Resources to Use for December Planning

December 2, 2015 — 1 Comment

As we head into the final weeks of the fall semester in college ministry, it’s a great time to step back and evaluate.

I wanted to share a few resources that have been helpful for our team as we seek to figure out if we have set our ladder against the right wall; to figure out what we should be focused on in the spring, and beyond.

We send out two evals to our team (just sent it out last night) to do on their own so we don’t have to take time during staff meeting to eval (we will compile all the evals and just read them together as a team). We do 2 evals since we have several AIA staff on our team and most ministry-strategy-stuff doesn’t relate to them. Here’s what I sent my team:
  • “The All Staff eval is SUPER short. It’ll take you 5-7 minutes.
  • The Cru Team Eval (AIA doesn’t need to do) will take a little longer – maybe 30 minutes”
Aside from those surveys that we send to our staff, a couple other helpful resources to help you evaluate your ministry:
  • We ask each of our staff to do the first part of this eval with each person they disciple: Evaluating the Quality of Your Discipleship (I believe this was developed by Roger Hershey). The second half of the Discipleship eval is good for each staff to do as they think through everyone they are discipling:  Which of your disciples is presently multiplying? And of those who are not multiplying, what are the barriers?
  • Cru Press Green (via Collegiate Collective!) has a great set of Eval questions
Here’s the agenda for our three days of December planning. Hopefully you can take some of this to use in your planning.


Day 1 of Planning:

Goal of week – To chart our course for the near future.  To set our direction.  And to be totally prepared to get started when we get back on day before classes start – Mon, Jan. 18
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
“The organizations that matter are busy being run by people who figure out what to do next” – Seth Godin
Some of what we will accomplish this week:
  • The first 6 weeks of Spring mapped out (and broadstrokes for whole Spring)
  • A thorough plan for each Critical Path Step for the spring
  • Winter Conference details nailed down (campus times, etc)
  • Leadership Retreat at beginning of year planned out
  • Our evangelistic strategy mapped out for Spring
  • Connecting with one another
Today= Where we are headed and where we are (Current Reality)
Go thru compiled evals 
In light of those evals, what should discuss/figure out this week:
Current Reality (reality is our friend)
Numbers in Bible studies
how many freshmen involved
How are we on our goals for this year?
Count # of students who have shared their faith
5 year Dream
We just diagnosed where we are
Where are we going?
Where do you want to go?
What would it look like to have faith and trust the Lord for more?  Let’s go for it!  Where are we going? Have we lost vision for reaching the whole campus?  Reaching all of the pockets?
Ministry vs Movement

A ministry can mean you’re doing great stuff – connecting the lost to Jesus and seeing lives change.But if we stop there, we just have a ministryA ministry is content with haphazard, dead end, life change.Dead end in that students rarely multiply their lives.Haphazard in that we’re content with seeing random students experience life change but they never are called to work together to a greater purpose, a mission, a cohesive vision for something bigger than themselvesA movement is going somewhere together through multiplicationSpecifically – a ministry becomes a movement when people begin to multiply their lives into others AND they are moving somewhere togetherNot just scattershot. But multiplication in a particular direction. Specifically for us, our vision is that everyone on campus would know someone who passionately follows Christ. So we want students multiplying their lives until everyone on campus hears about Christ from a friend.

Read 12 year planlink
Where are we at on the 12 year plan?

Brainstorm: Where do we want to be by 2020 [for frame of reference, our previous 5 year plan)?

DEVO – Jesus is better than ministry success or lack of success!
Devo – the gospel – succeed or fail – we have Jesus – our identity in him
Luke 10:17-20
We need to remember that our identity is in Christ – not in ministry success/failure
Psalm 4:7-8
You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.CH Mackintosh in his commentary on Exodus:
“The one who will present Christ to others must be occupied with Christ for himself. Happy is the one who ministers in this way, whatever be the success or reception of his ministry. For should his ministry fail to attract attention, to command influence or to produce apparent results, he has his sweet retreat and his unfailing portion in Christ of which nothing can deprive him. Whereas the person who is merely feeding upon the fruits of his ministry, who delight in the gratification which it affords or the attention & interest which it commands, is like a mere pipe conveying water to others while retaining only rust for himself. This is a most deplorable condition to be in, and yet it’s the actual condition of every servant who is more occupied with his work and its results than with the Master and His glory.”

No matter how the fall went – fail or succeed, I have Christ.

Paul David Tripp has said, “It is very tempting to try to get your identity from your ministry success.” And the opposite is true as well – it’s very tempting to let ministry “failure” define you and shape your trust in God.I’ll let Tripp continue to preach (from his excellent book Dangerous Calling).

He identifies several things that pastors uniquely struggle with. #1? I LET MINISTRY DEFINE MY IDENTITY.

“Because you have a secure identity as a child of God, you don’t need to seek identity from the success of your ministry. You can do this because your standing with God is not based on your performance but on the perfect obedience of Christ. You need to preach these truths to yourself daily, because in ministry you either seek to get identity from your ministry or stand firm and secure in the identity you have been given in Christ.”

“Human beings are always assigning to themselves some kind of identity. There are only two places to look. Either you will be getting your identity vertically, from who you are in Christ, or you will be shopping for it horizontally in the situations, experiences, and relationships of your daily life. This is true of everyone, but I am convinced that getting one’s identity horizontally is a particular temptation for those in ministry.”
“The success of a ministry is always more a picture of who God is than a statement about who the people are that he is using for his purpose.”


Day 2 of Planning:

Prayer – For the Day, Wisdom, Pray for Winter Conference
5 Year Dream follow up convo
Good springs lead to good falls
Ask-> What would make a good fall (especially in terms of student leadership)?
When it comes to the fall, it’s all about manpower. If it’s just your staff team and 4 student leaders pursuing freshmen, you have a long road ahead of you. But if you line up 60 students in the spring who will focus on reaching freshmen, the fall will be good.
So the spring is the time to get your “reaching-freshmen-team” together. And to build consensus that we MUST reach freshmen.
And all this happens largely by raising up as many Community Group Leaders as possible.
So everything you do in the spring should contribute to assembling this team of leaders (tomorrow I’ll share some of the changes we made to be more focused on this with our spring).
  • #1 goal = getting students signed up to be CG leaders
  • January = getting people into CG
  • February = Discipleship/identifying future multipliers
  • March = Getting CG leaders for fall
Come up with Spring Plan

Based on current reality, what do we need to do?


Day 3 of Planning:

Leadership Retreat Plan

  • Leadership Retreat – coed, FUN, elements of content, overnight, just for leaders, Free!
Talk through each of our Critical Path Steps as it relates to the Spring
Eval Cru meeting
  • What do we want to keep doing?What do we need to change?
What do days look like during Christmas Break
You’re working full time (just not on campus)
Look at schedule 9-5

What you could spend time on:

  • Vision Dinner- Table Host and Silent Auction
  • MPD
  • New Staff Development
  • Meet with students
  • Winter Conference job
  • Any Admin wrap up
  • Take your vacation time if you have not already
Pray together over Spring
Recap what we accomplished this week
Sharing as a team about what each of us are doing over Christmas


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  • Brian McCollister

    Just shared this with our TLs in Cohort 10. Thanks so much, Tim, for sharing so much of your work so many can benefit.