Monday, May 12, 2008

Blog-Ference Day 1

My topic is Leading Change Out of the Faith/Future Base: Redeeming Our Apostolic Calling. What does that mean?
I put up a diagram that attempts to illustrate what I mean. The four grids are Dominantly Faith, Dominantly Self, Dominantly Present, Dominantly Future. The x and y axis are Known and Unknown. 

If you were to draw a circle that reflects your orientation to these categories, that would be your Leadership Base. I added Known/Unknown to the grid for the purpose of our discussion. By that I mean do you shy away from or are you drawn to that which is known or unknown? 

The next diagram shows where I believe we all want to be, and want Campus Crusade as a whole to be. You can see that the circle is orientated highly towards Faith, Future, and the Unknown. This is definitely how Campus Crusade was started, and definitely why I joined staff. Personally, I have seen God work most dramatically when I have made decisions in light of this orientation. 

However, as I look out over the landscape of the campus ministry, I can't help but wonder if we have shifted from this orientation. NOT in our hearts, but in PRACTICE.  Although we hear 'the best is yet to come,' I wonder if we lead more like 'the best already happened.' 

I believe that in order for us as an organization to reclaim this Faith/Future base, and consequently our apostolic calling, we have to explore and shift some fundamental paradigms towards work, time, and how we understand our role on campus. 

I wanted to close with a quote from Seth Godin's book Small is the New Big. I hope that it will spark some great discussion over this topic and inspire us to re-evaluate how we lead:

"Today, 'long' and 'hard' mean two different things. The future is about work that's really and truly hard, not just time-consuming. It's about the kind of work that requires us to push ourselves, not just punch the clock...Today, working hard is about taking apparent risk...something that you believe is unsafe but that you realize is in fact far more conservative than sticking with the status quo."

Where is your circle? Do you agree with my assessment of the campus ministry? What do you think needs to change?


Paul said...

Hey Brian, can you explain the diagram a little more?- maybe define what each category means and the difference between them...maybe explain more what the example means

Brian said...

For sure Paul. The diagram is meant to represent how we lead in our given role. The four categories are 4 of many ways we are orientated, based on our personality, life experience, giftings, organizational culture, etc.

Dominantly Faith: A leadership decision made dominantly out of faith.

Dominantly Self: The opposite of above

Dominantly Present: A leadership decision made in light of the now. A decision that benefits the present situation more than the future or vision

Dominantly Future: The opposite of above

I also put in 'Known' and 'Unknown' to further help expose one's leadership orientation. Known/Faith would be a decision that one makes dominantly out of faith, but also something that is known or familiar to them. For instance, sharing your faith each week would be a decision like this.

If you were to take the sum total of all or most of your leadership decisions, I would guess that a circle, or general pattern would emerge. The blue circle is meant to show the general pattern that I believe we need to strive towards.

Tomorrow I will put up a circle that too often represents how we lead in Campus Crusade, and offer some potential insights into the why and how to change it.

Does that make sense? It's hard for me to know how much to explain initially.

Paul said...

ok that clears it up a lot. i think your point tomorrow will help clear it up too.

Alisha J said...

I agree Brian and I totally think it fits with DJ's post today on Evangelism. Our EV seems to be, present- self. Campus Ministry tends towards doing what we've always done. We change the outward face of it. For example - everyone does a big campus wide outreach with different hooks every year. I'm guess we all usually have the same results.

I love what Pomona did in not having a night time meeting anymore because it wasn't the best next thing for their movement. People were shocked at that - but I think it's been the best thing for their movement. I wonder what people would say about a movement scrapping the meeting all together and focusing on discipleship and evangelism. I don't know how it would look but I think most would say "that part is too important" or " you can't have a movement be built without the meeting component."

I think what I like about the way you are framing things is it leaves the door wide open for the next wave of campus ministry to look 100% different if needed to reach a specific context. I think that's where we need to get to the next stage.

Risky - yes. Hard - yes. Worth it - yes!

Dave G. said...

Hey Brian (and the rest of the blogfrence), I really got into this discussion, with the little brain power I have left at this late hour.

The discussion of progression toward future goals, etc. vs appreciation for historic establishments is very interesting to me (and also very difficult to wrap my head around). I'm sure this belongs on DJ's post, but I am reminded of Mark Driscoll's discussion on evangelism, and how people cling to things today that were 'new innovations' yesterday. Rather than clinging to the 'product' people have given us from the past should we cling to their model of initiative and faith? I'll be excited to also discuss a little of 'the other side of the pendulum-swing', where we'll consider the need to appreciate the work of the past, while digging down in the here and the now in order to see change in the future. I'll probably ask a more specific question on that tomorrow.

Aaron Badenhop said...

I think you made some good points, and I do think we should really value faith and the unknown. After all, we long for heaven and for His kingdom to come, and because it's not here yet we should be dreaming and living to do our part in bringing the Kingdom.

I guess I just wanted to quickly say that it could be easy to get too black and white with this, and to over simplify. I guess I mean to say that sometimes making decision in the known rather than unknown can be good. One might call it wisdom. But what I think you're working against here is comfort, not wisdom.

DJ said...

Oh wow, I get to comment after Aaron Badenhop. I am not worthy.

I think the said gentlemen above makes a good point about wisdom and making decisions about the known. I dig Nehemiah as a great example of the balance of awesome faith and dreaming and radical organization.

Not that I have been on staff for long, but it DOES feel like when I hear about the "early" days of Crusade it was just one crazy vision faith unknown trip. It feels in our middle age we have really settled down some.

I don't know how to make that shift again. Is it all Holy Spirit? Don't think so, but it seems the National Team is really trying to get some of this back with the Way Forward.

No coherent thoughts anymore, it's 1:30 am now.

Jen Ip said...

hmmm... interesting... i remembering reading Amazing Faith... and thinking wow... Bill Bright has Amazing Faith... and desiring that and yet i agree that we don't work out of the Faith and Unknown quadrant as we used to. I would say that i would work out of the known and present quadrant.

Dave G. I love the idea from mark about clinging to the product vs the idea... it totally makes me think that bill bright would have loved to see all the new things we are thinking through and would want us to take his spirit of Faith and trusting the Lord in doing new things!

I'd like to see us have faith like him when he wrote the four laws... maybe the blog-ference is the place where we put our faith in creating something new.

Lish... i love that you talk about not having a weekly meeting. You know.... i've been thinking about that for some time now... i've gone back and forth so much on this ... but ultimately what it comes down to in my head is.... is this structural change ultimately going to effect heart change by removing something like the weekly meeting? Or will the structural change just be structural... Will we get rid of something...having faith that the Lord will use that change to glorify himself? I'd gladly get rid of the weekly meeting if i knew that students were engaging with the soccer team, and the snowboarding club, and the band on those nights... i'd do it... but are they? if we get rid of it... will they do it? I don't know... ok... it's too late 2:30am. But this is such great stuff! keep it coming!

Ken said...

OK, I think this is my general frustration with CCC when I get frustrated. I think we are too safe many times, and I long for the days of faith oriented, risk decisions.

I am excited about the way forward because I believe it is meant to bring more of this about. I think I have seen a little of that, but what is hard is that the "little" to me is a very small start, but a huge change to many others. I fear this will lead to me waiting and hoping still more, but usually hopeful.

One thought that comes to mind with the known, unknown part of the diagram is the mix between faith and knowing. I may not know that results, but I can have faith in the God that I do know. What about taking a faith based future risk with total confidence from a vision God has given you, and it is so clear it might as well be known (does that make sense?)

Lastly, I have experienced a few times coming into a movement or community of believers and finding that present, self and known leadership styles have completely ruined it. I am still boggled why this happens so easily as I have never seen it lead to life corporately or individually.

Let me end with a quote,

"For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it."

kelly said...

coming from experience, we did scrap our weekly meeting. it's not a solution to all of the ministry's issues, but it we did experience revival. not the adding kind, the subtracting kind. those who were really on board began to surface, those interested in something beyond just a "youth group." as a result some students that we never thought of as "key" are now, and those who were really aren't anymore. we're getting back to basics and stepping out in faith, and it's the most refreshing thing i've seen in a movement reality.