Campus Crosswalk Audio for 2011

Just FYI, Campus Crosswalk has uploaded audio from their 2011 Campus Ministry workshop. They have their class audio up. This link has audio from Josh Graves, Mark Parker, Gailyn VanRheenan, and others. The Keynote audio has a few sessions from Shane Claiborn and Lee Camp. All audio is downloadable in mp3.




Gulf Coast Getaway 2012 – A Lesson Learned

I was blessed to be able to attend Gulfcoast Getaway this past weekend. It was a blessing to worship with over 1500 college students really pouring out their hearts to God. It was a blessing to hear men like Mike Cope and Randy Harris preach Jesus. It was a blessing to spend time with some of our young adults and a guy who is taking on more responsibility in our college ministry (to help sharpen him up and “talk shop” on the direction of our ministry). It was great seeing guys like Grant Azbell who I grew up with and Donny Dillon, who I have been friends with 10 years now. I was blessed to catch some time with Mike Cope and Eric Brown to talk about ministry to young adults and ways to be more effective in the kingdom. God really blessed many people this weekend and God was really praised. If you weren’t there, you missed out!

This year was a little different at GCG. When you are trying to be on the cutting edge, if you keep doing the same thing all the time it feels like it can run dry. This year they tried some new things and did so effectively. They tried to create more community by splitting the students up into small discussion groups. Worship Sunday ended with communion in these groups with people you had been discussing things with over the weekend. I thought that was a good idea. There didn’t seem to be as visible a focus on international missions this year as their had been in years past. Instead, they highlighted with various campus ministries had done over the past year. This covered everything from paying for a homeless veteran’s eye surgery to serving meals to the homeless, and reaching out to various subsidized housing developments. I thought that was an important focus because often we get the message that what needs to be done is somewhere else and not in our own backyard.

A Lesson Learned:
There was one thing I specifically wanted to share. On Saturday night, Mike Cope spent three hours talking about Jesus and how he fits into the broader story of scripture going all the way back to Genesis. He talked about everything from the major stories of the Old Testament (chronologically) all the way through the Gospels. Pretty much the only stuff he left out was the documentary hypothesis and Q. Other than that, he pretty much hit all the highlights of OT and NT theology. He ended with why Jesus came and what it means for us in terms of how we follow him. It was some solid stuff that should be available soon on the GCG website.

Here is what was so remarkable about it…our students wanted more. The wanted a fourth hour. Now, this is 10pm and they are wanting to hear another 60 minutes of Jesus. Often we fear boring people so much that we avoid the meat. These guys got a taste of it and wanted more. Granted, Mike is an excellent communicator who can go 180 minutes note free on how Jesus fits into the story of scripture. Not many people can do that well or keep people engaged. But their reaction really taught me a few things:

  1. Young people are hungrier for scripture and spiritual meat than I had imagined. They want this. They don’t just want it in Panama City. They want this at home. They want to read the Bible and understand it. Often they will need a guide. Will we provide that for them?
  2. Time really isn’t the issue. Maybe our presentation of it gets in the way or intimidation gets in the way or people looking at watches gets in the way.
  3. Their lack of interest is not the issue. It is easy to assume more Bible = more boredom. That is not the case. Maybe we need to step up our game in how we present it to keep people on board and engaged. We need to present it in a way that does justice to the power of the story.

Any of you attend the Getaway? What did you take away from it?

Audio from Campus Ministry United Now Uploaded

Wes has posted the audio from the Campus Ministry United workshop that was held at Harding last week. You can dowload/listen to Jonathan Storment, Josh Ross, Lynn Stringfellow, Kerry Cox, Patrick Mead and others. Good stuff that I can’t wait to hear!

Download/Listen here

Gulfcoast Getaway 2011 Recap

Gulfcoast Getaway was another great experience. Randy Harris did an excellent job talking about living cruciform (cross shaped) lives and doing so in light of the resurrection. He said that people want the life (resurrection) but not the death (crucifixion) but as Christians we are to embrace both. On Sunday morning he said that we are dead to the world so what can the world do to us? What do we have to fear? He said we are all an army of Christian zombies. Now that is an interesting mental picture! You know how fearless zombies are because what can you really do to them? Imagine if the church really lived fearlessly. What could we accomplish for the kingdom of God? In Harris’ class he pointed out that many churches have lost their wonderment and imagination and what is causing a lot of young people difficulty in the church is their inability to express themselves in biblically valid ways because of the barriers of tradition. He also pointed out that our young people have passion but not many have discipline and that God wants both. I think he is right on track.

Last, I am curious to get your feedback on this video that was shown at the Getaway. It is by the Michael Gungor band and is called “God is not a white man” See what you think…

My feeling on this video is that it is combating some old popular notions and makes some valid points. But in doing so it almost makes God out to be a fairy Godfather who gives kids candy and has reduced himself to doing merely whimsical things. I understand that this is a pendulum swing where they are going to one extreme to combat the view of the other extreme so I can take all those parts (candy on the plate, flying squirrel, etc) with a grain of salt. This video certainly strikes a chord with young people today.

Gulfcoast Getaway 2011

If any of you are heading to Gulfcoast Getaway 2011 in Panama City I will see you there! I will be back to blogging on Monday! God bless and have a great weekend.

Campus Ministry United Audio

Wes just posted audio from CMU last week. This includes lessons from Patrick Mead, Kerry and Robert Cox, Orlando Henlon, Monte Cox (not related to the other two Cox’i), Benson Himes, and Lynn Stringfellow. Should be some really good and practical stuff.

Listen here

Gulfcoast Getaway 2010 in Panama City

I have been looking forward to Gulfcoast Getaway 2010 for some months now. It is starting Friday night and going through Sunday and is one of the largest Church of Christ college gatherings in the nation. With speakers like Randy Harris and Earl Lavender you can’t go wrong. The singing is great. The classes and sermons are great. But what I get the most out of this even each year is the reminder and encouragement that regardless of what the statistics say about declining numbers I am convinced our future is going to be great. Every year I am blown away by the sincerity, spiritual depth, and genuine love for God our young people have.

If you are going to Gulfcoast Getaway this year let me know and hopefully I will see you there! I hope the other 99% of you reading this have a wonderful worship this Sunday morning where God is glorified and his people are brought closer together through our shared interest and relationship with God.

In the comments section on this post write something that
encourages you about this generation of young adults.

Free Audio from Campus Ministry United

Wes just informed me that the CMU website has just been updated and that the latest audio from the recent campus ministry workshop at Harding University has been posted. These lessons are free to download but that doesn’t mean they are subpar. There are some pretty heavy hitters in the Church of Christ.

  1. Wes Woodell – “2009 Workshop Kickoff & Planter Interviews” (31:09) (Scriptures & Interview PowerPoint)
  2. Anthony Wood“How Evangelism to the Poor Can Equal Evangelism to Your Campus pt. 1″ (59:42)
  3. Anthony Wood – “How Evangelism to the Poor Can Equal Evangelism to Your Campus pt. 2″ (36:16)
  4. Kerry Cox “Curriculum Planning Mini-Workshop pt. 1″ (51:18)
  5. Kerry Cox – “Curriculum Planning Mini-Workshop pt. 2″ (32:33)
  6. Buddy Bell“Displaying Strange Behavior: The Value of a Holy Life” (55:12)
  7. David Weidner “Men’s Session: Real Sexual Purity in Campus Ministry pt. 1″ (63:44) ( David’s Purity pt. 1-4 PowerPoint)
  8. David Weidner – “Men’s Session: Real Sexual Purity in Campus Ministry pt. 2″ (61:29)
  9. David Weidner – “Men’s Session: Real Sexual Purity in Campus Ministry pt. 3″ (61:33)
  10. David Weidner – “Men’s Session: Real Sexual Purity in Campus Ministry pt. 4″ (68:06)
  11. Robin Weidner – “Women’s Session: Staying Secure & Sexually Pure In Your Campus Ministry pt. 1″ (41:07) (Robin’s Purity pt. 1-3 PowerPoint; Full Class Notes )
  12. Robin Weidner – “Women’s Session: Staying Secure & Sexually Pure In Your Campus Ministry pt. 2″ (41:47)
  13. Robin Weidner “Women’s Session: Staying Secure & Sexually Pure In Your Campus Ministry pt. 3″ (24:15)
  14. Buddy Bell“Effective Small Groups In Campus Ministries pt. 1″ (56:07) (Effective Small Groups Class Notes )
  15. Buddy Bell“Effective Small Groups In Campus Ministries pt. 2″ (46:14)
  16. Wes Woodell & Marvin Crowson – “Fundraising: Seven Principles Behind Effective Fundraising for Ministry Planters” (36:41) (Fundraising Class Notes Outling 7 Principles; Example Fundraising DVD; Example Fundraising PowerPoint; Sample Fundraising Info Packet )
  17. Wes Woodell & Marvin Crowson “Fundraising: Group Discussion on Fundraising for Smaller Events” (34:00)
  18. Kerry Cox – “Communicating a Strange Idea: Sharing the Gospel with Strangers” (52:19)
  19. Rita Cox – “Women’s Session: Ladies Leading In Campus Ministry pt. 1″ (48:16)
  20. Hannah Cox “Women’s Session: Ladies Leading In Campus Ministry pt. 2″ (51:53)
  21. Seth Simmons – “Strange Behavior: Spiritual Disciplines pt. 1″ (67:13) (Spiritual Disciplines PowerPoint )
  22. Seth Simmons – “Strange Behavior: Spiritual Disciplines pt. 2″ (69:43)
  23. Gary Lambrecht & Lynn Stringfellow – “Healthy Elder/Campus Minister Relationships pt. 1″ (71:51) (Connection PowerPoint )
  24. Gary Lambrecht & Lynn Stringfellow – “Healthy Elder/Campus Minister Relationships pt. 2″ (57:13)
  25. Lynn Stringfellow“Strange Criticism: Responding to Criticism & Persecution” (47:57)
  26. Robert Cox – “Avoid Strange Teaching: Clear Doctrine in an Unclear World” (39:57)

Identifying the Ripening Issues in the Church of Christ

One of Ronald Heiftetz’s principles of leadership in his book Leadership Without Easy Answers is to direct attention to ripening issues over distractions. These are issues that can make our break an organization or industry and must be identified and addressed in order to adapt with what is coming down the pipe. To ignore them can be fatal. I have been thinking about this in connection with the Gulfcoast Getaway 2008 as it relates to the future of Churches of Christ. I laid out five things that were brought up repeatedly at the Getaway and they included:

1 – Dissatisfaction among college age students with the worship at local congregations.
2 – Pornography addiction
3 – Instrumental music
4 – a la carte Christianity
5 – An alienated older generation of church goers as the young people start taking leadership positions

In many ways this list is a pretty good reflection of the ripening issues that we are facing and that if ignored or not handled properly will have some disastrous results. We cannot ignore these things. We cannot think they will just go away. If we want to be respectful to our young people we have to begin addressing these things publicly. Doing so will show a good faith effort to our young people that we hear them, love them, and are willing to work with them. It will also give them a healthy example of how Christian leaders really lead. If there is one thing a young person can smell out it is a leader who doesn’t care to lead.

What will keep us from addressing these things? Being uncomfortable, fear, thinking we have too many other important things to do to get to those things, arrogance, to name a few. I am going to finish out posts on the other three items and enter into a dialogue here of how to best address these things as a church.