This is part of a series on Learning from the Top Sending Campuses in Cru.
See the intro for a full list of all the campuses profiled (and links to each).
Quick facts on Cal Poly SLO Cru:
- Avg # on staff team – 12 (1/2 to 2/3 interns)
- Avg Cru meeting size – 700-800; first cru over 1,000
- Students at school – 20,000; Freshmen – almost 5,000
- Students in Community Groups – 950
- Partnership – East Asia (for the last 12 years), just switched from El Salvador to Oasis (Middle Eastern)
- We Just launched 2 new campuses this week (both community colleges)!
- Cuesta Community College
- We just doubled the number of campuses we are on!
- We’re also on one high school campus (launched Cru High School)
- SLO is a town of 43,000
- 190 on fall retreat (112 previous year)
I talked to Jamey Pappas who has led the team at SLO for many years. His response on most of these – “I’m not a numbers guy – so I’m guessing a little!”
Average Sending Stats:
- 12 STINT
- 8ish interns/yr (some years more or less)
- some years as many as 8 staff/year (this year 5-6)
- Avg used to be 60-75 on Summer Missions (mostly stateside).
- Now sending
- International – 20-25
- Stateside – 5-10
What contributed to that decline in Summer Missions?
- It’s the biggest sending problem we have
- We’re not sending stateside
- So we’re not getting students coming back trained in knowing how to share their faith and doing it on campus
- It will probably take us 5 years to get back
- One factor is we’ve ramped up international sending in having 2 partnerships
- Our international sending numbers have gone way up
- We kind of stopped talking about stateside missions and students stop going and you lose the student recruiting voice telling their friends to go
- In a large movement, you need a critical mass of people talking about it to get it to happen
- Now, we’re trying to build back but it’s all staff voices, it’s not grassroots now
- Sometime you go to a Winter Conference and it’s all focused on international partnerships and you lose the stateside focus
- Why is there benefit in sending stateside first?
- I’m still convinced there’s no better summer experience to prepare you for Win/Build/Send back on campus – it’s the most easily translatable back to campus
- Students do come back from international trained in evangelism. But it doesn’t always translate as well back to campus.
- We had 20 go internationally, maybe a little more than half of them come back and do what they did there and do it back on campus
- When we were sending dozens on stateside, the vast majority would come back on mission on campus
- It just seemed more accessible for more people, more palatable – not as scary, cheaper. Students were more willing to go stateside
- I think that’s changed a little bit
How did you become a sending campus?
- It’s the culture we’ve created here where missions is just who we are at SLO Cru
- It’s what our movement is about – we’re about mission
- Showing that is what God is about – creating theological roots
- There’s an inner motivation from teaching and exposure
- “Oh yeah, this is what the Bible is about and what God is about”
- Giving students lots of opportunities to experience that
- Vision trips (11 days – East Asia over winter break)
- Spring Break (El Salvador)
- Summer Missions
- They lead into each other – baby step of vision trip leads to SM which leads to STINT
- So it’s built in conviction through the Word paired with opportunities to go
- Having opportunities for experience has really helped our sending
- Opportunities to lead as a student:
- We’re very much student-led heavy
- We give away student leadership
- Students get to experience what staff is like as a student maybe more so than other places
- They get to experience strategic planning
- Our staff team is a fun and healthy environment
- Our staff really enjoy their job
- We’ve done recruiting dinners for STINT and Internship dinners
- Juniors and seniors by invitation come to a nice dress up dinner (50-60 students)
- We want to work with you
- Thank you for serving in this movement
- We want to bless you with this meal
- Let me tell you why I love my job and why I want you to join us
- Had a donor with a big house host it
- Took a break from it this year because it kind of lost it’s appeal
- Do students ever feel over recruited?
- We’ve been trying to figure out ways to not let that happen
- I’m trying to do things to spotlight what we’re doing internationally without recruiting them to join us on STINT
- This is part of our family overseas (day in the life of a STINTer video; skyping with STINTer)
- Creating a conviction and vision over the year without an appeal being attached to it
- They’re being influenced, the idea is being planted
What advice do you have for a campus that wants to grow from not much sending to being a sending campus?
- We are cultural architects – creating a culture that loves and embraces the mission of sharing Jesus with people. And here’s an opportunity to do that full time.
- Be a visionary for what we are doing
- And then ask to do it full time
- Hopefully the response is, “yeah, why would I not want to be a part of that?”
What motivates students to intern?
- Part of our planning times in the winter, we asked our interns/stint – “What made you join us?”
- Theme – Somebody asked me to do it and convinced me I could do it
- This year’s strategy is more one on one and less big group.
- We divvied up students we wanted to join us, and challenged them one on one
- As an MTL (Team Leader), you have a lot of persuasion.
- When the boss says, hey I’d love for you to be on my team, it means a lot
- When we asked our students why they interned, they were like, “because Jamey talked to me”, “because Jamey asked me.”
- It was kind of embarrassing. Cuz I’m not that good at recruiting
- But there’s something very honoring about being asked by the guy in charge
What has helped raise up long term staff?
- I initially wondered if STINT would help us recruit long term – but it hasn’t panned out as well as internships
- The vast majority of our staff interned first
- It’s a win/win – we get them for a couple years and then we get to send them out and resource the region (sending them to be staff on other campuses)