“We’re constantly raising the bar of what it takes to be a leader, and lowering the bar on what it takes to get involved”
Dan Allan, St. Louis Cru Director
Raising the Bar on what it takes to be a Leader
Dan Allan explains: “when you’re starting a ministry, any guy that will return your call and meet for an appointment is a leader. But as you have more leaders on board, and your ministry grows in scale, you have to be more selective.”
I’ve posted before on why we need to raise up better leaders than came before. The “how” seems like it will always be ever-changing.
For us currently, we are focusing on Community Group Leaders. Community Groups are the backbone of our movement. It’s the primary place where students will experience and truly understand the gospel. It’s where life change happens. It’s where discipleship relationships come from. It’s how we reach freshmen.
So Raising the Bar on Leaders this spring = increasing our expectations of what kind of Community Group leaders we want and what we expect of them.
Here’s a few things we’re doing (a couple of these are no-brainers that I’m amazed we haven’t tried before!):
- Staff are meeting 1 on 1 with every single student who applies to lead a study
- Being willing to have difficult conversations right now with students who aren’t the best fit (at least right now) for leading Community Groups
- When we sit down 1 on 1 with students we talk through a page of expectations – we want to clearly communicate up front what kind of commitment it takes to lead a CG (all the while extending grace not legalism)
An aside – learn from us on what not to do: We initially communicated our new expectations in the last 5 minutes at one of our weekly Leadership gathering. I didn’t explain the heart behind it (to help Leaders lead thriving CG’s that reach more students for Christ and mobilize new laborers). We got a ton of push back. It came across as legalistic and us being more concerned about Cru than the Kingdom. Totally my bad. Communicating it 1 on 1 has a totally different feel- it allows for dialogue, relationship, and takes out the “corporate CCCI inc.” feel of it all.
- Requiring every student to attend a 5 week training (1 hour each week) on How to Lead a Bible Study
We’re not raising the bar just for the heck of it. We strongly believe that raising the bar will enable us to reach more students with the gospel in Fall 2011. All this, we’re hoping, adds up to well-prepared, aligned, and passionate pursuers of freshmen for the sake of Christ!
I’d say that’s worth a little hard work and potentially experiencing some discomfort or being misunderstood.
Lowering the Bar on what it takes to get Involved
I’ve honestly given this one far less thought! That’s why I’m bringing it up – hoping to crowdsource this one:
What do you think are the primary places we in college ministry need to Lower the Bar on what it takes to get involved?
And what are you currently doing to Raise the Bar on Leadership?
photo courtesy of bingisser