Archives For September 2010

Resource Sharing – Magnet

September 24, 2010 — 1 Comment

The reason I started blogging was to share resources.  

My first post detailed those thoughts (with some great links – if you want to be motivated to share!).

Brian Barela expressed well this sentiment last month in a post entitled “Do you commute your resources?“:

When you think about the best resources you have are they being shared mostly/only with people that are either…

  • geographically near
  • relationally near
  • asking you to send them something

These are all examples of resource commuting.

Are you comfortable with other leaders spending time creating something that you have already done?

So if it would save you some time, I wanted to share this magnet (pictured above) that a designer put together for our last Fellowship Dinner.  We used it for our campus, but it would work just as well for personal magnets to send to supporters (you could even put a different picture beneath the text).

Click here to download a zip file (15 MB) that contains:

  • Powerpoint slides (that we used at the Dinner)
  • Editable Adobe Illustrator files
  • A PDF of the magnet (without the bottom right stuff – our website, etc)
  • And every “piece” of the magnet in separate files (paint splatter, picture, words, etc)

If you just want the PDF, click here.

A few tips on doing magnets on the cheap:

  • Order Hi-res prints from a local print shop (or even better, from MPix – THE best place to order photos online). Anywhere but Kinko’s.
  • Get adhesive magnets from Magnet Valley and stick on prints.
  • Cut each edge with a standard paper cutter. Trust me, it’s impossible to even get one edge perfectly straight (with no overlap).
  • This method is a bit time-consuming but you will save a TON of money. And they’ll look indistinguishable from the real deal.

You might recognize the picture from publicity that Penn State Cru shared years ago.  Thanks for sharing Tim Henderson and Kim Shearer (the photographer)!

Midweek Links

September 22, 2010 — Leave a comment

Gary Runn’s Blog is consistently wise and good (as you would expect, if you know Gary). Two great posts from the last couple weeks:

Delegation largely raises up followers-empowerment raises up leaders.

Delegation is less work for you in the short run-empowerment is more work for you in the short run.

Delegation is more work for you in the long run-empowerment is less work for you in the long run.

GREAT comments on two CCCBlogference posts wrestling with very important questions for the future of building Cru movements and reaching every student.  Join the Conversation!

  • Are we really doing Evangelism in the first weeks on campus? – Great thoughts on whether Movement Building actually is just “Gathering” instead of “Winning”.  If you don’t have time, just skip the podcast and go to the comments!
  • This post has the same topic but the comments veer toward what needs to change for us to more effectively reach Hispanic students (because what we’re doing currently isn’t working).  Great stuff.

I have definitely not seen views on this change among students on campus, but hopefully it will trickle down in the coming years/decades.   This brief post says that many in academia are now saying that it is ridiculous/insulting to believe that all religions are just different paths up the same mountain (via DJJenkins‘ link on Twitter).

photo courtesy of Will Montague via flickr

Empowering Social Connectors

September 21, 2010 — 4 Comments

(part 6 of a series on “Focus on the Right People” and multiplication)

How do students connect to your ministry?  Usually it’s thru other students.  And more than likely the majority come through a handful of Social Connectors.

Last year is when I first noticed this Connector Phenomenon .  A hugely disproportionate number of our student women leaders got involved because of 2 students.  Out of 17 student girls leading freshmen Bible studies this year,  11 of them came out of these two girls’ Bible studies!  65% of our new leaders came from 6% of our leadership.

Ben Arment (on his always intriguing blog) noticed this phenomenon at his church and came to this conclusion:

When we cast vision for inviting people to church, we may be assuming too much. What if we poured more resources into the hands of our connectors? What if we groomed them, encouraged them, and fueled their desire to invite people? [They bought Starbucks cards for them to use]

As for the others… what if we started with the fundamentals? What if we showed them how to build relationships? The result would be less guilt-trip and more empowering.

I still haven’t worked out what this means for how staff spend their time.  Is it better to invest heavily in these few key connectors?  Or to invest in raising up more like them?

Right now in our leadership core we are very heavy on introverts.  Really bright, responsible, proactive, godly introverts.  But we’re lacking outgoing “people gatherers”.  Not that Social Connectors have to be extroverted (1 of the 2 girls mentioned above is introverted) – but it helps.

Have you found this Connector Phenomenon to be true?  How can we resource/empower these Connectors?  How can we raise up more Connectors?

What are the implications for ministry and how we invest our time in students?

(part 5 of a series on “Focus on the Right People” and multiplication)

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

Paul to the Corinthians – I Cor 11:1

Does that verse ever strike you as a bit off? I mean, how cocky was Paul?  Why not just tell Christians to follow Christ?

The fact is that people follow people to Christ.  God will not usually reach people directly (via lightning or spelling out ‘God’ in your Cheerios).  He has given us the role of being His ambassadors.

So how will college students come to Christ?  They will Follow other students to Him.

Last summer I grabbed Brian McCollister, Cru director at Ohio University, for a few minutes to pick his brain on building movements. One thing he said about reaching students really stuck out to me.

They did a survey of students who were very successful leaders of freshmen groups.
The two character traits they found of successful leaders were:

  1. Followability – others will follow them (if a guy shows up at my door, would I want to hang out with him?)
  2. Tenacity – a guy that stays after people (calls them EVERY week before study)

How do You focus on and develop Followability in students?

photo courtesy of *Kicki* via Flickr

Quick break today from the week-long “selection-a-thon” discussion.  There’s been some excellent comments/discussion especially on “Do Ministry Thru Others” and “Is Selection Unloving?”.  We’ll pick that topic back up next week with a couple more posts.

I wrote the following post for the CruPressGreen blog but since they’re lacking comments over there (they’re working on it!), I thought I’d repost it in it’s entirety on my blog so you can interact with it if you want and leave comments with questions, tech support, etc.

What if instead of waiting for students to come to your website you could send your website to them? 

And you could see exactly who (by name) was clicking – whether to investigate a relationship with God or checking out your Bible Studies.  We send our “website” to 2500 students every week (most are contacts from spiritual interest surveys).

Now I’ll be the first to admit that technology is not the answer.  Whether the question is: “how do I get more students to my weekly meeting?”, “how can I reach more lost students?”, or “will the iPhone4 fill the hole in my heart?” – Technology is not the answer (well, maybe on that last one).

I love technology and good design.  And I find myself dreaming about how a new website or really slick publicity will draw in millions of college students to our Cru meeting.  But the reality is that most come because of relationships.

BUT… in our increasingly spammy world, good design and technology can get your foot in the door (or inbox) and help you connect with students on their terms (online).

Our ministry just started using Mailchimp this fall and I love it. Mailchimp enables you to send e-mails that look and act like mini-websites.  Here’s ours:

For us, I love that students can, at a glance, see when our meeting is, a map to Cru, and what we offer.  And students can click on any of those links to easily get more info.

Why we decided to use Mailchimp:

  • Relatively cheap/free (depending on usage)
  • It’s really pretty
  • Students can unsubscribe easily (again, avoiding spammy-ness)
  • It has crazy-cool Analytics.  You can see how many people are opening the e-mail AND who is opening them (you can even see that Joe Freshman clicked on “Bible Study info”).  I’ll elaborate more below so I don’t bore those who are data-averse

A few tips on usage:

  • Mailchimp has some nice templates so you don’t have to know HTML
  • With that being said, you’ll get better results if you get a web savvy student to run it (especially one that knows HTML).  A volunteer put ours together (using HTML – not the templates).

Here’s the pricing:

And now for their amazing analytics! Here’s just some of what they tell you.

It will tell you exactly how many people opened the e-mail (and who):

And, one of the coolest things it shows you is what part of your e-mail people clicked (and, again, it tells you by name (in a separate report not shown) who clicked what):

Let me know if you’ve found other great ways to communicate with students.  And hit me with any questions you have about Mailchimp – would love to help you reach students better thru technology!

FoTRP – Selection part 2

September 15, 2010 — 1 Comment

(part 4 of a week long series on “Focus on the Right People” and multiplication)

“What really counts in the ultimate perpetuation of our work is the faithfulness with which our converts go out and make leaders out for their converts, not simply more followers”

Robert Coleman

This week we’re discussing “Focus on the Right People”.  Today, some practical tips I’ve gleaned from one of the best in the business: Roger Hershey.

Many of you know Roger Hershey as one of the greatest spiritual multipliers in Campus Crusade’s history.

A few of his thoughts (that he taught at our Local Leaders conference last fall):

Campus Directors – one of your most important roles is to monitor multiplication

2 key components of monitoring multiplication with your staff – help them learn how to:

  1. Work with the right people (read more about the Right People in this great article by Tim Henderson on CruPressGreen; written to students so it’s a great resource to have student leaders read)
  2. Do the right things with disciples (another great article by Tim Henderson at CruPressGreen on the 3 components of good discipleship)

Movements don’t grow when staff or student leaders work with people who aren’t aligned to our mission and don’t want to multiply.

One very practical way to monitor multiplication with your staff/students:

  • Give each staff a blank multiplication chart (see below to view/download) at the beginning of the year and review it with him/her throughout the year (almost on a weekly basis)
  • Evaluate which disciples are multiplying and which ones are not and ask why they aren’t – what are the barriers and how can you help them?

  • One more resource on this topic: The definitive book on Selection in ministry is The Masterplan of Evangelism – we’ve often read Chapter 1 (that addresses Selection) as a staff team.

    For those who’ve never read it – it’s a look at how Jesus did evangelism.  A must read for anyone in ministry (and it’s short!).

    Download a great study guide on the Masterplan of Evangelism here.  And buy the book for cheap from CruPress.

    Roger’s Blank Multiplication Chart:

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    photo courtesy of Steve took it via flickr

    (part 3 of a week long series on “Focusing on the Right People” and multiplication)

    “One must decide where he wants his ministry to count – in the momentary applause of popular recognition or in the reproduction of his life in a few chosen men who will carry on his work after he has gone.”

    Robert Coleman

    This week we’re discussing “Focusing on the Right People”.  It’s what many refer to as Selection.  Anytime you talk about this (especially with students – as a student I argued with the staff for hours with staff against the idea!), you get the same pushback: Selection is unloving; didn’t Jesus love everyone equally regardless of who they were?

    By no means do I hope to comprehensively cover this.  But just wanted to share a few thoughts (today and tomorrow) that have been helpful for our team as we think thru this.

    My friend Chris Newport directs the Cru movement at the finest university in the world – Texas Tech.

    Here are Newp’s thoughts on thinking thru who we invest in (and even more importantly, helping our staff, students spend time with the right people) :

    1) II Timothy 2:2 – We are exhorted Biblically to invest in those who are “able to teach others”. As an organization, this is central to our calling and mission.

    • What qualifications do you think someone needs to have to be “able to teach” others?
      What are disqualifiers?
    • At the very least this tells me that some are not “able”, which means I have to make difficult decisions

    2) It’s loving to think about the whole

    • Loving everyone means selection
    • What does it mean to love every student?
    • Loving lost people means spending time with multipliers
    • A helpful analogy from Newp’s Summer Project in Yugoslavia:
      • Their goal was to change a country, to reach millions of people.
      • So they only spent significant time with students who met two qualifications – 1) Spoke English 2) from Belgrade (this is where we had a team who could follow-up)
      • They had no one to hand them to for development and discipleship (no established church) except in Belgrade
      • What the country needed was multiplying disciples not isolated Believers
      • It’s loving toward Igor to spend time with him despite his lack of English, but what about the other millions? The loving thing to do is to focus on those who can help reach the multitudes.
    • From Masterplan of Evangelism:
      “…though [Jesus] did what He did to help the multitudes, He had to devote Himself primarily to a few men, rather than the masses, in order that the masses could at last be saved. . . “Everything that is done with the few is for the salvation of the multitudes.”

    3) Key Question: How do I discern if I should continue to spend time with a student who probably will not become a multiplier?

    • Here is my guideline: Does my spending time with this individual cause me to compromise my calling to make multiplying disciples?
    • If my time with Johnny keeps me from reaching the campus, I am not being faithful with my time
    • Recognize I have limited time – I can’t just spend time with Johnny just b/c he shows up

    One adjustment: Ultimately the goal is not to reach the campus, it’s to reach the world. Some people may not multiply their lives in the context of our campus ministry, but have the potential to be very influential once they graduate. I’m mostly thinking about the guy/girl who figures it out late in their college career.

    This is a difficult and challenging  issue. We can’t just write people off b/c they’re not leaders, but filling our schedules with people who are not “able to teach others” is also not an option. I have to trust that by reaching multipliers, I will eventually reach more people, which means all types of people.

    photo courtesy of SigmaEye via Flickr

    (part 2 of a week long series on focusing on the right people and multiplication)

    “The people you spend the majority of your time with can and will determine whether you are an effective or ineffective leader.”

    Dave Kraft – “Leaders who Last”

    I think one of the biggest misconceptions of those going into full time ministry is that they are going to spend most of their time on the front lines.

    This is what I did my first 5 years on staff. Sure I discipled guys, but my main focus was reaching my target area/dorm.   On my own.  5 years of starting over and gaining no ground.

    Ephesians 4:12 is a great summary of our job as full time ministers:
    “To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”

    In college ministry, I think Staff’s #1 job is to empower students to have a ministry.

    • We believe that students sharing with other students will be the key to reaching our campus.
    • So staff are successful not if they have a thriving personal ministry but if they are pouring into students who are in turn pouring into others (Discipleship/Multiplication)
    • So we focus pretty much every week with staff on “who are you meeting with?”:

    Reminds me of #6 on this this mind-blowingly-good list on leadership from the blog

    1. They spend too much time managing and not enough time leading.
    2. They spend too much time counseling the hurting people and not enough time developing the people with potential.
    3. They spend too much time putting out fires and not enough time lighting fires.
    4. They spend too much time doing and not enough time planning.
    5. They spend too much time teaching the crowd and not enough time training the core.
    6. They spend too much time doing it themselves and not enough time doing it through others.
    7. They make too many decisions based on organizational politics and too few decisions based on biblical principles.

    From Dave Kraft’s Leaders Who Last

    Kraft adds:
    Notice in particular numbers 2, 5, and 6, which have to do with the kinds of people you spend time with. I say it again: the people you spend the majority of your time with can and will determine whether you are an effective or ineffective leader.
    The fact is that many people in leadership roles gravitate toward hurting, draining, time-=consuming people because they have a need to be needed. They want to help people, to be there for people. If a leader has strong mercy gifts, leading becomes more difficult. Simply put, if you need people, you can’t lead people. There is an inability or lack of desire to make the tough calls, speak the truth, or do the hard things. Motivated by a fear of disappointing people, this inability will seriously hamper and work against your ability to lead.

    Tomorrow: Thoughts on how focusing on the few is not unloving to the many.

    photo courtesy of andorpro via flickr

    (part 1 of a week long series)

    “A busy schedule is not overwhelming to me but over-complexity is. Simplify stuff as much as possible at staff meeting”

    Brian McCollister (Cru director at Ohio)

    Our ministry is moving into week 4. For us, that means shifting from 100% focus on reaching new freshmen to sorting thru the hundreds/thousands of contacts and deciding who to invest in.

    During this season of college ministry, we’re flooded with students and last week I felt Iike our team hit a wall – they were ready to throw in the towel (I alluded to it in my last post).

    The cause?

    • Not lack of fruit/success – this is the best fall we’ve ever had. God is moving and they’re getting to be a part of it.
    • But lack of focus. Feeling overwhelmed with the sheer number of students to track with in their areas of campus; and not sure how they should be spending their time.

    We break our campus into 3 areas (stole the idea from NC State Cru) and have Student Staff (stole that from Oklahoma Cru) lead those areas (2 per area).
    It’s impossible for the Student Staff who is the Area Director to even know the names of all the students coming to Bible Studies in their area, much less know how to invest in them spiritually.

    So this week we sought to clarify/simplify their job (with a heavy emphasis on the third):

    • Set direction for your area
    • Keep tabs on everything in your area
    • Pour into your leaders (who lead Bible studies in your area) and make sure they are doing the right things with the right people

    You don’t have to reach everyone in your area.  You just need to pour into the 12 students who are leadings studies in your area and make sure they’re investing their time wisely.

    Same goes for our staff.  Success for them this week means starting to meet weekly with the right people.

    More on that tomorrow.

    photo courtesy of PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE via Flickr

    Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest. Proverbs 14:4

    While taking my son to preschool this morning I saw PROV144 on a license plate in front of me and looked it up on my phone.  Not sure what they meant by it (their kids are messy?) but I think its a great summary of what our staff team is feeling right now.

    I e-mailed my team that verse and these thoughts this morning:

    If you have no oxen, you won’t have any poop to clean up.  Life is easy.  And Fruitless.
    If you have a lot of oxen, there’s going to be a mess.

    We’ve got a lot on our plate right now.  More contacts than we can handle.  More people to be discipled than we can manage.  More students in Bible studies than we can track with.

    It’s messy.  And overwhelming.

    But, by God’s grace, and with a lot of work, it will yield an abundant harvest.

    I once heard a mega-church pastor comment: “Birth is messy. Death is organized. Many churches that are super organized in committees and such are really just dead.”

    Anyone else, when you read ‘oxen’, immediately think “’what’s the plural of box, Brian?’ . . . ‘Boxen!’”.

    If not, do yourself a favor and buy Brian Regan’s comedy CD.

    Photo courtesy of Ecoagriculture Partners via Flickr