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 Virginia Tech Cru:
- 500 students involved in Cru at Virginia Tech
- Average of 400 students at their weekly meeting
- Average number of interns – 2-4
- Average number of Stint – 6-8
I talked to Jeff who has led the team at Virginia Tech for 8 years. Jeff and his wife are planning on STINTing next year in Africa (with their 5 kids!).
Jeff talked about how a few years ago it hit them that they were not being good stewards in the area of sending – “one year we sent 4 kids into full time ministry. Out of 50 seniors”. They began as team to be more intentional about Sending into full time ministry.
I didn’t do a full interview with Jeff but he did share with me one brilliant idea:
Junior Recruiting Dinner
- We used to do most of our recruiting during student’s senior years. But we kept finding that we were too late. Students had already accepted jobs.
- At Virginia Tech we have a lot of engineering students who have lots of (high paying!) options after college
- For most of our students, the summer after the junior year internship is the job interview. So they decide by October 1 senior year.
- So we started doing a Junior Recruiting Dinner – the spring of their junior year.
- It’s not even on their radar until we challenge them in spring of junior year. Who else is telling them that? Not their parents or their professors. Getting a job is the default.
- We have 50-60 juniors at this dinner- sitting in tables of 10-15 [they have a total of 120 juniors involved!]
- Some years, just my wife and I will take out small groups of 10-15
- We spend about $1000 to take them out to dinner
- We lay out 7 important perspectives (here’s the complete script for the dinner):
- The Lordship of Jesus Christ – What makes it hard for you to give over your career to Christ’s leadership?
- The Mandate of the Great Commission – All Christians are commanded to be involved in making disciples. The question is how can I best be involved in making disciples for the rest of my life? Not all Christians are called to full time Christian work, but the command should cause us all to consider it.
- The Challenge of Vocational Christian service – The critical need is more laborers, not for more fruit. In the Christian community, (which is God’s pool of available people to use as laborers): Only 5% have shared their faith. Therefore, there is only a small group of people available. Of those, only 7% have gone to college. You are in the 7% of the 5% of the world’s population whom God could use.
- Eternal Perspective – Two things are eternal, the word of God and the souls of man, invest your life in those things – how are you going to do this
- Platform vs. time – Some people have a higher impact as an “insider”, but have less time – it is harder to have a ministry and a full-time job. One way to get a good read on how well you would be able to minister while having a full-time job is to look at how well you are doing now balancing school work and ministry.
- Training – A good question: How and when will I get the needed training to have an effective ministry for a lifetime? If you think you can be more effective (long-range) in secular work, consider taking a couple years in full time ministry to get the training needed.
- Don’t do what the spiritually dead can do – Anyone, spiritually dead or not, can be the president of IBM, but not one spiritually dead person can work for the Lord.
- Then we have everyone answer at the end: So what are you thinking about doing?
- Almost everyone of them answers – “well, I’ve never really thought about doing ministry”.
- I’m trying to help my students learn how to make good decisions
- The biggest obstacle we see is parents: “I just paid for you to get a computer engineering degree.”
- Let’s go after every student to challenge them for full time ministry.
- Once they’ve made their decision, let’s say- “that’s great, let me prep you for ministry in the marketplace”
- All of senior year discipleship is preparing them for life after college.
- Roger Hershey always tells me: they’ve got to hear eternal perspective over and over again.
- They’re going to give themselves to something on campus until we present a greater need. And connect it to eternal perspective.