Welcome to the 2nd Annual CCC Blog-ference. I’m glad you dropped by. My first post will be a little longer than usual in order to establish context. Stick with me and please add comments to move the conversation forward.
For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 1:11
Our great God has been powerfully at work exalting Himself among the nations. Ever since the CM2007 student gathering in Busan, Korea, I have observed worldwide a noticeable surge in student ownership of CCC’s calling, vision and mission. In part, this ownership has come due to our renewed message: It’s Your Movement. What is God calling you to do next? At a deeper heart level, I believe God is raising a new generation of students who have replaced cynicism with healthy ambition and who truly believe they are able to change the broken world prior generations have bequeathed them.
Recently I completed the first two years in my new role of giving leadership to the Global Campus Strategy. I have personally visited 10 of our 14 Areas of Affairs, spoken to more than 15,000 students, and had hundreds of informal conversations with CCC campus staff members. What a learning experience this has been! I constantly find myself humbled by the radical faith of my brothers and sisters as well as the daunting scope of our common mission. I’ve also observed some macro-trends affecting our movement.
Reality Check 1: Globally, the number of college students has roughly doubled from 60 million to 130 million in the past 15 years. Governments of developing countries have realized that their future depends upon a well‐educated population who can compete in today’s borderless glocal economy. Traditional physical campuses can no longer absorb the growing student body and have limited new admissions. The fastest growing campuses are those such as the University of Phoenix, which boasts 345,000 students in 204 locations and has 75% of students taking courses online. Metro areas such as Moscow with 1.2 million students, Mexico City with 400,000 students, or Rome with 250,000 students can no longer be broken down into campuses, but must take into account Student Population Centers where students commute to class, live at home, and hang out with friends somewhere in the city.
Nikolin, our National Campus Director in Albania, observes that for us who are constantly looking for future leaders it has made our job more difficult. It’s harder to identify, select and invest in truly influential student leaders who can and will change their world. In his words: “We have to work a lot and find little gold.”
Reality Check 2: CCC will never have enough staff, interns or partners to grow movements in every key student population center. Although many countries have seen fruit in raising and releasing STINT or missional teams to launch new movements, our progress is not keeping up with the explosion of new campuses. However, we operate under the deep conviction that Jesus has not left himself without witness and has already prepared key students and faculty on every campus to live, love and truly follow Him. One of our great challenges is to find new ways – both in person and online – to sow broadly, filter well, identify God’s leaders, and invite them into our vision of Movements Everywhere.
Reality Check 3: Campus Crusade must effectively navigate the transition toward our Movements Everywhere vision. Over the past 10-15 years we have seen our focus on building movements of spiritual multiplication slip significantly in many places around the world. Too often we have substituted evangelistic activities for personal proclamation of Jesus, settled for “having disciples” instead of “making disciples,” and perpetuated staff-controlled ministries rather than unleashing student-led movements that are served by CCC staff. We are not currently seeing enough fruit, effectiveness and growth to make significant progress toward Movements Everywhere among the college students of the world. Simply put: We can’t get there from here.
Healthy student movements of spiritual multiplication form the very core of our unique calling from God in contributing to the fulfillment of the Great Commission. CCC leaders worldwide recognize the time is ripe for change. The next two years represent a significant window of opportunity. We must — both in ministry philosophy and concrete field application — bring effective campus movement launching and building to the forefront of all we do.
Let’s Lead the Way
CCC has a rich legacy and great core values. Yet like any 60-year old organization, we become prisoners of prior success. When God worked powerfully we wrote training manuals and materials to teach others how to do the same thing well. Systems and structures arose to support those processes. But each generation has new felt needs which require different approaches. What helped us in the past can prevent us from being effective in the present and cripple us in the future. We must keep changing in order to remain effective.
The first of five key shifts we must make is returning to a mission-defined, value-driven culture. Organizational culture refers to the underlying values, beliefs and principles that serve as a foundation for an organization’s management system, as well as the practices and behaviors that both exemplify and reinforce those basic principles. We lead from these values rather than being driven by materials, events, donors, or numbers.
Realizing that our work is ultimately spiritual, we must lead from our values of faith, growth and fruitfulness, so that…
a. Everyone is living out a passionate walk with God, utterly dependent on Him in and for all things. That dependence is expressed personally and corporately through pervasive prayer, holy lives, and love for one another. It results in leading from the foundation of our walk with God, unity, speaking the truth in love, and taking faith risks.
b. Everyone is growing and developing in Christ-like character, ministry skills, personal capacity, and exercising initiative in leading rather than relying on permission.
c. Everyone is bearing lasting fruit in their lives and ministries, continually examining the results of their efforts. We do whatever it takes to help people connect with Jesus, and become true followers of Him. Like the lessons of pruning the vine, this may require more focus on life-on-life discipleship and movements, rather than having a few people leading many strategies.
No one needs permission to radically live out our values. No matter where you are, no matter what position you hold, you can lead with humble boldness from this rich spiritual base.
When it comes to value-driven servant leadership, change starts with me.