Archives For May 2012

M29 is our weekly Leadership and Training time at the University of Arkansas.

M29 is short for Matthew 29 which is not written in the Bible. As you probably know Matthew 28 ends with Jesus issuing His Great Commission to “Go and make disciples of all the nations”

M29 is our response to the Jesus’ Commission and a desire to write the next chapter of the Great Commission with our lives on the college campus.

M29 is the primary way we equip and train students in evangelism, leading Bible studies, and multiplying their lives


Eventually the M29 material will be on CruPressGreen but I wanted to make it available sooner so you can make use of it in the fall.

We created all of the material and tried to attribute to original sources whenever possible (since very little of this content is original to us).

Feel free to adapt the content for your purposes!

Here are Seven of our Classes:

Click the Title to view files for that class (where you can download each file individually if so desired).

Or click on the Zip file to download the whole folder all at once.

– the last two classes are probably the weakest content. The other 5 are really good imho : )

 Here’s what our year of M29 training looks like over the course of a year:

We offer 3 classes at the same time and do 2 6-week sessions each semester.

Details on what our M29 time looks like:

  • We meet weekly on Tuesdays from 6-8 (at a local church)
  • The First Hour is called Leadership and is invite-only (which we’ve actually started doing every other week)
    • We eat together for the first 20 minutes (bring in food from local restaurants or have donors in the community bring food)
    • We rotate through several things in that first hour over the semester but it includes:
      • Vision for reaching the campus
      • Students sharing what God is doing around campus
      • Prayer in small groups
      • Time in the Word (devotional in nature)
      • Celebrating what God is doing
      • Movement-wide alignment/training
  • The Second Hour is open to everyone is promoted heavily at Cru
    • Second hour is our training/equipping time and we usually have 3 “tracks”/classes going on at the same time (with about 25 people in each)
    • Students can pick whichever track they want to go to
    • We ask all Leadership students (from first hour) to go to 2nd hour
    • We start up tracks about 3 weeks into the semester so we can promote them at Cru


For those that are interested, here’s our thoughts on why we do the tracks when we do them:

The best way of thinking about this is thinking about a potential sharp freshman coming in. They hear about Foundations (which starts the third week of class) at Cru. They get involved, and are grounded in the basics of walking by faith. They then move into Apologetics, as they wrestle with encountering many different worldviews in college and dealing with their own tough questions.

Then they have Evangelism I (in Spring 1), when we get a big influx of people at the beginning of the Spring and from Leadership Retreat where they start to share their faith. As they are challenged to lead community groups, they go into the CG leading track to wrap up the year.

When that group of freshmen comes back in the fall for their sophomore year, Relational Evangelism would be great to sharpen their evangelism skills as they are meeting tons of freshmen and doing tons of follow up and gathering. As their community groups form, they start How to Disciple track, where they learn what to look for in who to disciple and learn how to initiate that process. Naturally, most will challenge people in their groups at the end of the fall before break to consider discipleship in the spring. When they come back in the spring, they would then do Leadership track. After Spring 1, the sophomores (rising juniors) would go into SERVANT TEAM, not Sent. They would come back to do Sent at the end of their senior year (when it is most relevant).

All of the above describes the ideal freshman leader that gets involved. The great thing about the whole structure is that it is completely adaptable to whenever a person gets involved while still having a progression. For example, if a freshmen does not get involved until Fall 2, they go into Apologetics and just continue right along the progression. They can choose at some point to go back to Foundations, or not. Their choice. OR, say a big group of freshmen start in Spring 1. They do Evangelism I, Leading a CG, and then when they come back their sophomore year, go into Foundations or Relational Evangelism.

What material do you currently use to train students? Share it with us in the comments!

We do one thing all year to raise money for our ministry – a Fellowship Dinner. And every year we see God provide abundantly ($50-$75k).

It is a lot of work but I am a firm believer that it is THE best way to fund your ministry (read how one ministry raises over $400k/year).

My hope is that more and more Cru movements around the country begin to have Fellowship Dinners so that they are abundantly funded.

Cru Staff: for more info on how to put on a Dinner email Jim Dempsey who is THE expert (or for details on what we do, leave a comment).


We’ve been blessed by professional Graphic Designers who have produced high quality materials for our last few Dinners and I wanted to share those with anyone that wants to use them:

  Designs are by an Arkansas Cru alum- Kelsea Walkley of

@petit4prints on Twitter

Kelsea has generously donated her talents and design for our Fellowship Dinner and allowed me to share them with you!

From Kelsea:

“If a CRU movement interested in using these designs, they can email me and I will send them a link to download the editable files free of charge (they would have to have someone who knows how to navigate a design software such as illustrator).

If they would prefer that I customize these designs for them (edit text, colors, send them files for printing, etc.), they can contact me for a design estimate.

I am always interested in custom design projects!  Please contact me for a design estimate.”

If you use one of these designs, let me know and I can send you more content if it’s helpful – magnets, powerpoint templates, Silent Auction, name tags, and other assorted signage.

Other assorted Fellowship Dinner items:

A nice looking Powerpoint template and magnet from 2010 made by John Robinson who works for Saatchi X (using a stock image originally from Penn State Cru).

PDF of magnet         Powerpoint Template

Below are my talks from the past few years.

You might be able glean some good quotes, illustrations or ways of structuring vision or “the ask”:




Our Magnet from 2012

Many are bemoaning the Millennial Generation’s inability to focus and think deeply.

But what if their Internet induced ADD is actually a good thing and possibly even a catalyst for fulfilling the Great Commission?

“Perry Hewitt, director of digital communications and communications services at Harvard University, says this evolution is positive. “It seems easy to decry the attention span of the young and to mourn the attendant loss of long form content—who will watch Citizen Kane with rapt attention when your Android tells you Rosebud was a sled? On consideration, though, the Internet has brought forward not only education, but thinking. While we still want to cultivate in youth the intellectual rigor to solve problems both quantitatively and qualitatively, we have gotten them out of the business of memorizing facts and rules, and into the business of applying those facts and rules to complex problems. In particular, I have hope for improved collaboration from these new differently ‘wired’ brains, for these teens and young adults are learning in online environments where working together and developing team skills allows them to advance.”

Technology by 2020 will enable the youth to ignore political limitations, including country borders, and especially ignore time and distance as an inhibitor to communications.” – Pew Internet Findings



You can see the potential through existing tools like Skype.

Take two of my least Tech-savvy friends for example:

One is 33 years old. Not exactly a digital native (he still doesn’t have a facebook account) but he walks into a staff meeting last week on the phone with a STINT’er in China. A free phone call. On his cell. Via Skype. With someone in China.

That wouldn’t have been possible 2 years ago.

A call on a land line (the only possible way) just 15 years ago would have cost $15.

In 1930 a 15 minute international phone call would have cost $1500.

In 2012 it’s free. With video. On a mobile device.

Another friend, who is 62, every week uses Skype to have 10 separate video Bible study appointments with friends in East Asia (with non-Christians and Christians).


If this is how old folks are using technology for the glory of God, imagine the potential for Digital Natives.


I, for one, am excited about the future of Missions led by complex-problem solving, hyper-connected, borderless Millennials.


photo courtesy of Ed Yourdon

Listened to a Matt Chandler sermon a few weeks ago where he gives a phenomenal gospel message to Bible Belt Christians:

For most of us, the former life that we need to proclaim is that we were busy with a thousand religious activities, but we didn’t know the gospel until Jesus saved us. “My former life” is that you were a deacon and Sunday school teacher, but you didn’t know Him. Or our former life needs to be, “I went to church four or five times a year. I went to church Christmas and Easter. I had Christian in my title of who I was, but in reality I had no idea who Jesus was. My life didn’t match up with the gospel calling on my life. I just didn’t know. So in my former life, this is what I treasured and this is what I pursued. And Jesus saved me.”

I think the most difficult group is going to be the group that has been in church a long, long time.

I’m saying that the offer stands, especially for you. For me, is it miraculous when someone in witchcraft comes to know the Lord? – Yes. But it’s just as miraculous, if not maybe more miraculous, when God saves among church folk. Some of them have been inoculated to Jesus: just enough to not need Him. They can talk the language just enough to not understand that they’re way outside of the Kingdom and under a false gospel. Oh, that He might move well in your hearts today.


Our job as leaders is to see what others don’t see- to look at the same reality that everyone experiences and be able to perceive what is really going on and what needs to happen next.

A big part of that is accomplished through concentrated days of Team Planning – where we chart our course for a new year.

In most of college ministry, that time is now.

So toward that end here is some, hopefully, very practical stuff you can use to set up your planning time:


A couple key thoughts on planning:

  • Click to read yesterday’s post on our favorite way to do planning
  • We are big fans of Buckets and Holes solutions:
    • Using what we’re good at to fix what we’re bad at
  • We’re not scrapping our methods and long term goals every year and starting from scratch.
    • Our planning is framed by a 12 year plan to accomplish the vision: “that everyone on campus would know someone who passionately follows Christ”
    • We’re committed to building a movement by reaching a progressively larger freshman class every year and reaching more pockets of campus (If you’re not real sure how to go about Movement Building on a college campus, read this article: Taking a Movement from 20 to 200 )
    • So what we ARE planning is: “what do we need to do THIS year to reach a larger freshman class and more pockets of campus?”


Good analogies for planning:

  • We spend the semester furiously climbing a ladder
  • Planning is a time to stop climbing and assess whether our ladder is leaning against the right wall, to re-evaluate where we’ve been and whether we are headed in the right direction


  • Imagine we’re on a long trek thru a dense forest
  • We spend the semester plowing thru underbrush and pushing aside branches that are hitting us in the face
  • This is an opportunity to climb to the top of the tallest tree and see where we are at – to check our surroundings, look back on progress so far, and to scout out what lies ahead
  • To figure out if we’ve even been heading in the right direction


Some good questions to help you assess your movement in different ways:

  • If you were to ask a _____, what would they say about Cru (your ministry)?
    • Greek student
    • Avg freshman in dorm
    • Intl Student
    • African American student
    • Athlete
    • Hispanic student
    • Student from another ministry
    • Administration
  • What kind of people want to come to our movement?
  • Who is most invested in our movement right now?
  • Who is NOT coming to our movement? Why?
  • What kind of people have come to Christ through our movement?
  • Who are we uniquely positioned to reach?
  • Who are the “connectors” in our movement? Who can they reach?
  • If we got kicked off campus and they brought in an entirely new team, what would the new team change or do different?
  • As you look at how staff and students spend their time every week, what needs to change for the sake of effectiveness?
  • Are we attracting natural leaders? If not, what could we do differently that might help us?


Lastly, a few great planning quotes:

“The organizations that matter are busy being run by people who figure out what to do next” – Seth Godin

 “Breakthrough results come about by a series of good decisions diligently executed and accumulated one on top of another.” – Jim Collins

 “You will see less happen in one year than you would ever think, but you will see more happen in five years than you would ever dream.” – Jim Sylvester

“Simple, clear purpose and principles give rise to complex and intelligent behavior. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple and stupid behavior.” – Dee Hock

“You’ve got to think about the big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” — Alvin Toffler

“The best way to get a good idea is to get lots of ideas.” — Linus Pauling

“Chance favors the prepared mind” – Louis Pasteur


photo courtesy of  sierragoddess