fun!

Students arrive Friday night and leave Sunday afternoon. The auditions will be held Saturday morning while the 30 or so students who are not auditioning receive additional training. In planning the sessions in this segment, I’ve included part of the Rock Your Meeting video discussion curriculum described in my last newsletter. At other times this weekend, I have the opportunity to teach two communication sessions, offer a workshop on lyrics and visual media, and coach a student band in communicating worship songs.

Please pray

  • for all of us who are teaching and coaching this weekend to be deeply dependent on God rather than relying on our own strength;
  • that God would prepare the hearts of the students for what He wants to do in their lives;
  • that the students in my Saturday morning sessions would share the Rock Your Meeting curriculum with other students who serve on worship teams, weekly meeting program teams, etc.

Thank you for your prayers!

On a personal note…

I recently attended an 80th-anniversary showing of The Wizard of Oz at the Heartland Film Festival, an annual event here in Indianapolis. This was the first time I had ever seen it in a movie theater, and it was amazing on the big screen! The special effects were especially impressive in light of the creativity and effort needed to produce them in 1939. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing one of my favorite classic films as it was meant to be seen!

Looking Back and Looking Forward

calendarI sat at a restaurant Tuesday enjoying breakfast with my leaders and fellow project managers. We gathered to celebrate what God has done this semester, and I smiled as I listened to my friends tell stories of how they had seen God work.

  • One told about prison inmates coming to faith in Jesus through concerts by Anthem City, our new Christmas band.
  • Another explained how she created a website filled with resources to help Cru missionaries transition back to the U.S. after serving overseas.
  • One of our graphic designers announced that the book he wrote and designed has been sent to the publisher; High Ground is a mentoring guide to help free people caught in porn addiction.
  • I praised the great work my Emcee Training team did equipping 15 staff and student emcees to shepherd audiences toward Jesus.
  • Someone else reminded us of all the people who heard the gospel through our bands that toured Australia and the Republic of Georgia.

As I listened to these stories and at least half a dozen others, I sensed the hand of God directing our small team. I was encouraged to see how He is using our creative endeavors to accomplish His mission to win people to Christ, build them in their faith, and send them out equipped to reach others.

God is already providing significant ministry opportunities for me for the start of 2017:

  • Editing and promoting another set of 10 Rock Your Meeting videos for our growing library of free online lessons at rockyourmeeting.org or cru.org/rockyourmeeting
  • Doing research and analysis for our team that is updating a Cru outreach strategy called Freshman Survival Kits
  • Serving on the event team for three one-week Big Break conferences in Panama City Beach, FL (March 4-25) where college students will learn through experience how to share Christ
  • Coaching and running sound and video at Comm Lab, our annual communication training conference, which will be held April 3-7 in Orlando, FL

As I look forward to a new year with so many exciting opportunities, please join me in praying for continued sensitivity to God’s leading, both for me personally and for everyone on our creative team.

Missing Something?

road-sign-808733_640You may have noticed that I haven’t talked about Keynote in my last several posts. That’s because all of us here want people to associate us with the overall mission and ministry of Cru. Although we don’t use the name “Keynote” any more, we still have communication trainers, performing artists, and lots of other creative people on our team. And we’re still doing what we’ve always done: providing resources to help the Cru community connect people with Jesus.

Worship Training Live and Online

Live…

I loved helping at Cru’s Worship Arts Training weekend September 11-13! The Communication Team worked with Cru’s Artist Team to train 23 students in worship leading skills. The students came from several universities and included four entire worship bands.

Musical worship can play an important role in the weekly meetings that are so vital to a Cru movement on a local campus. Our goal with this weekend conference was to equip and motivate students called to serve in this significant area.

I coached the band from Eastern Kentucky U. in communication.
I coached the band from Eastern Kentucky U. in communication.

We taught a variety of topics to help them function well as a worship team—everything from a biblical view of worship to godly conflict resolution to practical tips for organizing bands and rehearsals. Every student received personalized communication coaching, and the four bands each received music coaching on two or three songs.

To cap off the conference, each of the four bands led the rest of the students in worship. Joy and excitement filled the air as they led one another in praise!

…and Online

RockYourMeeting.org is now live! Ten training videos are now on the site with more coming soon. Five of the videos are on worship leading, three are on how to emcee, and two teach communication principles.

Please Pray:

  • for the students who attended the Worship Arts Weekend as they seek to apply what they learned back at their campuses.
  • that God will use our Rock Your Meeting video series to help Cru staff members equip their students to lead worship and other aspects of weekly meetings.

Thank you for praying!

Resources Ready for Fall Term

I love working on creative projects with creative people! I especially love knowing that our projects will help Cru win people to Christ, build them up in their faith, and send them out to reach others! I told you about two of those creative projects in my February newsletter, and they will both be ready to influence students this fall.

Ramen with a Side of College in Freshman Survival Kits

cover of Ramen With A Side of CollegeEvery year at the beginning of fall semester on campuses all over the U.S., Cru staff and students give out Freshman Survival Kits to – you guessed it—incoming freshmen. These kits are a goody bag of items designed to help students feel welcomed to their new college experience, and to provide a way to start spiritual conversations. This year one item available for these kits is our very own Ramen With a Side of College.

The announcement sent to Cru staff described Ramen as “a handy, 7×7” book written by college students. It’s designed to be a quick conversation-starter and an easy-to-use tool for any college student. Built like a survival guide, Ramen is full of tips, tricks, advice and questions—everything from how to do laundry or get to know your roommate to finding a mentor or reflecting on spiritual things. It’s light, fun, and practical, but also prompts students to start thinking about the bigger questions of life.”

I’m so pleased that I helped produce this book, even if it was only in a small way (I was one of several proofreaders). I look forward to hearing stories of how God will use this tool on campuses!

Rock Your Meeting Online Video Series

Rock Your Meeting title screenThe first batch of the training videos I’ve been editing will be available online this fall! Twenty videos in our Rock Your Meeting series are almost ready for the campus ministry’s section on Cru’s website.

Weekly Cru meetings play a significant role in introducing students to Christ, encouraging their spiritual growth, and mobilizing them to help reach others for Christ. Students can learn leadership skills by serving as meeting planners, emcees, worship leaders, and even speakers for these meetings. Our Rock Your Meeting videos will help Cru staff members equip their students for these roles.

Thank you so much for your partnership in this ministry! Your prayers and gifts are helping me produce tools that will play a significant role in the lives of many students!

Short Takes

Prayer Requests

  • Pray that God will use Ramen With a Side of College to start many spiritual conversations on campuses this fall.
  • Pray that God will use our Rock Your Meeting video series to help Cru staff members equip their students to lead weekly meetings.
  • Pray that all of us who are attending Cru15 will meet with God and come away refreshed and motivated for the work He has called us to do.

Thank you for praying!

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