Archives For Campus

The Leadership Pledge

December 15, 2011 — 2 Comments

Continuing a series of posts on putting together a Spring Gameplan. Click to read Post #1 on our Timeline for the Spring and #2 on a couple of shifts we made to better raise up a reaching freshmen team.

 

One of the most effective things we did last Spring was something we dubbed the Leadership Pledge.

Hopefully it’s helpful, if only for the thorough description of how to set up a good 5 Things Discussion (at the bottom of the post).

 

Here’s how the Leadership Pledge worked:

  • We had a speaker from the Travelling Team speak at our first Cru of the spring on how God has used college students to change the world.
  • After the talk I stood up and gave a short 3 minute challenge to the effect of:
    • Hudson talked about young people who have been used greatly by God
    • They put their yes on the table
    • This semester you have things pulling for your time and attention
    • Will you allow God to use you in the lives of students around you?
    • Would you be willing to be used by God here at the U of A?
    • Hudson asked the question, “will you be used by God?
    • If you’re willing to say yes to that, please sign your name
    • That you would lead on this campus for God
    • If you sign your name, one of our staff or student leaders will meet with you one on one to help you figure out how you can lead for God on this campus
      • If you have a vision for how God can use you here, we’d love to hear it and help you use your passions for God
      • Or if this is a new idea and you’re still trying to figure out how God is going to use you in your next 2, 3 or 4 years on campus, we’d love to come alongside you and help you figure out your next step.
    • Don’t check it if you don’t want to talk to a staff!
  • We passed out VERY simple cards and gave students a minute in silence to sign if they wanted to.

 

What we did for follow up:

  • We trained staff and key student leaders in how to use the 5 Things – what to say to start the conversation (after small talk), what parts to emphasize, what questions to skip, etc (for more on that, I included detailed notes at the bottom of the post)
  • We made a Google Doc with all who signed the Pledge and let trained student leaders and staff assign themselves to follow up with students
  • We set up 1on1 appointments with every student who signed. Ideally, we take a student we’re discipling to do the appointment with us (Because we want to connect these students to other key leaders. So it will be 2 on 1)
  • The Goal of the appointment – Give them vision for living missionally using the 5 Things pamphlet and find out where they’re at in regard to that
  • Actions Steps  –
  • If you discern that they’re not ready to lead (spiritually, socially, maturity, etc) – Strongly encourage them to get in a Community Group where they can grow (help them find a group that works for them)
  • If they could be a Key Leader:
    • Job 1: Get a 2nd appt with them
    • Job 2: Use your discernment as to the next step.  You’re options (in order of priority):
      • Get them on Leadership Retreat (say, “I’ll bring you next week”)
      • Invite them to Leadership Hour (say, “I’ll bring you next week”)
      • Invite them to M29 Evangelism-Track

 

A couple notes:

  • We intentionally didn’t put Cru anywhere on the Pledge card nor did we push Cru when we met one-on-one. We really hope to be able to help students connect with God’s mission, not ours.
  • The 5 Things is really good at setting up all that Cru offers.
    • For example, it clearly communicates the need for equipping. “So you want to be equipped? We just happen to do a weekly equipping time on Tuesday nights you should check out!”
    • It keeps a Kingdom focus and then we offer Cru as a solution to helping students make an impact for the Kingdom, which is exactly our role. Getting “plugged into Cru” is not the end, but a means to an end- equipping and mobilizing laborers for God’s glory.

 

Here’s what we did to equip our staff and student leaders to lead a 5 Things Discussion (I think this is pretty helpful):

  • The 5 Things is a pamphlet designed to help students figure out what it would look like for them to have an impact for God on campus and for the rest of their life
  • Click to view the trainer’s guide on Facilitating 5 Things Discussions
  • Don’t have an appointment until you read thru the trainer’s guide and are comfortable going thru it
  • The best way to open the conversation (included in the guide):
    • “I’d like to go over 5 key principles that when applied to your life help you figure out what it would look like for them to have an impact for God on campus. And not only that but I believe these 5 things lay the foundation for knowing and serving God for a lifetime.”
    • Before you get into The 5 Things, talk about Surrender (there’s a how-to on that in the Guide). I would use the verse – “you are not your own – you have been bought with a price” I Cor. 19-20 and ask some of the questions from the guide
    • Before you get into the first Thing – Kingdom Vision, I would steal some of the content from the Discipleship Challenge and ask:
      • Before we get into our vision for our lives, what do you think is God’s vision for our lives as believers?
      • His final words on earth are found in Matt 28:18-20 – let’s look at that
      • That is God’s will for all Christians that they would spend their life making disciples of all nations
      • So any plan we have for our lives needs to fit into this greater plan

Shifts in Focus in the Spring

December 14, 2011 — 4 Comments

part 2 of 3 in a series on Spring Ministry – click here to read posts 1 & 3

Yesterday I shared our Spring Timeline – our game plan for the entire spring semester.

The conviction behind it is this: The spring is the time to get your “reaching-freshmen-team” together and everything you do in the spring should contribute to assembling this team of leaders.

So last year we took a hard look at our spring and thought through what we needed to drop and what needed to add so that when August rolled around we would have a huge team of equipped students who want to invest themselves in reaching the freshmen class. Increasing our leadership base both in quantity and quality.

So here’s some changes we made in terms of:

 

Quantity

We stopped passing out FSK’s in the first week of the spring. I may get kicked off Cru staff for saying that. FSK’s are a Cru staple- a laundry bag filled with a Bible, a book, and some other swag- that we pass out in order to do spiritual interest surveys and generate new contacts.

  • But Staff and student leaders have limited time. And we decided that we could either invest our first 3 weeks of the spring in following up FSK contacts OR spend our first 3 weeks surfacing the next generation of leaders. It’s definitely a tradeoff.
  • But we have a semester worth of new people who attend our weekly meeting. Instead of running around crazy trying to turn over new rocks, why not invest heavily in those who are already in our ministry.
  • I’ll share tomorrow one of the primary things that helped us surface that next generation of leaders – the Leadership Pledge.

 

Quality

In thinking through what new CG leaders have to be good at, we arrived at this:

  • Primarily they need to be good at doing follow ups and initiating with freshmen. They need to be gospel pursuers. And we’d love for them to be adept at this before the craziness of the first weeks of the fall
    • So during the second half of the spring, we committed to taking every new Community Group leader (who will be leading a study in the fall) out to share their faith at least once (preferably twice).
  • Second, they need to know how to lead a study
    • We required all new Community Group Leaders to take a 5 week course- “How to Lead a Bible Study”
  • Third, they need to be good leaders
    • We implemented an application to lead and a one page leader expectation sheet
    • Staff interviewed every applicant one-on-one and had hard conversations with those who may not be quite ready to lead a study
The result?
Last spring was we doubled the number of Community Group leaders compared to the year before (without sacrificing quality) which has resulted in a lot more freshmen’s lives being changed this fall!

 

What do you think about staff focusing on raising up laborers the first 3 weeks of spring instead of a more outreach focus?



photo courtesy of ihtatho

Mid Year Evals

November 29, 2011 — 2 Comments

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, as Stephen Covey says, if we have set our ladder against the right wall.

 

 

 

 

There are three evals that we do every December with our team:

  • Evaluating the Quality of Your Discipleship
  • Ministry Evaluation
  • Personal Evaluation

I’ll link to the Ministry and Personal Eval tomorrow.

Today, here’s an overview and link to the Discipleship Eval.

Evaluating the Quality of Your Discipleship

(click here to download the Word document) 

I believe this eval was developed by Roger Hershey. This tool is invaluable in evaluating two very important things:

Are we (staff and student leaders) doing the

1) Right Things with

2) The Right People?

 

Our staff and student leaders sit down and do the first part of the eval with every student they disciple (addresses the Right Things) – the student they are discipling is evaluating them:

How would you evaluate me in the three areas of discipleship:

1. Feeding them the Word          1 2 3 4 5

2. Building a relationship with them          1 2 3 4 5

3. Training them in ministry          1 2 3 4 5

What is the best thing we did or you experienced in our discipleship together this semester?

What do you wish we could change or what could I do better?

 

The second part of the eval is for each of our staff to do on their own as they evaluate whether they are investing in the Right People.

1. Which of your disciples is presently multiplying ?

2. At the end of the year, how many potential multipliers will you be replacing yourself with?

3. Of those who are not multiplying, what are the barriers?

Lack of desire, no vision or heart for multiplication

Lack of Biblical conviction about discipleship

Just too young spiritually (need time to grow)

Unable to emotionally or socially

Does not want to (opposed to multiplication)

Lack of Lordship with their time, a relationship, etc. (unwilling to die to self)

Legitimately can’t because of time (work…)

Called to another ministry

Lack of walk with the Lord

 [As a team we talked through which of these are “deal breakers” – I’ll leave that up to you and your team to decide that!]

4. What can you do to help them overcome the barriers?

5. Are there any changes you need to make in your multiplication chain?

Students who are not following through on a commitment they made

Students who do not want to multiply or do not want to be a part of the movement

 

What Evals do you use on your team? Would love for us all to share the wealth!

 

image courtesy of kanelstrand

 

 

I wanted to share a few things we’ve used at our Cru meeting that you might be able to use.

 

Opener Video

Here’s a video we show at the beginning of our meeting. It serves two purposes:

  1. It functions as a cue to sit down and be quiet (we show it most every week)
  2. It communicates a little about who we are and what we’re about

We just put it together last week, so I’d love any constructive criticism (especially on how to improve any wording to make it more powerful).

Update: There is blank space at the beginning to give everyone a chance to sit down. And outro music at the end to give time for the MC’s to come up with some backing music (the sound guy can fade it out as they start).

Fall 2011 – Cru Intro Text Video from Tim Casteel on Vimeo.

Shout out to our intern Michael Allen who did the bulk of the work! Michael is splitting his time doing 50% campus work and 50% video for us.

 

For those of you out there that know a thing or two about video editing, I would HIGHLY recommend buying the Motion app for the Mac (a steal at $50) and then using the amazing pre-made templates (where we got this video) at motionvfx.com

It will enable you to make slick text based videos.

 

To download the hi-res video for use at your meeting, click here (I changed the end to a generic “college students” so it wouldn’t have anything Arkansas specific).

 

Music

While cool, upbeat music may be #27 on the list of important things about a weekly meeting, it’s important nonetheless.

What’s the first thing students encounter when they come to your meeting? Your music that you’re playing before the meeting.

And what happens when they hear Newsboys or Rebecca St. James pumping out of your speakers? You immediately confirm their worst suspicions that you are cheezy and out of touch with their reality.

 

As much as I am not a big fan of hip hop, at the weekly meeting we tend to be hip hop heavy. I run the music at our regional winter conference and can conclusively say that hip hop makes a marked difference on the “vibe” of the crowd. It makes your meeting a party. Literally. People dance.

 

So here’s a playlist we’ve used this fall for our cookouts and Cru weekly meeting.

You’ll need Spotify to use it/listen to it. If you need an invite, leave a comment and I’ll send you one. It’s worth a little effort to

1) Not pay a dime for new music and

2) Not be left to the whims of your soundguy’s ipod.

 

Update:

For those of you who don’t have Spotify, here’s the playlist:

Phoenix – Lisztomania

Passion Pit – Sleepyhead

Trip Lee – The Invasion (Hero) Ft. Jai

Broken Bells – The Ghost Inside

Vampire Weekend – Giving Up The Gun

Lecrae – High Ft. Suzy Rock

Muse – Starlight

Vampire Weekend – A-Punk

Flame – Joyful Noise

Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks

Vampire Weekend – Run

Lecrae – Walking On Water

Lecrae – 40 Deep Ft. Tedashii & Trip Lee

Phoenix – 1901

Cults – You Know What I Mean

Jason Derulo – Whatcha Say

Robyn – Dancing On My Own

The Shins – Sea Legs

Paper Route – Last Time

Jimmy Eat World – A Praise Chorus

Young the Giant – My Body

Matt & Kim – Daylight

White Rabbits – Percussion Gun

Shout Out Louds – Walls

Sleigh Bells – Rill Rill

Cults – Go Outside

Jónsi – Go Do

Peter Bjorn And John – Young Folks

Passion Pit – Moth’s Wings

Capital Cities – Safe and Sound

Death Cab for Cutie – You Are A Tourist

Jimmy Eat World – Pain

M.I.A. – Paper Planes

Tapes ‘n Tapes – Freak Out

Yeasayer – Madder Red

Broken Bells – The High Road

Rogue Wave – Good Morning (The Future)

Vampire Weekend – Horchata

Dashboard Confessional – Don’t Wait

The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio

Animal Collective – My Girls

The Dodos – Fools

Broken Bells – Vaporize

Scissor Sisters – Fire With Fire

Freelance Whales – Hannah

Ellie Goulding – Starry Eyed – Jakwob Remix

Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks

Empire Of The Sun – Walking On A Dream

Okkervil River – Lost Coastlines

Sufjan Stevens – I Walked

Vale la Pena

August 26, 2011 — 16 Comments

Every fall, I find myself asking the same question about college ministry:

Is it worth it?

The first three weeks of the fall are incredibly draining both emotionally and physically.

You are on your feet and meeting students from 9am until 10pm multiple days a week. 60-80 hour work weeks. Dripping with sweat as you stand in the mid-day sun at a survey table.

But beyond the physical exhaustion and lack of sleep, the most trying part for me is the sometimes humiliating work of college ministry.

There’s something incredibly humbling about having a too-cool-for-school 18 year old freshman smugly shut the door in your face as you attempt to tell them about Cru and how they can pursue God in college.

Not how I’d choose to spend my day.

But we do it. We endure contempt and rejection multiple times, every day, for weeks on end. Why?

Because there are students who moved into the dorms this week who don’t know Jesus and this morning are rolling out of a stranger’s bed, hung over and regretting already decisions they have made in college. Who in the next few years will be used by God to transform this campus and be sent out to change the world. We’re trusting God for complete life transformation.

 

Just yesterday, a student who just the previous day  answered:

  • 2 (on a scale of 1-5 how interested are you in exploring spiritual matters in college)
  • no (are you interested in more info from Cru on how to grow spiritually in college)
  • no (would you like more info about a small group Bible study)

trusted Christ after a couple guys in U of A Cru shared the gospel with his roommate.

 

In spanish, if something is “worth it” you say it is “vale la pena”.

Literally – “worth the pain”.

It is worth the pain of enduring humiliation and contempt so that hundreds and thousands of future world changers can encounter Jesus.

 

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” – I Corinthians 4:17

 

What makes the first few weeks worth it for you?

 

photo courtesy of wallyg

Fall Retreat Brochures

August 25, 2011 — 11 Comments

Just wanted to share the past few years of brochures/branding for Fall Retreat for anyone to use. No sense making your own stuff if you can use ours!

Below are our last 4 years’ Fall Retreat brochures. For each year, there are also name tags, programs, powerpoint slides, Facebook stuff, websites, etc. that you can have.

If you want to use any of them, just leave a comment and I will give you more details (on how to print them – linen cardstock, cut to bleed, etc). We print the brochures at a local print shop and they look very professional (full bleed, scored down the middle). They end up costing around 25 cents each.

You’ll have to have Photoshop to adapt them for your campus – or if you ask real nice, I bet our campus could edit them for you with your info and send you a PDF.

2011 (bi-fold brochure)

photoshop inside – photoshop outside

graphic via the amazing church website: Stuff I Can Use

2010 (bi-fold)

photoshop inside – photoshop outside

unfortunately I can’t recall where I found those two pictures or I would give credit!

2009 (vertical bi-fold)

photoshop inside – photoshop outside

 unfortunately I can’t recall where I found the background textures or I would give credit!

2008 (accordian z-fold)

photoshop inside – photoshop outside

 

 colored circle image from gomedia.us

I love reading articles together as a staff team. There are few better ways to align your team and learn to speak the same language.

They’re short and to the point (at least the good ones are!).

And the articles can be the bad guy- they can speak authoritatively on a topic and staff don’t hear “my director is trying to get us to _____ (share our faith more, do more work)” they hear “that author who is infinitely wise is saying that we should ______”.

Whether your senior staff are reading these ideas for the 10th time or it’s a new staff reading it for the first, foundational ideas need to be over-communicated repeatedly.

It doesn’t always have to be articles, I’ll often print up a bog post (even my own!) to read with our team.

Here are some of the staple articles that have shaped our team (and that we’ll likely be reading this fall):

  • The First Two Weeks– our team reads this every year in preparing for the fall. Really short and to the point. Sets your team’s expectations for the first weeks (16 hour work days!):
    • Gathering Christians, reaching non-Christians…or both?
    • What to do on appointments
    • What to do with returning students
  • Building Movements this article has shaped our movement more than any other. Jim Sylvester shares his considerable wisdom in what it takes to build a thriving movement.
  • Going from 20 to 200 – a shorter and easier to read version of Jim’s principles. 5 principles to grow a small ministry into a thriving movement. This one might be better to read with your team or students than Jim’s.
  • Hearing the Music Of the Gospel – a longer article but so good. Are you carried along by the rhythm of God’s Spirit through his Word or doing the mechanical dance steps of behavioral change? This is a good one to have your team read over an hour of time with God and then come back and discuss as a team.
  • Empowering Staff thru Staff Jobs– great wisdom from Eric Swanson on empowering staff to lead as directors. This fall we just quoted from this article and used the ideas as we communicated to our team on staff jobs – but a great read for team leaders.
    • “Each job is “director level” in that the other staff are subordinate to him or her in this area.”
    • “Each job is “owned” by the staff in charge and is autonomous in its responsibility. If the staff does not carry it out or motivate others to do so, it simply doesn’t get done. No one bails him or her out.”
    • Each staff is expected to be an “expert” in his/her job. He needs to read books, articles, magazines, listen to talks, and interact with other staff from other campus to develop expertise. He or she becomes a resource for the other staff in their area of expertise. You and the other staff may be purposefully ignorant: “I don’t know, but Rabs is the expert in that area.”

What are some of your favorite articles?

Part 3 of a series on Planning for Year 2023 – click to read parts 1 & 2

“Without specific team goals, team members become confused and revert only to what they like to do or want to do. Goals that motivate always contain a ‘stretch element’ to them. In other words, they go beyond what you did last year and cannot be accomplished by simply plugging in last year’s methods and strategies. Most staff would rather fail at attempting something great than to succeed at something mediocre that just feels like failure.”
Eric Swanson

As a new staff, I always found the setting of our team goals to be rather arbitrary:

Team Leader: “OK, we had 50 coming to Cru last year, what should our goal be this year team?”

Staff 1: “I think we’ll have 75 this year”

Staff 2: “Why?”

Staff 1: “I don’t know – because 75 is a little more than 50?”

Staff 2: “Where’s your faith? Let’s add a zero! We’re going to have 500 this year!”

Staff 1: “You’re an idiot”

Staff 2: “No, I have faith”

Team Leader: “Ok, 60 it is.”

Staff 3 (me) texts to staff 4: “SMH” (that is, if we’d had cell phones back then)

 

So how in the world do you set goals that are full of faith AND realistic?

We’ve found the steps Jim Sylvester lays out to be very helpful. We rely VERY heavily on this model for our yearly goals. And it’s uncanny how accurate it has been for us, year after year.

At the end of his (119 page!) article Principles God Honors, Jim lays out a Step By Step Growth of a Movement.

Jim’s proven timeline has helped us set incredibly faith-stretching goals that are based in reality.

 

I’ll list out the years (with his descriptions of each year) below. A couple questions to ask yourself/your team:

  • What year are we currently in?
  • What should be our goals for this year be?
  • What will it take to make those goals a reality?

 

I would love to know – how does your team determine numerical goals?

 

Jim Sylvester’s Step by Step Growth of a Movement

His caveat: “This is merely a model from our campus at Ohio State. This is to he adapted to each unique campus. On a campus where Greeks are the most dominant social group, one would target Freshman Greeks very heavily. On our campus we found the dorms and RAs as the dominant social group, so we started there.”

 

Year One

  • Staff Team – Make sure staff team is on board in areas of ministry philosophy and commitment level.
  • Commitment – make sure staff are using their time wisely (i.e. 35 “hot hours”)
  • Reality is my friend. Time is my friend.
  • Working with students is messy. Since we are committed to working with students, we are willing to live with messy.

 

Year Two

  • Create a socially sharp atmosphere. Seek to bring leaders and other socially sharp individuals into the movement. Socially sharp individuals visible at meetings; make the atmosphere attractive and comfortable with quality activities. There has to be an atmosphere where men feel comfortable – AIA emphasis etc.

 

Year Three – Foundational Freshmen Class

  • These will be the leaders of the movement in 2-3 years. The entire movement is focused on the Freshman class.
  • Freshmen class of 80
  • This takes 120 Freshmen entering Freshmen studies in September
  • The gospel shared individually with about 1,500 Freshmen.
  • In the first 4 weeks, staff share Christ with 50 new students.
  • A student planned and student run movement

 

Year Four – Movement Maker Class

  • 80 freshmen who will return 40 strong as sophomores
  • 120 or more students attending weekly meeting.
  • Send 25 students on summer projects. (High percent from foundational class.)

 

Year Five – The Over-the-Hill class

  • 100 freshmen in discovery groups by the end of the year.
  • Cru meeting over 200.
  • Presence in all the dorms.
  • Movements starting in the Geek system, athletes, band, international students, and ethnic minorities.
  • 40 Students going on summer projects.
  • 40 + Students leading successful small groups.
  • Expansion campuses a major focus; they feel absolutely a part of the whole.
  • Hearts that pray – a prayer movement in place.
  • Ownership and love for the partnership country.
  • Students want and value training. 60-80 students come to training.
  • Student ownership runs deep.

 

Year Six

  • Win a Freshman class of 160
  • 300 people at Cru meeting.
  • 300 students involved in small group Bible studies.
  • Daily Prayer drawing 25 students; as large as 50 for Praise God Its Friday.
  • 50 students going on summer projects.
  • Students involved from every segment of campus.
  • Expansion campuses now flourishing, we’re now on 1 campus for every two of our staff.
  • A rich love for Jesus permeates movement.
  • Students are sacrificial for the cause.
  • Movement has a heart for laborers.
  • Praying for awakening and God’s hand in our movement.
  • Burdened for the lost and the needs of the world.
  • Model student leaders and spokesmen.
  • Students are captured by the campus vision & our potential for impacting the world.

 

Year Seven

  • 400 + at Cru.
  • 400 students in small groups.
  • Win a freshmen class that will return 100 involved sophomores (i.e. 200 freshmen in groups in April)
  • 60+ students going on summer projects stateside and worldwide.
  • Our expansion campuses have movements of over 50 and feel a part of the whole.
  • 10 seniors graduate and come on our staff or go on stint, 5 other students go into full-time ministry or seminary.
  • Continue previously mentioned health characteristics.
  • Major presence in the Greek system, with athletes, African Americans, Internationals.

 

Year Eight – The Saturation Freshmen Class

  • Win the Freshmen Class of 300 that will return 150 sophomores
  • Unless you are on a campus of greater than 40,000 students, this class will see the campus reach saturation before they graduate.

 

Year Nine

  • Win a freshman class of 400 (200 return as sophomores)
  • In every segment of the university
  • Totally visible throughout the university community.
  • Present in the areas of influence of this university.
  • 75 Seniors – 20% graduate into full-time Christian work, 100 jrs, 150 soph, 400 fish
  • Touching the world; laborers going to every culture.

 

Year Ten

  • A freshmen class that returns 250 sophomores
  • 80 seniors, 150 juniors, 200 sophomores, 500 freshmen
  • 200 students seeing multiplication
  • Impacting the entire State
  • Each of our classes is growing because evangelism is extensive throughout University
  • 100 students meeting daily for prayer

 

Year Eleven

  • 150 Seniors
  • 240 Juniors
  • 275 Sophomores
  • 600 freshmen (1265 in small groups)
  • Saturating Greek system, dorms, athletes, internationals, African Americans

 

Year Twelve – The Dream Come True

  • Cru: 1,000
  • 200 seniors, 250 juniors, 300 sophomores, 600 freshmen
  • 40 students going into full-time Christian work, 20 of those joining staff/going on stint
  • 80 graduating satellite campus students, 20 of whom go into full-time Christian work.

 

photo courtesy of Untitled blue 

Part 1 in a series on Planning for Year 2023. Click to read parts 23

“More happens in five years than you and I would ever dream.  Less happens in one year than we would ever hope. In building a movement, time is our friend.”

Jim Sylvester

Having a 12 year plan has transformed our ministry.

The tendency in the fall is to plan the urgent.

There are fliers that need to be printed, rooms that need to be reserved, retreats that need to be planned.

But how does this fall fit into your long term plan?

A long term strategy keeps us from bouncing around to a different strategy every year.

We actually plan in 5 year chunks- in 2005 we set some goals for 2010. And this year we set goals for 2015. But it all fits into a longer-term, 12 year plan (more in a couple days, on “Why 12 years?”).

Every fall our strategy is the same:

  • Reach a progressively bigger freshman class
  • In order to build a bigger movement
  • In order to eventually reach the campus

We’re serious about reaching the entire campus with the gospel.

And we’re serious about doing it in a relational way (students hearing the gospel from a friend).

In other words, we’re serious about this vision:

“That everyone would know someone who passionately follows Jesus”

 

Of course everyone in college ministry is aiming to reach freshmen. But not all succeed to the same degree.

So “reach a bigger freshmen class” is not real helpful.

 

But for some reason, when you put a number on it, a goal, things start to change.

“We want to involve 40 freshmen this year in Bible studies”

And even more important is the overall context in which that numerical goal fits:

“We want to involve a freshman class of 40 this year, and next year we want to reach 80, and a couple years later 100, and eventually we hope to have a movement of the size and maturity to be able to TRULY reach every student on this campus.”

 

Why does something as small as a numerical goal for freshmen change things?

1) It forces you to plan differently

2) It gives your staff and students hope/vision

 

More thoughts on each of those tomorrow.

 

How would you sum up your long term strategy to reach the campus?

What have you found to be helpful in keeping a long term plan?

 

photo courtesy of Leo Reynolds