Archives For Resources

An annual tradition on the blog – a ton of stuff you can use on campus. Hopefully it saves you some time or gives you ideas.

Cool Music

Here’s an all-new 2013 Spotify playlist that we use at all of our freshmen cookouts and our weekly meeting.

It’s a mix of Indie Rock, Pop/Dance, and Christian Hip Hop.

We pay $10 for the month of August to get Spotify Premium so you don’t have annoying commercials.

glow sticks and beach balls1

As I’ve said before:

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 nor dance music, at our weekly meeting we include quite a bit of hip hop/dance. I run the music at our regional winter conference and can conclusively say that hip hop & dance makes a marked difference on the “vibe” of the crowd. It makes your meeting a party. Literally. People dance. Especially if you add beach balls and glow necklaces (we have our first 3 weekly meetings outside – beach balls may be a little less fun indoors).


Intro Video for Weekly Meeting

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

  1. It functions as a cue to sit down and be quiet (there is intentionally space at the beginning to give everyone a chance to sit down).
  2. It communicates a little about who we are and what we’re about

To download it: click the Vimeo logo to go to the site.

Spiritual Interest Survey

We’ve put a lot of effort into streamlining our Spiritual Interest Survey card. We do it with 3000 freshmen/students the first week of class – so we want it to be quick and effective. Click here to download the photoshop file so you can edit it to fit your needs. Click for an adapted version we use at a Community College – pdf or Photoshop. And here’s one we use with athletes for AIA – pdf or Photoshop.

1 Minute Questionnaire

Cru Card

Our Cru Card that we use for our weekly meeting is similar but a bit different. You can download the photoshop file here.

1 Minute Questionnaire

Simple Cru Flier

Nothing special. But I always think it’s fun to see what other campuses do for promo. Here it is in Photoshop if you want to edit it and use it on your campus: Cru & Bible Studies (2 separate files)

Cru and dorm studies - blog

We used to do them in color but have found that b/w is just as sharp looking IF:

  • You print them on card stock
  • Have them “cut to bleed” (so that there is no white border)


First 4 Weeks Calendar

Always fun to see how other ministries operate. So here’s an overview of what our First 4 Weeks calendar looks like. You can download an editable Word Document here.

1st 4 weeks of class Calendar 2012 final

Fall Retreat Brochures

Here’s a post with 3 different Fall Retreat Brochure designs we’ve used.

Fall Retreat 2010 powerpoint slide



What about YOU?

Do you have any stuff your campus uses that would be helpful to share? Link to it in the comments!

I started this blog because, as Russ Martin said in Tithing your Time Online: “By spending five minutes to upload the presentation from your last small group leader training you could save someone hours”.

It’s one of the primary reasons I read so many blogs – to quickly glean from others and use their thoughts for Cru talks, Bible studies, and staff coaching. I feel that it multiplies my time (requiring a lot less prep/admin time so I can spend more time with staff and students).

So hopefully this will help you save some time. Here’s a few things I’m using in my Bible study the coming weeks:

“Repentance is THE way we make progress in the Christian life. Indeed, pervasive, all-of-life-repentance is the best sign that we are growing deeply and rapidly into the character of Jesus.”

  • I’m also using this question from Tim Norman in Bible Study today: “Why do you think it’s important to read the Bible?” followed by his Devil’s Advocate questions and study of 2 Timothy 3:16–17 he lays out in his post (he just started blogging – you should definitely subscribe! And not just cause he’s my boss).
  • For the next five weeks in our Bible study, we will be reading through a chapter a week from Fight Clubs. I’ll have them read through the chapter during the week and then discuss and apply during Bible study. The “Bible” part of our Bible Study discussion will come from digging deeper into the various passages in each chapter. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this e-book is free anymore. You can preview the intro and 1st chapter here. Or buy it here.

What we fight for: “All else that is good and beautiful flows from him, but our thoughts don’t naturally drift to Christ. This is precisely why we need to fight.”

Why accountability groups fail in this fight: “We need to remove accountability [groups] from the center and replace it with the Gospel. We need to orbit around Jesus, not rules or confession. Instead of groups gathered around accountability, we must gather around Jesus. Only then will we find something truly worth fighting for.”

What are you using right now for BIble Study and Discipleship?

Resource Sharing – Magnet

September 24, 2010 — 1 Comment

The reason I started blogging was to share resources.  

My first post detailed those thoughts (with some great links – if you want to be motivated to share!).

Brian Barela expressed well this sentiment last month in a post entitled “Do you commute your resources?“:

When you think about the best resources you have are they being shared mostly/only with people that are either…

  • geographically near
  • relationally near
  • asking you to send them something

These are all examples of resource commuting.

Are you comfortable with other leaders spending time creating something that you have already done?

So if it would save you some time, I wanted to share this magnet (pictured above) that a designer put together for our last Fellowship Dinner.  We used it for our campus, but it would work just as well for personal magnets to send to supporters (you could even put a different picture beneath the text).

Click here to download a zip file (15 MB) that contains:

  • Powerpoint slides (that we used at the Dinner)
  • Editable Adobe Illustrator files
  • A PDF of the magnet (without the bottom right stuff – our website, etc)
  • And every “piece” of the magnet in separate files (paint splatter, picture, words, etc)

If you just want the PDF, click here.

A few tips on doing magnets on the cheap:

  • Order Hi-res prints from a local print shop (or even better, from MPix – THE best place to order photos online). Anywhere but Kinko’s.
  • Get adhesive magnets from Magnet Valley and stick on prints.
  • Cut each edge with a standard paper cutter. Trust me, it’s impossible to even get one edge perfectly straight (with no overlap).
  • This method is a bit time-consuming but you will save a TON of money. And they’ll look indistinguishable from the real deal.

You might recognize the picture from publicity that Penn State Cru shared years ago.  Thanks for sharing Tim Henderson and Kim Shearer (the photographer)!

Weekend Links

August 13, 2010 — Leave a comment

This is big – CruPress Green is Live.  Most of you within Campus Crusade knew this was out, but for those outside of Crusade, here’s a few highlights of what’s on this free site:

  • Bible Study Materials for 4 years (called Cru.comm)
  • Discipleship Materials (called The Compass) – 60 REALLY good discipleship lessons.  And Roger Hershey’s talks on Discipleship and the 4 articles on “How to Disciple” are phenomenal.
  • Free Posters and Publicity
  • Best-of-the-best Resources.   For a starter, go download The Music of the Gospel.  One of the best explanations and metaphors I’ve heard on gospel-centered ministry and living.

iPhone killing another industry

By far, my favorite thing about my new iPhone is the hi-def video camera and much-improved camera.  Canon/Sony/Flip should be very concerned.  I haven’t touched my Sony video camera since I got my new phone.  And why do you need to have a point and shoot when you have one already on your phone? The only downside I’ve seen so far: the video is a little shaky (it’s hard to hold the iPhone still).

I bet in a couple years the majority of people will only want two things for their photography/video needs: a nice DSLR camera and an iPhone.

Check out these cool magnetic camera lenses for smartphones.

Interesting infographic from Newsweek on what has changed digitally in the past 10 years.  Think some of these might affect our spiritual lives (and those we minister to) a bit?  One example: in 2000 we spent an avg of 2.7 hours online every week.  2010=18 hours a week.

Planning is honestly one of my favorite times of the year. We do serious planning (5 days, 9-noon) three times a year: August, December, May.  Love it.

To use Stephen Covey’s metaphor, we spend the entire year climbing furiously up the ladder – planning is a time to make sure our ladder is leaning against the right wall.

We start our week long staff planning this morning. So here’s some planning-themed inspiration to help you get ready.

The most practical advice I’ve heard in the past few years came from Tim Henderson who leads the Cru ministry at Penn State (Tim and his team put out incredible resources under the name Centerfield Productions).

I call it Buckets and Holes. I’m sure Tim Henderson has a more official name for it than that.

Here’s how Tim puts it: “How do we spend what we have to solve our problems, meet our goals, and increase what we have for next year and its problems?”

Here’s the (abbreviated) idea in two parts (the second one, for me, was the new insight).  For your ministry, for this year:

  1. What are the holes/problems (this step is common for most strategic planning)?
  2. What are the buckets we have to draw from?  What do we currently have that we can use to solve those problems?

Fleshed out, here’s what that looks like for us this year:

  1. Hole: our leadership numbers at our weekly training time have plateaued over the past few years.  If we want to reach the entire campus, we need more equipped laborers.
  2. Buckets: Our weekly meeting is not a problem to be solved.  It’s a giant bucket of cash.  We’ve got great momentum and incredible student leaders attending who love Jesus.  So we plan to use our weekly meeting to address our Laborer Hole.  A few other buckets we plan to use: we have a lot of great students leading Bible studies; we have a lot of students who choose to live in the dorms to have a ministry.

The Goal = To turn your holes into buckets. In 2011, we hope to be able to see that laborers is no longer a problem but a bucket that we can draw from to address the inevitable holes of 2011.

So we spend an entire hour during planning filling out two big post-it posters on what our Holes and Buckets are.  We narrow it down to 3-4 Holes we will tackle this Fall and then start playing connect the dots, connecting Buckets with Holes.

There’s actually 4 steps to the entire process and this PDF from Tim Henderson shows a very clear overview of the full process (right click to download):

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Some Bonus Planning Quotes to get you fired up about planning!

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

photo courtesy of rubyblossom via flickr

I’ve added a few pages of good resources divided into Books, Sermons, and Online Resources (I’ll add a list of articles at some point).

I think the Sermons page is particularly helpful because I have no shortage of books I want to read, but whenever I’m picking out a sermon to listen to I’m kind of flying blind.  Sure, I have my favorite pastors (Tim Keller, Tim Keller, and Matt Chandler) but I’ve never found a good way to find recommended sermons.  So, check out my favorites and tell me your favorites in the “Sermons” comments.

For those of you in ministry, do yourself a favor and start with Tim Keller’s “Preaching to believers and unbelievers” (at the bottom under “Ministry”).  Mind-blowingly-good.

Just hover over “Resources” at the top of this page and you can click on a category.

Photo courtesy of San Jose Library via Flickr

This post is more of a solicitation for help than having anything to offer.

This morning I was having my QT and journaling/typing through my thoughts on how prideful I am (maybe another post on that later). I was fairly easily able to diagnose the problem – I care about my glory and man’s approval more than God’s glory and His approval. But I kind of felt stuck there.  How can I practically move forward today in believing the gospel as it relates to pride?

So like any other modern, I turned to the internet/my computer. Thank God (genuinely) I found a great resource in a John Piper sermon transcript – perfect for what I needed. All of John Piper’s sermons are transcribed, way faster/easier to get what you’re looking for than listening to 45 minutes (and I prefer reading Piper than hearing him). I also found great insights in the Gospel Centered Life bible study (that I mentioned a few posts back).

I found Piper’s sermon by going to Justin Taylor’s blog and searching the Gospel Coalition (which to me, sounds like Superman would be a part of: “Gospel Coalition, let’s go get some bad guys!”) site.  Unfortunately it appears that their search does not return “blog posts”, only sermons and articles. [there’s a search box on the right hand column that searches an individual blog] What I was looking for was a good couple Justin Taylor posts on Pride.

But it made me realize I am severely lacking in good online resources.

So, help me out, what are your Online Go-To Resources?
Not so much for ministry help/philosophy.  But for help on pursuing Christ or when you’re writing a talk/Bible study?

Here are my top 3 (off the top of my head):

  1. Desiring God Resource Library – all of Piper’s books in PDF form (searchable!), all of his sermons transcribed (quick reading!).  Amazing.
  2. Dr. Constable’s FREE online commentary of the entire Bible – I will not teach a passage of the Bible without first consulting with this commentary.  Dr. Constable is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary.  I’ve been studying through Romans in my Quiet Times this summer and his commentary has been an immense help (and I love that you can copy and paste notes from it into a Word document (where I journal).  In addition to his commentary I was using the Expositors Commentary and I found Constable’s to be far better (and he actually quotes the Expositors Commentary half the time).
  3. Gospel Coalition site – specifically Justin Taylor’s blog but the whole site is searchable from there

Photo by Heather from Flickr

Pancake vs. Waffle

July 20, 2010 — 7 Comments

This is a snippet from our most recent prayer letter.  The reason I decided to start this blog is to share resources – those of you who send out prayer letters and want to use the above .jpg for your letter, right click here to download (the linked file has the references to the “University of Arkansas” removed).

This video gives a good snapshot of what God is doing in spreading his name to every “waffle pocket” at the University of Arkansas – students reaching students in their spheres of influence:

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It’s either or.  As a whole, college students are either hostile toward religion or ambivalent/open toward it.

Yes, I know every college student is unique and they range from passionate follower of Christ to atheist.  But when you think about doing college ministry, especially evangelism, what college student are you imagining you will encounter?  An angry, Christian-hating atheist or an open-to-discussion student.

Obviously, your approach to evangelism (as a ministry and as an individual) will be vastly different depending on your answer to that question.

Two landmark books have been published in the last few years on spirituality among the college-aged:

unChristian  &  Souls in Transition

I highly recommend both of them.  Incredibly eye opening.

I just read Souls in Transition this summer and will unpack its content over the next few weeks on this blog.

But, although they have some similarities in their findings  (and both are rather dry books written by researchers – Souls is far tougher to wade through of the two), I think they paint a very different picture of Young Adults (as they call those of college age).

This is a gross generalization but here’s what they conclude about Young Adults:

  • unChristian – There is a growing tide of hostility and resentment toward Christianity
  • Souls in Transition – Most “are OK with talking about religion as a topic, although they are largely indifferent to it”

Working with college students in the Deep South I find the results from “Souls” to be much truer to my experience.  But we live in the Bible belt and I know our students aren’t typical of the average American college student.  College ministers at Cal Berkeley or NYU obviously will encounter a different audience.

What has been your experience in working with “outsider” college students (as unChristian calls non-Christians)?

I used the Gospel-Centered Life Bible study this year with my Senior guys Bible Study and it’s phenomenal.  Almost zero prep.  Incredible heart-probing, Christ centered content.

I just skimmed thru it again this morning during my QT and came across great material to use with students re: being missional. I plan on using this for our student Leadership Retreat to kick off the year.

It’s from Ch. 7 – The Gospel Propels us Outward.

“If the gospel is renewing you internally, it will also be propelling you externally.”

There’s a Bible passage to work thru (Gal 5:13-15), an article and great discussion questions to think thru at the end like:

  1. Identify a missional opportunity in your life in which you are not motivated to do what you “should” do. Here are some categories to jump-start your thinking: showing hospitality to neighbors; actively praying for and engaging with co-workers; sharing the gospel with a family member; serving someone in poverty; giving generously;
  2. What heart issues hinder you from rightly motivated action in this situation?
  3. Repentance: What sin do you see in yourself that you need to repent of?   Faith: What specific gospel promises or truths are you not really believing?

Here’s a link where you can purchase it from World Harvest Mission (it’s written by a couple of former Cru staff – Bob Thune and Will Walker).  You download the file from them – it’s $7 for one copy, $40 for the license to print 20 studies.