Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Spiritual Aggression

It is a curious thing to me that Christianity seems to always work best on the offensive. Culture is not neutral and to attempt to maintain is to lose ground. However, as the gospel goes forth, it transforms (or better to say it accentuates the good) of any culture. The basic essence of the gospel makes a difference.

This is why we are healthiest on the attack. By attack I do not mean in antagonistic fashion with culture (evangelical mistake in the culture war), but an aggression with the goodness of the gospel that changes the very perspective of God in any given setting. Doing good in the name of God so that God's named is glorified among the godless even while the godless are coming to know him.

On a campus setting, we do not have the ability to build and maintain (Thank God). We must move into the darkness of the campus culture and win those who will carry the glory of God into the next generation. If we do not, we will be frustrated in our anemic state and God will raise up something else to get the job done.

Enough doom and gloom. Lets take the world.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

5 Word Direction

This morning I had a great conversation with Ken, a wonderful Godly leader. He dropped more spiritual nuggets on me than I have time to share here, but one that really stood out in regards to movements. He shared that back in his Campus Director days (he now leads the campus ministry for a country), he would simply begin their year by explaining to students the purpose of the group in 5 simple words. Three are obvious, the other two are glue.

  • Win
  • Build
  • Send
  • Movement
  • World

The summary seems simple, and yet by defining what we do and where we go, you gain a potency from the early stages of involvement. It is known that this is a group that exists to reach lost people, to establish them in their faith, to send them to reach others and to continue the process so that the whole world knows. Worship will happen, Praise will happen, Bible studies will happen, Teaching will happen, but they will all exists to accomplish what God has called us to, not as an end in and of themselves.

It is hard to do "movement" if you are trying to be the prettiest show in town. Simplicity and rock solid direction are great assets. Many students may not buy into this, but many of the right kind of leaders will, and they will radically change the campus they are on (see John 6:22 and beyond)

However, like many things, this is much easier on paper. The campus is a complex beast, but we should never shirk away from challenging students to what may seem impossible. This is the only way to find those who are convinced that God is in the business of changing the world.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

20 Students

Tonight I logged some time with my good friend John Boudreaux (doing the deed at LSU). We (ok maybe I did too much of the talking) were dreaming about how you could leverage our afternoon exercise at CSU on a local level. Here's a shot.

  1. Bring in all the staff, and top 20 student leaders (if you don't have 20, as many as you can get). (Important Safety Tip: These students need to be missional, not simply righteous - there must be a sign of life and a passion to see their school changed with the gospel).
  2. Ask the question - Two years from now there is 10% of the student body involved in spiritual things. How did we do it?
  3. Let each person contemplate for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Group them together in 4s and have them consolidate the plan.
  5. Present the plans (no comments, just presentations in short blurbs).
  6. Consolidate the whole. Bring out the best emergent ideas and consolidate similar ideas.
  7. For each piece of the plan, have students / staff volunteer for what they want to implement. As each person votes with their feet, you are actually building your strategic plan.
  8. Do it.

    Ok, it might not be this crisp, but talk about getting students involved. They just wrote your job description. What if you did this with the top 100 students!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Goose Dead, Eggs Not So Golden

Today I was part of a pretty killer exercise. About 1/3 of the US Campus Ministry was in Moby (at CSU) and together we engaged in a process directed at launching 2000 movements in 2 years (results)

It was a pretty good time with some good ideas generated. However, I want to touch on something that was said that I believe to be impossible.

Sometimes when we talk of expanding, people get all wigged out and think we will "kill the goose that lays the golden egg." Presumably meaning that we will grow to fast and spread too thin and then die. In my humble opinion (yea right), this is impossible. It is contrary to how the gospel functions. It is contrary to the DNA of the gospel. It simply cannot be done - and I am pretty sure that it has never occurred in history. No group has been so radical about spreading themselves to every tongue, tribe and nation, that they ceased to exist. This is not what slowed down the Methodist, the YMCA or even the Student Volunteer Movement.

There are a lot of ways to kill the goose, but expanding and moving forward is not one of them. In fact, this is the sure fire way of keeping the goose very healthy, lean and fit for the future. Such a goose will crank out many a golden egg.