Thursday, September 29, 2005

Mega Shift - James Rutz

A MUST READ. Megashift chronicles the massive wave of God's power that is sweeping the world. Complete with miracles, trends, tips and stats. It is well documented - even if it does blow some of my categories.

Particularly interesting is the empowerment factor. Most of the massive growth has happened in simple structures run by average believers with Big God faith.

Here are 11 engines of change that Rutz sees shaping this movement of God.

  1. Intercessory Prayer (prayer warfare / strategic level intercession / prayer evangelism) - A serious dependence on God arriving to produce amazing results.
  2. Empowerment - "In the new, more open churches, you don't have to wait for someone to give you permission for every little thing. You just do it." Empowerment has to do with unleashing the potential in every member of the body - mainly by decreasing the complexity by doing church and life together with very few external controls.
  3. Reconciliation - Breaking down the power of the enemy by healing the wounds between peoples.
  4. Identificational Repentance (IR) - Apologizing and seeking forgiveness for the actions of those who have gone before us. (ie. slavery) (there are a lot of good biblical examples of this - I like Ezra 9:1 - 15)
  5. Spiritual Mapping - "Hard, plodding, basic research aimed at discovering the spiritual history of a town, region or nation (or campus even). It tries to answer the central questions: How did this place come to have all its problems? Exactly how is the enemy messing us up today? What can we do about it?"
  6. Saturation Church Planting Movements - Strategically planting small, simple, rapidly reproducing bodies in order to saturate a specific target. Many of these groups are starting new groups every other weekend.
  7. On Site Prayer - praying over the location you are targeting.
  8. Fasting - nuff said.
  9. Leadership Teamwork - APEPT / 4-11 / Fivefold ministry teams (Eph 4:11) - ministry based upon gifting and example rather than organization position. More of an emphasis on networks and partnering over denominations and organizational structures.
  10. Media Evangelism - radio, tv, web
  11. God working even if we don't - dreams, vision and other wild stuff.

Interesting tidbit - more Muslims have come to Christ in the last 10 years than the previous 1,000.

That is enough for me to realize that God is up to something!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Subtle Shift

Check out these two diagrams (click on the bar above to see a bigger image). Ask yourself, "Self, how does our ministry operate?"

I snagged these simple diagrams from Marc van der Woude - who probably snagged them from somewhere else (gotta love the web).

Some good conversation could flow from these simple models. If we have subtly shifted into a traditional mode, what can we do to get us out?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Campus Church Network

Last week I was pretty excited to be a part of some very significant meetings in CA - we were wrestling through HOW to the gospel in front of every student of every culture. Good stuff.

During the course of these meetings, Grace Yao (Crusade staff with the San Fran Metro team), passed on some intriguing information. She told us of some young Asian American wild men who were involved with rapid church planting in the campus setting. These guys were using CPM (church planting movment) methodology in a campus context and watching the Lord do fantastic things.

In reality, I first heard they were a couple of young evangelists. I pictured in my mind gifted speakers who were able to gather crowds and were convincing with gospel in their cultural context. (It is funny how are presuppositions will move us to thinking in certain ways).

JL (John Lamb) heard from Grace and suggested we hook up with these fellas. The plan was to do a nice breakfast on Friday morning, but our schedules did not jive. So, we invited them to our last evening with all the men. So in at a crowded table at the Claim Jumper I was able to hear the passion and vision of Jaeson and Matt. Two men who definitely have the Lord's hand on their work.

Swanson has a good debrief on his blog here.

You can check out the over arching philosophy here.

Here is what Jaeson says about going for the campus:

Throughout history almost all great revivals and missionary movements started on the campus. The campus is where the future leaders of tomorrow are located, trained and most available. Statistics show more than 90% of all Christians make a decision for Christ before the age of 25. There are over 550,000 international students from around the world who attend American universities. If we can reach the campus we can reach our cities and the world for Christ.

Why Churches?
"And on this rock I shall build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18

"The single most effective way of evangelism is to plant new churches" Peter C. Wagner
I guess they are evangelists after all. We will be hearing more from Jaeson and Matt.

Monday, September 26, 2005

"Every Student on Every Campus"

Today's guest blogger is Tom Virtue. Tom is the LA Metro director for Campus Crusade for Christ. Tom wrote this back in 2002. This just goes to show that some lead . . . . and then some post what those are leading.
Planting Multiple Transformational Communities (September 2002)

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For, there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. (1 Tim 2:1-7)

When you read all of scripture seriously not just this short passage, it leads to the inescapable conclusion that God's heart is for ALL people. That's easy to say, but when you get down to thinking of a city, a neighborhood, or a campus the practical implications of what that means can be a bit overwhelming! All means all - everyone!... as in, no one you lay your eyes on is excluded!

Picture yourself at an airport doing some people watching. Look around - how many of those people do you really want to get to know - not just observe their oddities, but spend time with, learning about them, understanding them, accepting them? 40%, 60%, maybe if you're highly energized by people even 80% tops? God doesn't stop at 80% or even 95% - ALL to God means every individual no matter what barriers or unappealing qualities appear to be present that cause separation. There is not a personality type, cultural idiosyncrasy, annoying personal habit, or unattractive feature which stops God's heart from wanting to know a person.

So now let's say that you are the coordinator of a ministry which is seeking to fulfill what is on God's heart for a campus. We're going to think a bit about the principles involved in getting to every student on a campus. What will be the guiding thoughts to move us toward seeing every student on a campus have an opportunity to be exposed to good news about the possibility to be reconciled to God and in a positive context have the opportunity to respond?

No matter what your approach to ministry you'll have some kind of gathering of the people involved with you on the campus - whether it takes the form of one large meeting or several small groups of one kind or another. Whether there is a small or large number of people who are currently involved in your gatherings, my observation is that the gathering where God is working in peoples' lives can very quickly become the biggest obstacle to thinking about every student on campus. When we have a group of people together we seem to automatically make the existing group our standard of measure - we feel good because of who is there, we want to see growth in the number of people there, we're worried that there are fewer people than used to be there, etc., But, all of a sudden the number of people gathered has become the key measure of what God is doing.

Here are some questions I would propose to help keep us focused on the idea of giving EVERY student an opportunity...

  1. Who are the students on campus who aren't at your gathering(s)?
  2. What groups (subcultures) on your campus can you not even picture being at one of your gatherings because of some personality, cultural, or geographical difference?

Honestly answering these 2 questions will put you more in touch with the impossible nature of the vision that God has given for any location whether it is a city, community, or a college campus. Seeing impossibility is where dependence on God is stimulated and where we see reality most clearly. We see our need for God and what He alone can do.

Beginning to see differences from someone else's eyes also begins to educate us on what is needed to get to everyone - it will begin to give you a picture of some of the needed strategies and tactics that will most effectively move you to God's vision of the entire campus. Unless your campus is entirely mono-cultural you will begin to see how individualized strategies, meetings, and groups may be the only way to get to some major segments of the campus population. So, what God may want to do in your ministry is not just have one large group which reaches out to the students on your campus, He may have you in a situation where the most effective solution would be to plant multiple communities right where students are (their turf) rather than asking every student to come to your meeting or where you are (your turf).

You've hung in there so far with this little article. That means you may be interested enough to check out some of the most common questions related to planting multiple communities rather than focusing attention on just one group on campus.

1. Is this for every campus?
Not necessarily. The answers to our 2 questions above determines what would be appropriate for your campus. My personal experience tells me that on most campuses one established group or ministry on that campus will NOT get the gospel to every student on the campus. However, I don't want to answer with my bias, I would argue that the character of the campus will determine the answer to our questions more than the character of our ministry.

The principle we're dealing with here from a missions standpoint is the Unreached People Groups idea. Missiologists define a people group as, "the largest group within which the gospel can spread through relationships without encountering barriers of understanding due to culture, language, or geography." Technically we may not have "unreached people groups" on our campus, but when you think about the principle, don't you see "unreached subcultures" on campus - groups which aren't touched by the gospel because of barriers of understanding due to culture, language, or geography? Most campuses have them. Those are the people for whom a community planted in the middle of their subculture may be the difference between them sincerely looking at the gospel or writing it off as not relating to them. When a community is planted in every subculture of a campus, then the gospel is accessible to everyone on that campus!

2. Is this just an ethnic strategy?
No! That's one of the more obvious applications of this thinking, but sometimes the cultural differences between athletes and architects are even larger than any ethnic differences! The principle of contextualized ministry can apply into a variety of contexts and may or may not be needed in some ethnic groups on campus. For example, there may be many Filipino students (A - more assimilated in the culture around them) who would culturally prefer a multi-cultural ministry context, but on the same campus there may be a group of Filipino students (C - not assimilated into the culture around them, more comfortable operating within their own culture) who would only come to a ministry that specifically identifies as a Filipino ministry. If we are talking about true contextualization, we want people to fit where they see themselves fitting – not put them into a category that we assume!

3. Is this a statement about the unity of the body of Christ?
No! This is a statement about Mission not the Body. In fact, the planting of multiple communities will function most effectively and contribute to the greater expansion of the kingdom on the campus best when there is recognition of the mission focus of each group among the leadership of each group as evidenced by joint prayer for each group, a sense of respect and blessing among the leadership of each community, and the absence of a territorial spirit. For example, the welcoming of an African-American student as a leader in a multi-cultural group even when there is a contextualized group of African-American students on campus.

4. Isn't this an overwhelming amount of work - us going to every subculture planting a community that is contextualized to that subculture?
If you think you'll do all the planting it sure is! I'd give up now! Imagine learning the uniqueness and beliefs of each subculture and seeking to tailor it to them. It makes me tired to think of focusing on more than one or two groups at the most! That may just be my age speaking, maybe you can think about 3? 4? Now you’re tired too!

That's the beauty of God's work. If you plant one community and communicate the vision of getting to the entire campus then you have some laborers who already have the picture of planting multiple groups. By the nature of what they have learned in planting their own group they have all they need to be able to train someone else to plant in a different subculture. I also believe that God has some people in each subculture who are waiting and ready to be key people in establishing a new community in their context (see People of Peace article).

5. To start a contextualized ministry do I have to be in the culture already?
I think we've answered this already, but just to be clear!... if your vision is to stimulate, empower, and equip others to do ministry, then what is required of you is to be a servant, a learner and to demonstrate humility, not to be a certain color, have athletic talent, or to possess a certain ethnic heritage. God gives his stamp of approval very clearly in the scripture to cross-cultural ministry, so anything we do that implies the need for a certain call, color, or culture to reach someone of a certain color or culture doesn't do justice to God's Word.

As we reach the end of this article. What I passionately desire the most is that this has communicated the heart behind a contextualized ministry approach to different subcultures on a campus. I think it is next to impossible to maintain a vision for every student on a given campus unless there is a decision already made internally that some of those students don't have to fit into the structures that we've already created. In fact, it helps us to believe that God has already planted people all over the campus who are waiting and ready to be used by Him to create the new structures (communities) who will be used to touch even more people. Enjoy joining God by praying for Him to bring those people across your path and across the path of the other people with whom you've entrusted this vision! And enjoy joining God as you get out and meet some of those people!!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Precision and Chaos

Over the past week I have been in Southern California gathered with a group of leaders in the US Campus Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. The question on the table? How do we effectively move forward to launch movements in 2000 new locations and ethnic pockets – and develop the leadership to make it happen.

I came of the time encouraged and hopeful. Not because we have some easy solutions, but because of the godly leaders who are tackling the opportunities. When Godly people radically pursue the vision God has laid upon their hearts, amazing things take place. None of which is crisp, clean and organized, but most of which honors God pushing the gospel into previously dark places. As we step out, we see God arrive among us and honor our faith more than our strategy.

For us (Campus Crusade for Christ) this means an embracing of God in the mess as we rapidly advance the kingdom. As an organization, we are often overly comfortable with precision and too easily wearied by kingdom chaos. The larger we become as organization, the more tempted we will be to codify & manage (even more so than we do now). The more we feel like we HAVE to control (for various reasons), the more we rob the organic nature of the gospel. The more we function as a corporation, the less we are able to recognize, champion and catalyze that which is beyond our structure.

And this may play itself out is subtle ways. Take for instance what we measure and how it moves us toward certain practices. By measuring Involved New Believers (instead of decisions for instance) we may a subtle but powerful statement that the highest end result is someone who not only trusts Christ, but gets involved with US. We would never argue that someone coming to Christ is not awesome, but we attach “involved” it actually effects the “how” of going about getting new believers. If we simply measured decisions (thereby losing a level of control because we simply measure what a person decides and have no gauge of their involvement), we become less concerned with US and more active in generating kingdom results among the lost. We move more toward kingdom activity because “involved” is simply a nice by product, not the full measure of our success. Measuring “involved new believers” moves us toward poorer evangelism because we are only concentrating on those that get involved. Great intention, but in many ways making us actually LESS evangelistic that we would hope to be.

There are numerous things like this in any larger organization. As we increase in size and complexity, we can easily lose the creative apostolic edge that got us here in the first place.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Destino Adventure - WOW

Over the past few weeks we have been trying a little God experiment at the University of Central Florida. You can read the past posts on this adventure here. The end result was surfacing a potential key contact on campus.

Today's guest blogger is Carrie Walker.
Carrie is on the National Leadership Team for the US Campus Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. She is a leader and full blown Jesus person. Here is her take on our initial contact with this potential student leader.

Her name is Desiree. In Spanish it means: “desired one”. Her black eyes sparkled, and her maturity in her faith at the young age of 18 was so evident. Shane, Abbey and I met her at a Burger King just a block from the campus of the University of Central Florida. It felt so good to be on an appointment with a student. It was a delight to meet Desiree, as the evidence that God’s hand is on the life of this “desired one” was crystal clear.

Shane had posted flyers on UCF’s campus, asking if anyone would be interested in starting a ministry among Latino students. Of the 60 that “hit” the site, Desiree was the sole e-mail response. I was so glad that Shane asked me to join him in meeting her. I have been asking God to raise up students in ethnic communities that could lead the way in believing God to raise up a movement that would allow everyone in their “world” to hear how they could know, and authentically follow, Jesus.

The dissonance in my heart has been so great in the past year and a half. I have many questions about what it will really look like, practically, to see movements everywhere. While the questions still linger in many ways, this I know for sure, that there are so many millions of students in the world that don’t know Jesus. We have got to believe Him for ways to reach them outside of our current paradigms. Thus, the multiple movements strategy.

God is using Desiree to make me a “believer”, in the sea of my many questions. I really do believe the she could be God’s leader to see a movement raised up among the Latino students at UCF. Her father has been a part of 8 church plants, so she’s watched the hand of God her whole life. She is very bright, mature, passionate for her peers to know Christ, and a natural leader. She told us that she thought is was really good that she was a freshman, so that she could be around for awhile to see something significant built. She talked about potential partnerships with churches so that they could share resources and be more effective in reaching Latino students. She spoke of wisdom in ministry principles that have taken me years to grasp.

Our meeting was a mental snapshot for me to treasure for the rest of my life. It was truly divine. Shane got teary (I love it when that happens) as he told her that he had felt so burdened by the Spirit to put up flyers to see what the Lord might do. Desiree could hardly sit still in her seat as she grasped the implications of the dialogue, and the evidence of the Lord’s hand in it all. When we asked if she had any questions, she said, “No, I don’t have any questions, I am just so excited.” Abbey is on staff at UCF and was there to connect with her, and will coach Desiree and the student leadership team that God will raise up (Desiree is already thinking about what friends to ask to be a part of that team.)

God has done a great work at UCF, and has raised up a significant “Cru” movement. (They call it “Crave”.) I celebrate that with my whole being. Yet, on a campus of 45,000 students, 5,000 of them are Latino. I do believe that God will continue His work there in raising up a movement of students within the Hispanic community. I believe that He’ll graciously use Desiree, His desired one, along with other students, to give leadership to His work.

What if He were to do that in all of the ethnic and cultural communities at UCF? Everyone would know someone who authentically follows Jesus, and the world would be a different place.

Ain't it the truth.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Racial and Ethnic Disparity in College Attendance

The state of California recognizes that it has a significant issue in the disparity among students attending college right after high school. Not only does it lag slightly behind the national average of 40% of high school seniors who move directly to higher education, it's numbers demonstrate the racial and ethnic gap not uncommon across the country.

Not surprisingly, Latinos and African American students are less likely to go directly to college. State wide, 40% of white students move on directly to college, compared with 32% of African American students and only 22% of Latinos. 60% of Asian students enroll in college.

The state is exploring ways to boost enrollment, especially as minorities represent an increasing majority of the population for California - and the country. (The Ukiah Daily Journal August 12, 2005)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


As the details of this tragedy continue to unfold, I am overwhelmed with grief and inadequacy of personal response. What do you do? This is the kind of thing that makes man (any man) and mankind feel small and helpless in a larger world. It is also the kind of thing that makes you ponder "what is God up to anyway?"

A very dear friend of mine, John Boudreaux is the Campus Director at LSU. Here is a part of letter from his lovely Stephanie describing their response to these events.
We were only without power a day and other than our kids not feeling too boudreaux is doing very good!!
The staff met yesterday to talk, assess the situation, bring ideas together and decide where to hop in. We are encouraging our staff and students to go volunteer at the shelters around the area. A lot of students aren't here because they went home when school was cancelled (until next Tuesday)...but we are mobilizing them and asking them to join us in serving here in BR at our meeting which is next Wed....pray that they will be willing and ready to serve with us.

John has been to the shelter on campus every day...he says it is overwhelming but he LOVES it. We had an elderly man and his daughter (ages 80ish and 60ish) spend the night with us last night...The O'Neils...very sweet, wonderful people...heart broken because they have lived forever in New Orleans and think their house is washed away. God in His sovereignty saved their car and they left today to travel to Mississippi to stay with their family. It is soooo many of these people have no where to go. The need is overwhelming. When I called John, he was running the registration table today at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center (fondly referred to as the PMac...the basketball arena)...give that man a place to be for a few days and he starts leading the whole sha-bang on day 3!!?? He loves to serve...I am so glad God gave me him!!!

Slap me if I ever complain about my house, what food I have to eat or what clothes I have to wear...I have a house...that is enough reason for rejoicing not to mention all the food and clothes that are at my fingertips everyday!!

Pray for continued guidance as we seek to engage with the helpless in our city. Pray that God would show us our place and how he can best use us and Campus Crusade as a whole. It has been great for John to be there with the people because he is figuring out what they need the most...hopefully it will help in making the game plan for the next few months.

God bless John and Stephanie!

Ogden - Programs and Movements

This is from - worthy movement bloggage for sure.


Greg Ogden, in his book Transforming Discipleship, argues convincingly that programs will never build disciples. And Campus Crusade has long been committed to building movements—not programs or ministries. The following are Ogden’s characteristics of “programs.” Think thru these questions. Are we running programs at our locations? If so, how can we pursue the biblical mandate to “make disciples?”

Programs tend to be information or knowledge-based. Programs operate on the assumption that if someone has information, having that information will automatically lead to transformation. In other words, right knowledge will produce right living.

Programs are the one preparing for the many. Most programs are built around an individual or a few core people who do the hard work of preparation. The rest come, to a greater or lesser degree, as passive recipients of that work.

Programs are characterized by regimentation or synchronization. The nature of programs is that they do not take into account an individual’s growth rate, which is essential in growing disciples. For example, in programs, people cover identical content in the same sequence at the same rate. Completing a curriculum is equated with making disciples.

Programs generally have low personal accountability. The focus again is on completing an assigned study curriculum rather than committing to life change. Few people have any personal connection or accountability.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Destino Adventure - Blind Squirrel Finds Nut (potential)

There is something quite inspiring in how God works - often times through people of simple faith and profound ignorance. He is a God that honors moving obedience rather than stagnant knowledge, radical faith over deep philosophy. He always amazes me with how he chooses to show up if I simply choose to believe he will - and then act on that belief.

My Destino experiment is a case in point. Destino is simply Campus Crusade for Christ's expression of campus ministry in the Latino/Hispanic community. Even though I helped run the Destino Summer Leadership Development Project in San Antonio during the summer of '04, I am nowhere near a cultural expert. However, I do desire to see something wonderful and overwhelming happen in this community.

And that is why I am in this experiment. To see if God will show up in amazing ways - even if I am just one white guy trying something new.

So, at the end of my last post on Destino at UCF, I was despairing - (and lacking faith that God would show up). Today I thought, "Well, I should at least check the email again." And I read this:

> Hi! My name's Desiree and I was just interested in
> somehow becoming a part of your organization. I know
> you don't meet anywhere yet, but if you need help
> with anything or if you're having some events please
> let me know. Thank You!
> ~*Desiree*~
> ---------------------------------
> Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page

I jumped out of my chair! I was actually shocked (but God was not).

Now, not to be a man of little faith, but Desiree may not be the answer. There are a million and one ways this "launch" could go sideways. But then again . . . GOD. Who knows - but let us continue to move ahead.

So I emailed Desiree back and gave her a brief vision of what we would like to see happen, gave her my phone number and asked her to send me hers (risky?). I will keep you posted.

We shall see what God shall do.

BTW - Desiree is Latino. In her email she gave me her first and last name. Please pray for me as we take the next tentative steps.