Monday, August 29, 2005

Texas Hits Minority Majority Status

The combination of all minorities in Texas now represents the majority of the population in the state. Texas is just one state in this demographic trend. This is one reason I believe it is so imperative for us to learn how to minister within the whole context of our demographic.

I have often used the phrase "self marginilization" to describe what will happen to Campus Crusade for Christ if we do not develop leadership producing movements in ethnic contexts. This CNN report clearly represents our future reality - and not just in Texas.

There are 4 states in the majority minority category and another 5 sitting at 40% minority. Read the article to see which ones.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Destino Adventure - Return of the White Guy

I was fortunate. On Wednesday Impact (the African American student ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ) extended an invitation for me to join them on the campus of the University of Central Florida. It sounded like a good plan to do and the do the work of Destino in the afternoon.

Dirke & Lorna Johnson, Rasool & Tamica Berry, Michelle Hardy and I teamed up and headed to campus. I love theses guys and it was fun to do the work of the ministry with them!

I am always amazed the work of the Lord on any given day. Michelle and I grabbed some Impact Kits (CDs, Water bottle, Bible, Info etc.) and headed into the student union to take a few spiritual interest surveys. In 5 conversations we surfaced a pastors' daughter, and a junior deacon. Now, this is not that uncommon in the AA community, but it was encouraging that the pastors' daughter was interested in helping get Impact off the ground at UCF. That was worth it.

By now it was HOT! Crazy HOT! South Florida 120% humidity HOT! The kind of hot that makes you sweat in the shower. Impact packed up and headed home. And I set out to put up a few posters.

Now, here is where this experiment should be noted as abnormal. Normally, I would never never never do this alone. It makes no sense. We have plenty of resources available (Destino coaching team in Orlando, connecting with local churches, the UCF staff team and students involved with Cru – there is a ton of places to begin besides beginning this way). The reason I wanted to begin this way was simple – what kind of effort and energy would / does it take to start from scratch. To know that, I wanted to act alone.

And alone (and hot) I was. UCF is a pretty cleanly laid out campus. There are not any kiosks and open bulletin boards – already I feel the plan falling apart. Even though the buildings are open, there are not many really great posting locations (of course, my decoding had been lame, so I could have easily missed some things).

The rule of thumb is a poster for every 150 students. This would mean something like 500 posters. Wow.

I made a hundred and hoped for the best. Again, minimal in my experimentation.

I was able to hang about 80 – with 40 of those going in RA boxes (which, having done the RA gig, I know that about 1/2 of those are garbage bound).

So, I started making my tour de poster about 2pm – and wrapped up just a little before 4. I walked, prayed and posted. I was worn out after the morning – but I think I got to most of the main buildings. I left thinking that my efforts were pretty feable and I could have done a better job.

The summary: Another 3 bucks for parking and about 6 for copies - and 3 more hours.

Now I am in this thing for a total of 7 hours – that is like a day and half of work for a guy like me!

As far as – in couple of days 15 visitors, 1 indicated decision and no emails.

Not good enough - time to revisit the plan.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Destino Adventure - Day One

I managed to schedule in a good afternoon on campus at the University of Central Flordia. I live about 15 miles from UCF. The office is about the same distance, but a different 15 miles (either way it takes about 30 minutes to get there). I arranged to meet Pez at 1:30 outside the union. (David Pezzoli – UCF Campus Director, NCState alum and all around nice guy).

Plans for the day:

  • Meet Pez and expose him to my complex master plan.
  • Buy him a Taco and a carbonated beverage (always suck up to the CD).
  • Do a little decoding and prayer.


After finishing some morning business, I load up in the mighty T100 and head to campus. I give myself some extra time because parking is a zoo (so I hear).

Found a spot (while multi tasking on the phone), and start heading for the union. I get totally turned around and have to act like a 39-year-old freshman to get directions.

I call Pez from the Union. He is staring down at me from the 3rd floor – I join him and his team for a mini, on the fly staff meeting. Their first weekly meeting is Thursday and the four of them (along with a bunch of student leaders) have been busting their tails canvassing the campus and doing the work of the ministry. Pezzoli and I get a Taco – and of course he is awed by the 4 point master plan.

After my time with David, I swing by the SGA and the student Union Office. I get some demographic info and a cheesy yellow campus map (I forget to get the list of senators – or even ask!?). I also get the scoop on the complexities of putting posters all over campus. It is more cumbersome than I hoped, but still very doable.
I am back the union and seamlessly blend with the student crowd to make make some more observations:
  • No matter how old you are, it is still kind of weird to figure out a campus for the first time. This must be how Tommy Lee feels right about now.
  • People where hanging out in pockets. Most (not all) black students are with other black students. Same for Latinos and Asians (not to mention the stinkin’ Greeks).
  • People were friendly. There is enthusiasm for life.
  • My knees hurt, my back aches and the music is way to loud.

I am back at the truck for my 3pm phone appointment with Marc “HR is your Daddy” Rutter – my partial day on campus is el finito (this is not technically Spanish).

After various ministry and family responsibilities, I sit down and make my poster. It is very simple. It says:
Interested in helping start a Latino Christian Fellowship at UCF? Contact
Latino believers bonded together to influence UCF with the Gospel of Christ.

Check out my crazy mad design skills here (I used the mast head from the web page).

Summary: Total hours & cost (including travel)
  • Building & email acct*. . . ½ hour . . . $150 (free yahoo email).
  • Travel Time . . . 1 ½ hours . . . $15 (gas & tolls)
  • On Campus . . . 1 ½ hours . . . $3 visitors parking pass (to park in the boonies)
  • Poster . . . ½ hour . . . $2 in ink (I will make copies tomorrow).
  • A Destino experiment . . . Priceless

So far I am in this for about 4 hours and $170 (most of which is an optional website).

Tomorrow I meet with Impact (they are taking the young interns – fellows – to UCF to train ‘em up). I will head to campus with them and then do my Destino thing.

*It only takes about 15 minutes to set up a loclaized site via - less if you can pick colors quickly. Paul Payne (of MinistryHome fame) and Marilyn Adamson (her name be praised) have done a great job with this. I set up about four days before this post - in about 15 minutes.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Destino Adventure - Mini-Mi Master Plan

So how real can this multiple movement’s thing be? I am just one staff dude, but a few weeks ago I got the hair brained idea to jump in and see what God could do with my simple, unknowledgeable, limited efforts.

About 30 minutes away from mi casa is the home of the mighty Golden Knights of the University of Central Florida (season tickets still available). So I get to thinkin’ . . . what if I could run a little half-baked ministry test and see what happens. Why not? The school itself is around 45k students, and rumor has it that there are a bunch of Latino students out there (over 1k for sure) - so how about an attempt at a new Destino movement?

My assumptions:

  • God really wants to reach Latino students
  • Knowing him, he is probably already at work somehow, someway.
  • I ain’t got a lot of time (I got this other full time gig).
  • Unless He moves, I am sunk.

My parameters:
  • I will go it alone (this is contrary to what I should / would normally do, but I want to see how much time and energy this eats up).
  • I will use only what I currently know, or what I can find out via, or other known resources.
  • I will grab no help or students from the current Cru movement (although normally this would also be a wise place to start).

My plan:
  1. Pray and Decode. Go to campus and spend some time in prayer and get the lay of the land.
  2. Posterize and surface. With the advent of (more on this in a later blog) I can easily create a Latino evangelistic web site that may help me surface key contacts and the ever so talked about “person of peace.”
  3. When (or if) I surfaced said PoP (or a handful of interested students), I will host a meeting, cast a little vision, give them some training and unleash them on UCF (or technically, they would unleash themselves).
  4. An add on: I will grab the list of student government leaders (student senate) and try to set up some evangelistic appointments with students who have Latin surnames.

So off we go - and we shall see.

Leadership for Movements Everywhere

Rich Swanson (Human Resources Leadership in the NorthEast) has layed out some environment shaping issues for Campus Crusade staff as we lead toward Movements Everywhere.

"For our purposes we have broken the staff experience down into five main categories that we can do something about. We want all our staff to feel the following about their staff life…

1. Atmosphere of faith and optimism
2. Spiritual, personal and professional growth
3. Healthy team environment
4. Ministry wins
5. Financial future"

Go Rich Go. Read the whole post at: Leadership for Movements Everywhere

Friday, August 19, 2005

Gorsuch - Faith and Risk

I found Geoff's words on leadership, character and risk very helpful. Enjoy.

Geoff Gorsuch

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Genius of APEPT

I mentioned this book in an earlier blog, but I swiped this summary straight from Jay Lorenzen and his possie.

What if Ephesians 4:1-16 was a model for the kind of leadership required to build movements?

Frost and Hirsch believe that Paul laid out in this passage a fivefold leadership matrix around the functions listed in verse 11: Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher (or APEPT for short). They interpret Paul’s list as the very mechanism for achieving movement building as well as Christian maturity.

Here’s how they define these foundational leadership functions of APEPT. Are they present in your movement building environment?

  • Apostolic function, usually conducted translocally, pioneers new missional works and oversees their development.
  • Prophetic function discerns the spiritual realities in a given situation and communicates them in a timely and appropriate way to further the mission of God’s people.
  • Evangelistic function communicate the gospel in such a way that people respond in faith and discipleship.
  • Pastoral function shepherds the people of God by leading, nuturing, protecting and caring for them.
  • Teaching function communicates the revealed wisdom of God so that the people of God learn how to obey all that Christ has commanded them.

PopWarner and Movement Realities

For the last few weeks I have been an assistant to the assistant coach for a PopWarner football team. It is hot, fun and hysterical - and the boys love it. As soon as they figured out how to hit, many of them became wild men.

One kid stands out. Calvin weighs about 75 lbs - shoes, pads and helmet (average weight for the team is around 90). He has good speed and pretty good instincts, but above all else he is tenacious.

Tuesday he was playing linebacker and giving up 20 pounds to the kid blocking him. We ran a little sweep and Calvin dodged the block and made a hit that made the faint of heart look away. It was a sight to behold.

We also have a kid named Baxter. Baxter is a talented kid who is a coach favorite (he is the coaches kid), but he lacks the fire in his gut. The same day Calvin made the big stick, Baxter was playing nose guard - after two plays he wanted to be free safety. He was tired of getting hit.

For me, the Calvin / Baxter dilemma is a principle in kingdom growth. It appears Jesus selected on tenacity, drive and a can do attitude. He honored men of potential big faith (lack of faith is what he chastised them for the most). Theology, Talent, Ability, Education, Speaking, Bible Knowledge, and Strategery (as well many other things) were secondary - or not even mentioned.

The gospel moving ahead is built upon God acting through the right people in the right place. Find the right people and we are well on our way to incredible results. Training (although good and needed) can never compensate for finding the right people - simply put, the right person finds the training they need.

Development plays a role, but finding/surfacing plays an even bigger role. Of course, we are not going to find people in perfect condition (I am surely not there!), but men and women with a desire to change the world can be developed in extraordinary ways. They are movable and moldable and that makes all the difference.

This is why Jesus selected 12 out of many. He brought them aside and said, "Gentleman, lets change the world." And they did.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

It Can Be Done - John Waidley

Today's guest blogger is John Waidley. John and Faye lead with Campus Crusade for Christ in the Pacific Southwest. John is the Catalytic Regional Director.
He sent me this email on August 2, 2005 regarding the Epic Project in Hawaii. Epic is the Asian American student ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.

Tomorrow I take the 30 epic project students to the airport and they go home a lot different people than they were 6 weeks ago.

Last night the students held a final banquet for the project. I can honestly say it was was of the coolest things I have ever been to on staff...I wish you could have been there. We had about 60 people in attendance...the other 30 people were students from the new Epic campus ministries that have been planted on Oahu! The reality is we have three solid new ministry plants...we had prayed and worked toward four but while we had students from the fourth campus at the banquet and the fact that the spiritual gatekeeper on this campus is behind us, I still cannot call it a legit plant.

I sat at a table that had faculty advisers (translated old people and those who signed on to legitimize each ministry on campus). One of the advisers said to me, "Over ten years ago I attended Hcc as a student...I really asked the Lord to start a ministry among my classmates so we would see Him change the campus...while we had a bible study it never really turned into much...when your students showed up with there great heart and vision I knew the Lord was answering the cry of my heart from years ago!"

Another advisor and print shop owner designed and printed 4 "epic Hawaii" signs to be used by all four ministries in Honolulu...they were sweet!

From the beginning all three project leaders believed this project had to have two strong elements for the students sake as well as Hawaii and Epic in general. That it would be highly evangelistic and we would attempt to open 4 ministries on four campuses in 6 weeks during the summer using cultural outsiders. God was sooo good.

For the uninformed this project was totally Epic and totally catalytic. The staff and students were trained on the basics of catalytic...prayer-walking, decoding, finding a person of peace, identifying a leader, utilizing the God well as sharing the 4sl and follow-up. Evangelism was our lead foot on campus, in Waikiki and we did some mercy ministry with street people. Search for Significance was our small group text...the girls liked it more than the guys. Ethnic identity issues were addressed about 6 different times but the faith issues were all wrapped up in ethinic identity issues and the students discerned that.

Here are some of the conclusions we came to yesterday with the student leaders.

  1. Keep this project pioneering and evangelistic...this was stressed so strongly print doesn't do it justice. For sure a lot of issues needed to be overcome related to initiative but they were thrilled with the results. One student said to me 'my epic group at home is so much about 'in reach' it feels great to actually be doing 'outreach' and not just talking about it". Keep it pioneering...I told the students Hawaii will run out of campuses in a couple years and we might have to move it to a major city...they said "do it!"
  2. The project should be a week or two longer and give the staff a few more days with the students.
  3. The project needs consistent staff leadership with the vision as well as more returning students.
  4. Prayer and hard work work well together!
  5. Keep it Asian...another reality is for the time being this needs to be a "B" project.

In light of the great victory and overcoming of this summer I share concerns of the is simply this; when they return to the body they have come from they wonder if they will be able to convince anyone that pioneering and evangelism are on Gods heart in a way that will change anything. Reality is they have experienced something that many of peers are afraid of or don't want to be involved in. Please pray for the student re-entry tomorrow as many have the vision for new kind of epic movement but wonder if they will have the strength to go it alone.

I challenged three students specifically to staff...the graduating seniors to internships with epic and the rest to return to the project next summer bringing 5 friends with them.

At lunch yesterday on of the leaders asked me 'john, do you know of any summer projects in the US that have pioneering three new ministries? I said 'I am not aware of any.' He said 'It's pretty cool that Asian American students can lead the county on this!' ...I totally agree...
thanks for your prayers...the ground was totally prepared.

Way to lead John and Faye (and the rest of the staff) - and thanks for the update.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Evangelism, Movements, Prayer

Three simple things.
Evangelism is a must.
Movements do Evangelism (or they ain't movements).
Prayer is essential for effective evangelism.

To do what God is calling us to do - we must always be moving toward winning the lost. If we win the lost, everything (and I mean EVERYTHING!) gets solved. Everything is connected to winning the lost. When many people are won to Christ, we quickly have all the gifting we ever need to do whatever else needs to be done.

We cannot do movements outside of evangelism or prayer. We are not just doing evangelism and prayer without building movements to sustain our work.

We must exercise radical faith to get Jesus to as many as possible by the best means possible.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Not Mutually Exclusive

Often times I catch myself building a dichotomy between apostolic ministry and movement building. Or in our vernacular, SC and CAT. Scope and Depth. Reach and Send. Lost and Laborers. However you want to slice it, it is easy for us (ok at least me) to bully the one in light of the other. The straw man comes in handy at this point.

So first, a bit of groundwork on apostolic lingo:

  • Apostolic simply means sent one. This is the basic definition of an apostle. The Greek word apostolos (throw in the Greek to impress the ladies), means a delegate, an ambassador of the gospel, officially a commissioner of Christ, messenger, he that is sent. We sometimes call this a pioneer missionary (which is not a term you find in scripture).
  • The GC is a an apostolic endeavor. Jesus was sent, the Spirit was sent and we are all sent. It is fundamental to the faith.
  • The apostolic makes the assumption that God has gone ahead. Moving quickly and watching God work is essential. The apostolic mode depends on God for the lead rather than determining that a ministry must exist in a certain location among a certain group.
  • Nothing we do in movement building contradicts moving in the apostolic. Movement building is actually the second phase of apostolic turf taking. (in my opinion, and since I made these into bullet points, it must be true).
  • The problem is not the movement building principles, but that these principles are not being applied in enough places.

The reality is that we need great movement building principles among those who are sent. And we need sent ones to go to places where the gospel is not (including pockets in places we have been for years). Tried and true principles of building a movement must be applied in enough places by enough leaders so that as many students hear as possible.

Couple this with the reality that these principles can actually be employed by young staff, interns, faculty members and yea even freshman (if God so chooses) and we have the making of some Godly chaos.

So do we punt the freshman strategy that has worked so well for so many years? May it never be! May it be that we figure out some way to run that bad boy on another 1500 campuses in ways that are not nearly as staff intensive as what we may have done in the past. May it be that some wise soul figures out how to run it for all the Latinos showing up at Texas A&M, or all the African Americans at UCLA. The principles are awesome, but we have to get someone (apostolic like) to the location to find the people who can run the movement building strategies we have worked so hard to develop.

For more on apostolic functioning, check out John Eckhardt's book Moving in the Apostolic. (bullet point #1 is taken from page 25).

Backyard Filosofiyin

Today I was out in my yard trying to repair my electric "shock the dog" fence. I busted it just before summer travels and now I must find the break. Don't ask how - I even invented a few new words in the process.

As I am struggling to get some traction on this key project of grand eternal significance, my neighbor wanders over. He is a nice guy and a good neighbor, but as a man who has seen 70+ years of life, he has an intractable opinion on just about everything - including my "FidoFrier" fence.

But today it was about organization capacity and leadership. He said, "I have been thinking about you and your organization." (mind you, Tom is not a believer and does not want to be one any time soon- at least at this point - but my kids are praying for him). So he says, "I have been thinking, what do you do to give the young generation of leaders the ability to lead."

His thinking had to do with what we do with all the "ground soldiers" we raise up. By "ground soldier" he meant the students we indoctrinated with our foolish message of love, hope and eternal life. His thought was that, at the rate we attract students, we would soon be out of things for them to do. Or worse yet, they would find the older guys (read me) in the way and go on to do other things.

This is indeed concerning. As we age as an organization, we lose something. Where are the days we the young buck 25 year olds had a shot at the CD job? They might have been a bit young, but they sure didn't know it. They jumped at the chance to lead.

Some would say, 'Well, this generation is different, they are not like that and they are not ready." I say they are and that we must give them a shot! What do we have to lose? Can you really screw up the Great Commission by being to young?

Now, if we don't have these types around, then we really have reason for concern. Where does a young Crawford Lorritz, Dennis Rainey, or Eric Swanson go in our organization today. Do they sit on the bench until some regional or national guru picks them to lead some minor effort when they are 30? The kind of people we need are not going to wait around that long. In fact, if they did not get to jump in as students, they are long gone before they ever join us!

Sixty years ago last week, "Little Boy" was loaded in a B-29 Superfortress bomber headed for Hiroshima. This was no small endeavor. The B-29 was the single most complicated and expensive weapon produced by the United States during World War II, and the Manhattan project that produced the bomb was the most extensive research and development project for any single weapon. On August 5, 1945 they loaded the bomb and painted "Enola Gay" on the plane in honor of the mission commanders mother. The commander was a guy named
Paul Tibbets. His job?

In September 1944, Paul was briefed on the Manhattan Project, It was to be his responsibility to organize and train a unit to deliver these weapons in combat operations. He would also determine and supervise the modifications necessary to make the B-29 capable of delivering the weapons, and for this, the unit had to be self-sufficient. Secrecy was paramount. The unit would support Los Alamos with flight test airplanes to establish ballistics and detonator reliability to explode the bombs. Paul was told, "You are on your own. No one knows what to tell you. Use normal channels to the extent possible. If you are denied something you need, restate your need is for "SILVERPLATE" (a codename) and your request will be honored without question."

In March 1945 the First Ordnance Squadron, a unit designed to carry out the technical phases of the group responsibilities, became part of the 509th. The personnel count now exceeded 1500 enlisted men and some 200 officers. Then, quietly, the group started moving overseas to Tinian Island in the Marianas chain. On the afternoon of August 5th, 1945, President Truman gave his approval to use the weapons against Japan. At 02:45 A.M. August 6th, the Enola Gay lifted off North Field with Paul Tibbets and his crew en route to Hiroshima. At exactly 09:15 plus 15 seconds the world's first atomic bomb exploded. The course of history and the nature of warfare was changed.

Paul Tibbets completed this mission when he was 29 years old.