Risk of Getting Too Fancy

March 2, 2011 — 3 Comments

Continuing our series on Focus in Discipleship. Read Tim Norman’s first two posts in the series: What We Talk about, They Talk About (the most viewed post I’ve ever had on my blog!) and 5 Things We Want Every Student to Experience.

Based on this idea of exposing your team to great leaders, I asked Dan Allan (Cru director in St. Louis) to come spend two days with our team and students (and speak at our weekly meeting). It’s been phenomenal.

Dan’s focus in discipleship is two-fold:

We must delight ourselves in Jesus and His gospel

From Dan: “We talk about what we like. I like Cardinal baseball so I read about it. I talk about it. I don’t know everything there is to know, but I engage in conversations all the time. This is the environment for multiplication. We must feed them the gospel in such a manner that they are captivated by Christ and talk of Him everywhere.”


We must persist in sharing our faith

“One of our great challenges is getting out of the coffee shops and back into the student unions to meet with students and do evangelism during our appointments.

It’s the thing we’re tempted to talk about a lot, but when it comes to doing it, we don’t do it. As staff, we need to go share our faith with students.

I prefer “filtered” evangelism through a friend’s network of relationships, but we want to share our faith however God opens the doors.”

Dan and his team aim for shorter content during their appointments so that they have time to share the gospel at least once every two times they meet with a student.

On a side note, it’s Dan’s aim to take his staff guys out sharing EVERY time he meets with them (Confession: something I NEVER do).


I love the simplicity and focus of this. I love the Gospel focus. It meshes with this idea of what “Going Deep” means.

Dan and his team are intentionally narrow in focus. They fight the temptation of “Getting Too Fancy”.

Dan- “We are simple. Our systems have to be simple in order to be reproducible by students and volunteers.”

What do you think about Dan’s two things?
How do you keep focus in discipleship?


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  • just met w dan out in orlando for sp marketing team mtgs. it was very refreshing as well.

    at chico state when we shifted from coffee shops and long apts (1.5 to 2 hrs) to 1 hour apts, 30 min personal development, 30 min evangelism, our movement began to change dramatically.

    we actually eliminated one on one discipleship altogether so that the focus would be on evangelism, multiplication, and others.

    • timcasteel

      A great “Real world” proof for this concept Brian! That’s really cool to hear. We just started doing this in earnest in January and, you’re right, it has been transformational.

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