Wednesday, February 28, 2007
13015 students and delegates attended CCC winter conferences.
4492 attended ethnic or international student conferences.
That is, 1/3 of all attendees!
Do you know what the current demographics are for all students in US?
1/3 are Ethnic. (5,471,471 of 16,611,711)
The Campus Ministry's now reflects the demographics of the general student population! Praise God!
Friday, February 23, 2007
Here is Tanya's, the project leader, update to one request...
The final version of Soularium (refined after the prototype version used in the field test to include adjusted questions and additional instructions) returns from the printers Friday. After the final assembly we hope to have it available for purchase on the CruPress website by March 7th. Soularium will also have a companion website for entering and viewing people's responses to the images from around the country which is in its final development now. We appreciate you patience and covet your prayers as we wrap up the final pieces of Soularium. As you can imagine, unavoidable delays sometimes just happen, no matter how eager we are to see Soularium completed. Please pray that the rest of the process goes smoothly so we can get it in your hands soon, perhaps even ahead of schedule.
Well, this week I started a new five week CoJourner seminar series with individuals working at CCC headquarters. After a very good introductory session (from my point of view), two different individuals came up to share stories with me. Both had been in previous CoJourner sessions in different contexts. Both had stories to tell of how they saw God open doors for them to witness as a result. One was with a neighbor who has now begun to attend church after years of uninvolvment. (That's progress in the right direction.) The other was with a postman. Here is a snippet of the story, sent to me afterwards...
Well, as I ended up taking a few different trips to the post office to mail the books out to the entirety of my ministry team, each time God had a conversation waiting there or me. Because I had a number of books I was mailing each time, I probably spent about 20 minutes with each postman as he printed off each individual postage label. What better time than the present to strike up a conversation. With each conversation there was a natural opportunity to share what exactly it was that I was mailing, because how many people walk into the post office to mail the exact same thing to 35 - 40 of their closest friends! The first two conversations I had were definitely seed planting conversations; they listened and maybe asked a question or two, but then the conversation moved on to other things. The third opportunity took me a bit off guard… As I was chatting with postman Mike, he asked me about what I was mailing and I shared my story. His next words caught me by surprise… he wanted to know if I had a book that he could have since this was such a great story! I wasn’t prepared with a book on hand, but ended up bringing him one back the following week. Since then I have been back to the post office once and happened to see Mike. He mentioned that he’s only read a chapter or two. Please pray for Mike, as he his obviously seeking God, whether he knows it or not!It's encouraging to hear how God continues to use CoJourner's to spur believers on in engaging in other's spiritual journeys.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
I just wanted to write and thank you for coming and teaching that day. It was so helpful to me! I've been to other seminars on sharing the Gospel, but this was the best. I especially liked the tips on listening -- and asking permission to ask another question. You gave me specific ideas and guidelines that I believe God will allow me to use. I have my prayer list, I'm going through the devotional, and I'm praying for the opportunities, expecting to see God work. How exciting!
Thank you, and God bless you and your family in this great ministry he has given you. I was blessed and encouraged by the teaching, and I'll let you know about the resulting fruit. Deb
Isn't it exciting when God works, using his grace-gifts to equip his people for works of service (Eph. 4:11, 12)?
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Here’s a reflection bound to make you uncomfortable (or at least it has me):
The last few morning’s, I’ve been ruminating on Jesus’ interaction with the so-called “rich young man” and the subsequent discussion with his followers (find it in Mark 10:17-31). The passage is rich, overflowing with more insights and implications than I care to write here (or that you would want to read here.) In the end, Jesus promises three things to all who truly leave all to follow him. Followers can expect:
- A hundred times more of all they left now in this time
- Persecution now in this time
- Eternal life in the age to come
It is #2 that has my attention at the moment.
Why are Christ-followers persecuted?
To start with, let me be honest. My experience of persecution has been so light, that should all the persecuted be set in a line—most persecuted at the front, least in the back—I am quite concerned that I would find myself close to the end of the line. So for me to comment on persecution is like a sportswriter who played little league critiquing the skills of major league baseball stars. But ultimately this is a reflection about me. And Jesus’ words are meant to rework our mental models, and thus transform our very beings (Romans 12:2), so here goes.
- As Sovereign Creator, God is the Sovereign Ruler of all people.
- The evil that infects us has produced a humanity operating in willful rebellion to God.
- Humanity is resistant to any challenge to this present order, if the challenge threatens personal status, power or property resulting from this present state.
- Therefore any attempts to restore proper order (i.e. return to God’s rule) are met with hostile resistance.
This was true of the prophets in the Old Testament. This was true of the apostles in the New Testament. This has been true of the missionaries and messengers through the centuries.
So, if it is not true for us, here at this time, I must ask why? Is it because we live in a setting no longer in active rebellion, therefore there is no one being threatened? (The answer is “No”.) Or is it that we pose no serious threat to the present rebellious order, thus we are ignored?
Hmm… Just wondering? (I wonder how my reflection compares with actual historical evidence. Where is that article on "persecution" from the New Bible Dictionary? Ah, interesting. I must read more on this.)
Thursday, February 15, 2007
One gets to the heart of the matter: motivation
Two focus in on the all important role of the Explorer
One that overviews the other three roles: Guide, Builder, and Mentor
These could be valuable for you—either for your own encouragement or possibly as you equip others in the valuable skills of being a spiritual CoJourner. If so, you might try contacting Chris (is that OK, Chris?)…
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Let me know what you think. How do these numbers appear to you?
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
I was reminded of that on Friday when I received an e-mail from Jeff. He wrote:
Last night I spoke at the UNL CCC weekly meeting. That was a joy as well to share a bit of the journey. Their launching some evangelistic efforts and I spoke from Romans 10 encouraging them to just take the next step. I told them about the FIRST time I shared my faith—when you took with you on an appt to the Sig Ep house and I was absolutely scared to death! Then I shared how that first step has led to so many others including all that God is letting me be a part of in India today. Thanks for challenging ME to step out way back then! I so appreciate you friend.
Jeff is a pastor for administration and outreach in largest church in his city. But what is more exciting (to me) is that he has been the catalyst for an amazing church planting movement in India. Take a glance at their website and then think back to the significance of the of our time together, taking the first steps of outreach in a fraternity house:
Makes you want to keep investing in the lives of young Christ-followers, doesn't it?
Sunday, February 4, 2007
In 2002, the top strategic priority for Campus Crusade for Christ’s national evangelism efforts (that is, for the US campus ministry) was student evangelism. What had become apparent to me was that students didn’t like the way we talked about evangelism (and I don’t blame them.) Our training was very “how-to” oriented, which left one with the (mistaken) impression that evangelism was primary what I did and how I did it, rather than what God was doing and how I become a part of it.
After a bunch of research looking at various evangelism models and paradigms, I hadn’t found much that I thought fit the US college student. While on a personal writing retreat (back in Nebraska, a state whose welcome sign rightly identifies it with “The Good Life”), I began to consider the options. A lot of the literature used the biblical analogy of sowing and reaping (often adding other elements like cultivating, even keeping.) This, of course, is biblically sound and can be effective. The only problem is that most of our students aren’t agricultural and none are ancient. Today’s farmers use tractors, planters and combines. (Hmm…not quite the same picture as sowers and reapers.)
So I began to wonder if there was an equally biblical analogy for evangelism that would resonate with the hearts of today’s students. My mind locked onto (I trust with divine inspiration) the idea of spiritual journey. What if you thought of evangelism through the lens of spiritual journey?
Creative juices began to flow and I wrote the first prototype of a training session – one that I would use in a local church a couple of weeks later. I didn’t know what to call it at the time, so I used the title “Traveling Together.” It was later that fall, after the four roles had crystallized (Explorer, Guide, Builder and Mentor) that I realized, English doesn’t have a good word for traveling together (companion maybe be the best, not but a great title for evangelism equipping.) But what if you combined the prefix “co” (together or with) and with the root for journey—“CoJourner”? Hmm… It worked for me. Others seemed to resonate (though one of my sons still hates it.) After trying it out among student groups, it caught on. In fact, one campus bought the domain name to use for their local group before I ever got around to it.
Now you know the rest of the story. Stay tuned. In a few weeks a new CoJourner website will go live where you can get the ever-expanding and improving family of resources.
Friday, February 2, 2007
Or go to:
Thursday, February 1, 2007
[CoJourner - EXPLORER]
I showed Brian our project - Soularium: A Dialogue in Images (see http://cojourner.blogspot.com/2007/01/from-lab-soularium.html). He shared openly his thoughts on life, God and spiritual life. His wife was enjoying their current church affiliation, but for him it was less satisfying. Nor did he have any significant connection with like-minded professors at his university.
[CoJourner - GUIDE]
I shared with him about CLM (http://www.clm.org/) and said I could help get him in contact with this faculty ministry. But I also asked if I could show him Satisfied?, an outline I wrote with Dr. Bill Bright to help others understand and experience God’s gift of his Holy Spirit. (For a flash version, see: http://www.cccdev.org/inter-linc/satisfied/). We were half way through it as we landed in Dallas, so I offered to buy him a cup of coffee in the airport to finish. He readily accepted the offer. But after we deplaned, he declined the coffee (he doesn’t ever drink it), and said he only agreed because he wanted to be able to finish our discussion. So we sat down and completed the outline. It was a delightful discussion and as Brian reflected on his response, he appeared at the threshold of decision. He understood the need to surrender control of his life to the Lord and I am confident will continue to reflect on those possibilities.
[CoJourner – MENTOR]
I am now contacting Rick, my good friend and CLM National Director, to see if we can help make a connection for Brian with others who can encourage him in his spiritual journey.
As we finished, Brian said, “Now I know why I got iced into San Antonio. I was supposed to fly out on Wednesday.” “I was supposed to be in a meeting this morning and on a flight later today myself,” I replied. “I guess all things happen for a purpose,” he concluded. Indeed, God, the Master Designer, was orchestrating the intersections of spiritual journeys once again.