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).
I think it’s helpful to see the overall picture – across the nation and across every campus. To see the national picture of students involved and numbers sent by region. The chart below shows Sending numbers for 2014 for each of the 10 Cru regions.
A quick explanation of the columns:
- Full Time = number of students this year who went into full time ministry – 1 year internship, STINT, or long term staff
- SM = Summer Missions
- Wisconsin Cru has found that Summer Missions are a leading measure for Sending into full time ministry. The Full Time/Summer Missions ratio is an attempt to track that.
- It’s Full Time staff divided by an average of the previous two Summer Missions numbers (since it will take a couple years for those Summer Missions students to graduate)
- So 2014 Full Time divided by average of 2012 and 2013 Summer Missions
- I’ll have to track it year to see if that ratio holds up (and to see if increased numbers on SMs leads to more students sent).
- Students Involved = this is a self reported number that can be a bit arbitrary. Many schools just count number of students that come to their Community Groups. On our campus we count how many students come at least half the time to our CGs AND we add a guess of how many students come at least half the time to our weekly meeting who AREN’T involved in CGs. Again – a bit fuzzy.
- FT/Involved – % of how many went into full time ministry of those involved
|2014||Full Time||SM||Intern||STINT||Staff||FT/SM (from avg of 2 previous SMs)||Students involved||FT/Involved|
What can we learn from this?
- The top sending school in the nation (Texas A&M) sends more than 3 entire regions (not cumulatively – A&M sends more than each region)
- The Red River and Pacific Southwest send a higher percentage of students. Not sure why. Obviously very different regions spiritually, ethnically, and culturally.
- If the Summer Missions as a lead indicator for Full Time Ministry hypothesis is true. 1 out of every 3 students you send on Summer Missions will go into full time ministry
- Not shown on this chart but still interesting: Money does not seem to be a hindrance to student involvement and sending
- The top sending regions do not correlate with the top fundraising regions (based on stats on fund raising dinner proceeds across the nation)
- i.e. – The Great Lakes Region raises the 3rd least in funds. But, by far, sends the most and has the most students involved
- What else? Anything else jump out at you?
Our big takeaway:
- Seeing the sending reality of the Northwest and Northeast is sobering. I can speak for our campus: we need to send more and keep less. As I elaborated in the previous post– based on the need, I would say the priority should be sending overseas. But a secondary focus should be sending to the areas of the country where it is difficult to raise up laborers and where there is a very low % of evangelical Christians. Specifically the Northwest and Northeast.
- I do college ministry in the south (in the Red River Region of Cru). In the Bible belt. Where:
- Most college kids come to school having grown up in church and many have been on a mission trip in high school. While a lot of campuses (in the NE, NW, PSW, etc) start with students at 0 spiritually, a lot of our students start out as 5’s and we can take them to 10’s (Christ-centered laborers).
- Many students come to school considering the possibility that God wants to do something with their life. Even the student who says “I’ll never be a missionary in Africa” at least admits at some level that they’ve considered the possibility.
- Some parents are opposed to their kids going into ministry (or on Summer Missions), but the vast majority are Christians and at least neutral to their kid doing ministry and raising support.
- There is a lot of Christian money- what I mean by that is there is a lot of money and it is in the hands of evangelical Christians who go to missional churches. A necessary part of sending is funding.
- At a public school where most students have scholarships and low student debt.
- Most students have no clue what they want to do with their lives (in contrast to talking to Cru staff at Boston – their students have known since they were 5 that they wanted to be a doctor and attend Harvard).
- God has uniquely positioned our region to do one thing really well: SEND.
- We have a stewardship to Send. And we need to take that seriously. We currently only send 2% of our movement whereas some send 4, 8, even 12 (and in far more difficult environments). We can do better. Thus trying to learn from the best sending campuses in the nation.
The Sending Team at Cru HQ in Orlando pulled most of these numbers together with Elise Hebert doing 98% of the work. Thanks Mike Crandall, Elise and the Sending Team! Their caveat: “these numbers are the best we could pull from the reports we have. It’s certainly possible that our reporting systems didn’t get it 100% right.”
The Sending team would like to continue to resource and coordinate the conversation on mobilization so that we continue to send well together. If you have any thoughts on how we can do better or what resources would be helpful, please comment on this post or email Mike Crandall.