Large Cru Movements – Ole Miss

August 2, 2012 — 5 Comments

cru ole missThis is part of a series: Learning from Large Cru Movements- a look at 8 of the largest Cru movements in the U.S.  Read the Series intro here.

Overview of the Movement at Ole Miss

Movement stats as of 2011

  • 21,000 students attend Ole Miss
  • The campus is 50-70% Greek
    • 95 students in a pledge class
  • 350-400 at weekly meeting (at end of spring)
  • 1000 freshmen attend their Greek Bible studies
  • 65 students go on Spring Break trip to Italy
  • What is the next biggest ministry on campus? RUF – 300 at meetings
  • Isaac Jenkins (a Razorback grad!) has been the Director at Ole Miss for __ years
    • Issac is THE expert on reaching Greeks. He is the go-to guy that many college ministries and Cru movements bring in to train them in how to reach Fraternities and Sororities.
    • You can download his handbook on how to reach Greeks here


Movement History

  • Cycled up and down over the years
  • 5-6 years ago, we stopped doing what we’re good at – going after Greeks – and went after multiple movements
    • We had 70 at our weekly meeting in the spring
    • We took a hard look at what our staff are doing:
      • They were just hanging out with people (talking about their girlfriend)
      • They considered it discipleship
  • If you’re not continually thinking about reaching new people, you’re movement is going to die
    • I tell my staff:
      • If you’re not reproducing yourself, I’m not going to have anyone involved
      • How can you give me 4 of you after this year
  • A few years ago we decided to go back to mainly focusing on Greeks
  • The past few years, every meeting was packed


Biggest Contributors to Growth

  • Spring break trips to Italy
    • They come back and they feel like they are part of a family
    • Italy is a real attractive place for Greeks
      • Done it 13 years in a row (started with 10-12 people)
    • Hasn’t resulted in sending STINT’ers, but has helped our local movement tremendously
  • Focusing on Greeks
    • Doing Pledge studies with all the houses (and getting the Greek houses to require mandatory attendance for their pledges)
  • Focusing on freshmen
  • Focusing on leaders
    • All of staff focus on 4-5 students each


What does evangelism look like on your campus?

  • We are really blessed- We have 1000 freshmen come to our co-ed Greek studies
    • It’s mandatory for pledges to go to it
    • We share the Knowing God Personally booklet with as many possible
    • We usually have 150-200 decisions every fall from the studies
  • We follow up weekly meeting contacts, freshmen study contacts and share the gospel with them
  • We have a Youtube channel
    • We do advice for freshmen/students
    • Put testimonies of students on there
      • Challenge them to put it on their facebook
    • Had over 150,000 students watch that channel (100,000 from dexter mccluster)
    • At weekly meeting: “check out testimonies of our students at youtube”


What do staff focus on?

  • Main question – how are you going to reproduce yourself?
  • 7 staff guys focus on bible studies in every house
  • We have 2 long term senior guys on our team (both 8 years on the team)
    • Baldwin does most of the equipping
    • Kyle leads staff meetings


What do you as a Director focus on?

  • I focus on the staff guys, leaders in the Sigma Chi fraternity, and the football team
    • I take our staff guys to lunch every Monday
      • How are you doing in your purity?
      • How are you doing with your guys?
    • Talks with them on the phone all the time
    • Only meets one on one with them every once in a while (once a month)
      • If they have an issue come up, I tell them to contact me
  • Every staff meeting with the team I tell them: “here’s what I’m doing in discipleship”
    • 10am – meet with the guys
      • What are you doing this week – who are you meeting with? What are you doing with them? What’s your plan?
    • 11am – meet with girls
      • What are you doing this week – who are you meeting with? What are you doing with them? What’s your plan?


Ministry Structure

Leadership Development/Training

  • Once a month after Cru, on Tuesday night we gather leaders (40 students)
  • Staff do all training thru discipleship

Weekly Meeting

  • Worship, MC who’s pretty cool, I teach through a book of the Bible
  • At first weekly meeting: “tomorrow night at my house we’re going to have a freshmen cookout at my home” (have fliers at back of Cru)
    • 80 freshmen at that cookout
    • Staff follow up every one of them
  • Involvement breeds commitment (testimony, MC, do a senior talk)
    • So we try to get as many people up front giving testimonies
    • Have a testimony every week sharing about changed life
    • If a guy from, say, Sigma Chi is giving a talk he will invite his whole house to come watch him (and they’ll come)

Bible Study Structure

  • Do 3 week co-ed studies in each house
  • Freshmen study – Sundays at 4 – all fall



  • We don’t do a Fall Retreat
    • We go tailgate at a road trip
    • “We’re taking the Grove to Vandy!”
  • We really push Greek Summit – 17 went from Ole Miss in 2011



What are your biggest takeaways from learning about the Cru ministry at Ole Miss?




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  • Really interesting about multiple movements being troublesome for them. In this case, the message is keep operating in your strengths (Greeks).

    • Anonymous

      For sure, on a campus like Ole Miss, you have to primarily reach Greeks.
      I’d say the message may be (in Bob Fuhs’ words):

      Want to Reach Every
      Student? Then Stop Trying to Reach Every Student

      Of course our goal is to get the message of Jesus to the whole campus-students and faculty. But, I know of no other way to effectively build a campus movement apart from reaching the freshman class year-after-year. The way to get the gospel to the whole campus is through the freshman class.
      I’d guess that they stopped building a movement and just scattered themselves trying to launch multiple movements. I think the best way to launch multiple movements is to first build a core movement and once you have 50 leaders sitting around the table, go after new areas (because that’s exactly what happened here at Arkansas).

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