Building a Spiritual Movement

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Do you ever wonder why some sports teams almost always have a winning season? They never seem to lose! If you are part of a team like that, it’s a great feeling! Their competitors hope and pray in vain that they will lose. How can these teams keep winning season after season? It usually goes back to a winning tradition built by a coach who knows how to develop people and a team. He’s always building the program from the ground up. Especially important to this coach is that the younger players understand and master the basics of the game. It is the mastery of these basics that are the building blocks for a winning team. Building an ongoing ministry on the campus is much the same. If we make sure the basics are being done and that their motivation is from God, then we will be doing what it takes to build a lasting ministry. My coach always told us that before we stepped onto the playing field, we had to have made a personal decision to give our best effort. You and your leadership team must make a similar decision before launching the ministry.
  1. Your team must be convinced that God wants to do something special through the ministry on campus.
  2. The team must be committed to trusting God and working hard to see a campus outreach succeed.
If you and your team agree with these two statements, then let’s look at a few of the basic building blocks of a growing ministry.

Pray Consistently

Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” Trusting God to see students’ lives changed is a spiritual work; God tells us that He is responsible to grow the ministry. We are tools that He uses, but the power for the work is in His hands. A big part of our work is to place the ministry and the lives of people in God’s hands and ask Him to do mighty acts. Enlist others – students and adults – to pray with you.

Develop a Sense of “Cause”

Have you ever seen pictures of people who chain themselves to trees so a big piece of machinery cannot advance and destroy some parcel of land? Or how about a man who stands in front of an army tank driven by his own countryman, daring him to advance the tank by killing him? These are examples of people who hold deep beliefs in a cause. For the ministry to grow, the ministry leadership will have to instill a similar sense of “cause” into the hearts of students. You do this by communicating why the ministry is important in clear and simple terms. Remind people that investing themselves in the souls of people is the most important thing we could possibly be involved in. Challenge students to make sure that their friends and peers will be with them in Heaven. Talk about the “cause” wherever you go.

Sow Broadly

Jesus told a parable about a farmer who went out one morning to sow some seed in his field. Some seed fell on hard ground, some on rocky ground, and other seed fell among the thorns. However, some seed fell on good soil and brought a great harvest. The idea is that the more seed we sow, the more will grow to maturity. I have a friend who is always seeing people he talks with pray and receive Christ. I was impressed with this and I asked him about his “secret” methods. He told me that he had no “secret,” only that he shared his faith many times to get the response. He saw many people trust Jesus because he told many more people about Him. The principle is simple – talk with as many people as you can about the Lord and the ministry. Some will not join you, but many others will.

Master the Basics

Have you heard the story of Vince Lombardi? He is widely accepted as one of the greatest football coaches of all time. At one point in his career, his championship caliber football team was struggling badly – instead of winning by large margins, they were losing to inferior teams. Coach Lombardi decided to start over. One morning at practice he held up a football and said, “gentlemen, this is a football.” These were professional players – but they had lost their grasp on some of the basics of the game. Your ministry team members do not have to own seminary degrees to excel in the work. Trust God greatly, dedicate yourself to a few basic things and the ministry will likely expand. Make it simple:
  • Pray.
  • Share your faith in Christ.
  • Build those who respond to Christ.
  • Train those who want to grow in Christ.
  • Give responsibility to students who can lead others spiritually.

Ask Many People to Be Involved

Telling lots of people about the Lord and the ministry (broad sowing) should result in interest from people at a number of different levels. Asking people to be involved is a big part of a growing group. Adults can provide homes to meet in and money for supplies and food. Christian students can join your leadership team; those who don’t know Christ are those whom you’ll seek to lead to God. Give away jobs to faithful people. Here are some roles people can fill:
  • Coordinate prayer.
  • Lead Bible studies.
  • Organize socials.
  • Plan outreaches.
  • Lead follow-up plans.
  • Coordinate adult helpers.
  • Coordinate meeting places.
As your campus movement implements these basic building blocks, you can be confident that God will use you to make a difference in the lives of many on your campus and grow your own relationship with Him as well.

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What they’re saying about Cru

CNN NEWS BULLETIN…

We are here in Orlando, Florida at the site of the most incredible news story in all of recorded history. If I wasn’t here seeing it with my own eyes, I would not believe it. People are walking around in a stupor as all activity has stopped for miles around and everyone is looking up in the sky to see a 14,000 foot mountain in the middle of Florida!!!!! I have with me a local high school student who has reportedly taken responsibility for this cataclysmic event. John, can you tell the listening world what happened?

“Sure, dude! Well, I was reading my Bible and I came across something that Jesus said, and thought if Jesus said it then I could believe it. It was the part in Matthew 17:20 where He said, “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed you could move a mountain.” Well, I have lived in this town all my life and thought, hey, we could use a mountain around here so I asked God to move Pike’s Peak from Colorado to Florida, and here it is! It’s verse 21 that got my attention. This is where Jesus stressed the power of prayer and fasting. I hope people aren’t mad at me because I’m going to be praying a lot more now that I see Jesus was right!”

Do you feel like starting a ministry at your local high school campus is like moving a mountain? Well, without prayer, you might as well be moving a mountain. Here are some tips to help you get others to help you move your mountain! We are talking miracles here! Realize our work is spiritual. We work hard to make a difference in students’ lives and the world. But apart from God, we can do nothing of eternal significance. Prayer is absolutely essential if we are to see lasting fruit from our ministry efforts.

“…. apart from Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5b Have you settled the issue in your heart? Are you willing to commit yourself to prayer?

RAISING UP PRAYER PARTNERS

As a leader, you need to be able to explain your vision to others. You are calling forth a team of people who will wage spiritual war on behalf of students and leaders. Here are a couple of principles you can use as you call forth those who will intercede:

  1. Clarify your vision.

    Know how to communicate it clearly one-on-one and to groups. Using “word pictures” will help people understand your mission, like moving a mountain, or bringing in a spiritual harvest.

  2. Call people to be intercessors on behalf of the students in their community

    Seek to find people who really believe in prayer. God has burdened some with an extraordinary calling to intercede. Find someone to serve as a Prayer Coordinator.

LET’S GET PRACTICAL – DEVELOP PRAYER STRATEGIES

Some strategies include:

  1. Use the school yearbook to pray by name for each student. Perhaps you could give the students and adults who are praying five or six specific students each.
  2. Assign each of your students, teachers or parents a set of lockers in the hallway of the school. They can pray for the students who use those lockers each time they walk down that hallway.
  3. Ask students and adults to make a “10 Most Wanted List” of students or families they would like to pray would come to faith in Christ. Encourage them to set a specific time to pray for them each day or week.
  4. Go to school board meetings. As you are listening, pray for each school board member and the issues they are discussing.
  5. o to the school in the morning before classes begin or in the afternoon. Walk around the campus, praying for students and school activities.
  6. Mobilize students to lead and participate in “See You at the Pole,” the national youth prayer rally that takes place each September.
  7. Pray through passages of scripture for the school and its students.
  8. Send a letter to every student in the school telling them your ministry simply wants to pray for them. Enclose a self-addressed envelope where they can include any specific prayer requests. Then be sure to pray for those requests. Ask God to give you opportunities to influence those students for Christ.
  9. Consider a 24-hour prayer chain where individuals volunteer to pray for a particular time slot during the day.
  10. Invite your prayer team to outreach sites to pray during the event.
  11. Call your team of student leaders and adult leaders together for a day of prayer and fasting.
  12. Begin or connect with a local mother’s prayer group (Mothers Who Care or Moms in Touch).
  13. Communicate, communicate, communicate. You must communicate requests and answers to prayer with your prayer team.
  14. Organize a clear prayer strategy. Some ideas are:
    • A prayer phone chain
    • A group of prayer partners who are communicated with via mail, fax or e-mail on a regular basis
    • A prayer team whose touch point is calling a local phone number with an answering machine updated regularly with requests and answers.