Posts tagged: CRU
Pray for this campus. Pray for the Christian groups on campus. Pray for the students. Pray for the Churches near this campus.
From August 2010 to August 2011, my life did not feature any options. I was stuck. I was limited. I had no choice but to take what was on the table in front of me. The realities of graduation were here. I had bills to pay. Seminary was beckoning. Excitement was here, but adulthood had fully beckoned.
I knew two things for certain - life was meant to be lived out in Fullerton and I did not want to be a full-time student.
Then I couldn’t find a full-time job. I was so restless. It was such a season of stretching and character refining. God began to move in ways it turns out now He was not. Restlessness grew.
My options were limited.
Then, unexpectedness happened.
Then, I was offered an opportunity to join staff with CRU.
Then, 6 weeks later I started working a full-time job.
Now, I sit in intentional seeking. I have gone from having no options to three options: join staff with CRU and go to seminary part-time, keep working full-time and go to seminary part-time or go to seminary full-time and work part-time. I have options - again.
I am not afraid to risk. I’ve been pursuing an idea for 6 months. Parts of me are still uneasy - yet, it’s not because the thought of raising support. There are other things that I am uneasy about. Over the course of years, I have fallen in love with the local church, specifically, my local church. My commitment as God moves and sends me out is to the local church. I don’t want a para-church to steal me away - no matter how enticing the opportunity is.
"Good, better or best - don’t take the crumbs" has been my mantra all week. I want the best. I know God longs to give me the best gifts imaginable. There is an option emerging that to me, is the riskiest and most complex of them all.
What I know, is that no matter what option God fully opens before me, my local church, must be at the center of this decision.
The best, is my local church, RockHarbor Fullerton…
What does this mean, I do not fully know yet…
Good, better or best?
As I sat through the night last night, I sat and observed my brother, friend and mentor - Dan Allan. I heard him talk and share from his heart. I was drawn back to my two summers with him, in community, on mission. It stirred my heart with the reasons why CRU captivated my time in college. It stirred my soul with reminders of how God used CRU and this man to change my life.
Good, better or best?
Occasionally, a person is blessed to meet someone so amazing, so filled with the Holy Spirit, so in love with Jesus, who has encountered Jesus is such a special way that you just want to spend as much time with them as humanly possible. For me, this person, is Dan Allan. If I can be half the man and leader he is, I will be greatly humbled and honored. When he speaks - passion and wisdom flow. When he listens - the Holy Spirit glints in his eyes. When he moves - his intentionality is obvious.
Good, better or best?
Not having to leave my community, my home of Fullerton, my local expression of the church - RockHarbor Fullerton - still being able to be trained up by another man who I am humbled to be equipped by and learn from, is definitely good.
The combination is better then what I could ever wish for.
But, is it best? I refuse to take the crumbs. Deep down, the more I seek, the more I see, this opportunity is not crumbs.
The words I received last night and prayer and have been sitting on ever since were not a yes or a no - but simply: "Be ready, my son."
Good, better or best?
Father, your son is ready. My hands are open. Don’t let me take the crumbs.
Earlier today, a great friend and sister of mine from RHF sent me a text. In it, she said some pretty amazing, God inspired things. It’s so good, I’m just gonna quote her:
We make our decisions based on good, better or best. Praying a posture of surrender over you. Praying open hands. May you have the discernment to see what category this job falls into. And the courage to receive only God’s best for you. Whatever that may be. Don’t take the crumbs.
The bolded words have been marinating through my head all day. As this opportunity lies before me, as I’ve been processing this adventure for 5.5 months - I have been pursuing this opportunity in the posture of this text. Hearing my friend say it in these words, at this time, reinforced how faithful and genuine God has allowed me to be in this season of exploration and waiting.
Ever since I was told about this conference - this weekend - God had me circle this weekend on the calendar as the quote on quote “magic time period” of when full clarity and vision would come. I have come in expectant. After night one, God has already met me.
Tomorrow I’d be with the CRU staffers from the PSW all day if it was up to me, but alas, I have to work. So, I’ll be seeing them at around 7pm.
6 moths ago this was not even a dream I could have imagined. 5.5 months later, it is a dream that has been pushing me to draw closer to Jesus. Today, it is one that captivates my soul. Now, it is one I wait eagerly for God to fully open up the doors.
The time has come to finally bring clarity and speak the details of what God is up to. I have waited patiently and purposely for this time to come before I release this information, but now the time has come to open the vault and let the dam flow.
This week I will be hanging out in Anaheim with staffers and leaders from Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) that work on the campuses of the Pacific Southwest (PSW). My friend, brother and mentor has been allowed to bring vision and oversight to this team of men and women. He has asked me to join this team.
This week I will be spending Thursday & Friday night, all day Saturday & Sunday morning with this team. I will be watching and praying. I ask you to do the same.
I have an interview at 2pm on Saturday. I have been waiting for God to part the ocean of my soul. He hasn’t - slowly clarity is coming.
I ask you to join me in praying for: wisdom, vision, clarity, discernment, faith & the ability to take holy risks.
My week will be long. I don’t expect God “to show up” for He is already here.
He has been in this journey since before I knew I was on it. So I am not waiting on God to show up - He has been waiting, lovingly, patiently on me.
God has allowed me space to process and seek. He has allowed me the grace to go against my nature, desire and tendency of jumping before I know all the details.
This will be a week to remember.
(As you are praying or reading this, please, please, please message me or comment with whatever you hear, see or feel. I would love to hear from you regarding this!)
Last week I posted about the Allan’s. I hope you read it. This is the next post in the series.
Let me introduce you to Dan and Holly Allan.
Dan and Holly are married - I hope that is obvious. They have one of the best marriages and partnerships in ministry I have ever seen. One day, I hope, I long, to have a marriage like theirs. They are a great team. Both are equally strong, yet, they work in tandem. Their strengths match and fill in each others. They are a team. A strong team.
They have two children. Mackenzie and Grant. Mackenzie is a sophomore in high school and grant is now in middle school. They have done a great job raising their children as they have grown up with a front row seat of seeing God use their parents as their parents have been faithful to follow the callings God has set before them.
The Allan’s. That’s them. Four people.
They have been on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU). For years, more then I know, they have been faithfully teaching, leading, discipling, mentoring and reaching out to college students in the Saint Louis area.
That was their home.
I never thought they’d move. God was using them in great ways to impact college students in Saint Louis for the kingdom.
Yet, God moves in new ways.
Now, this family, is moving out to Southern California to work with college students here.
They need to sell their house.
They need to raise more support.
They need prayer. Lots of prayer.
Pray for this family.
Pray for their transition. Pray for their marriage. Pray for their kids. Pray for their vision. Pray for their ministry they are stepping into and leaving behind. Pray for housing. Pray for selling of their housing. Pray for God’s providing. Pray for protection.
If you want to help out the Allan’s financially, message me and let me know. I will tell you how. (I will be posting one more message soon.)
Throughout the course of my short, but full and adventurous life, I have had the opportunity to meet many people. Dan and Holly Allan, along with their children, are one of my favorite families ever. They are great.
I first met the Allan’s as a student on the San Diego Summer Project back in 2006 as a student (the one when I almost died). I was instantly captivated by Dan. He lead with strength, poise, character, passion, love and the Holy Spirit. He was leading this project as part of his assignment with being regional director for the Saint Louis Metro area of Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU). From the first time I heard him talk, as he was casting vision to this Summer Project of around 150 people - I knew God has used him for great things and had many more in store for him.
In all my journeys with CRU, with all the staffers I had the privilege to see, meet and learn from, he was the most influential on me. So much so, I decided to go back as a Staff Intern (a person who joined the staff team to help lead the Summer Project) the next summer on less then 72 hours notice. He asked; we prayed; we identified how God was moving; I went.
That summer of 2007 allowed me to not just see him from a distance but for a close up; for a head shot so to speak. He became a friend, mentor and brother. I learned so much in those 7 weeks of ministry.
It was the best summer of my life.
No doubt about it.
Dan and Holly Allan have a special place in my heart and soul. I will always be grateful for their impact on my life and spiritual journey.
The summer of 07 ended but my relationship with Dan kept up. I couldn’t not let it. Every summer, for the next 3 years he returned to San Diego to lead the SDSP. He came west for a total of 11 summers (don’t quote me on that, it was more then 8 and less then 13). I would visit him every year (I live only 90 miles away).
Fast forward to Summer 2011. I get a phone call. He announces to me the spiritual, missional journey of his family. God is sending and calling his family out west - permanently - to take over the Pacific Southwest Region of Campus Crusade for Christ. This is all of California, Arizona, Hawaii and parts of Nevada.
The headquarters for the PSW is out here in Orange County.
This excites me like you can’t understand. Southern California is getting one of the best families I know who longs to pour themselves out to see the Kingdom advanced by helping college students encounter Jesus.
Thank you for reading how I know the Allan’s. In the next several posts I will introduce you to who they are and what God is up to. Please, please, please pray for them as they make this transition. They need it.
If you know me or read my blog, chances are at some point in time you will have heard me mention my experience with Campus Crusade for Christ. It is a ministry filled wiht people who helped heal, change, grow, stretch and teach me while giving me an opportunity at launching a movement, leading a movement and teaching. It is a ministry filled with many men of God I highly respect.
It is also a ministry I have had run ins and complaints with (truly, most ministries are this way - you will never fully agree with a group and if you do, you haven’t been there long enough - because no one or ministry is perfect - only Jesus is) - yet, I still believe they can be used for great good on college campuses. CRU, is dear to my heart. CRU, if used effectively, can help change the campuses of the world and thus, the world itself.
Yet, one of the major complaints I had with this great ministry, is their name.
Campus - great. Love it.
Crusade - danger. Pejorative. Negative. Placing others on the defensive.
Christ - truth.
Many of the movements, for years, have called themselves CRU. Some, don’t think the word “Crusade” is that big of a deal. I however, do not.
I dislike that word because of what it brings to mind - culturally.
Quick, what is the first thing that pops into your head when I say the word “crusade”? I dare you to not think of the Crusades.
Some will say the church was in the right and without them, Islam would have taken over. Some will say, real Christians weren’t involved. Some will say, it wasn’t church sanctioned but the government. There are other theories as well - to try to justify, pretty up, put on makeup and present the church as perfect. Personally, I don’t want to get bogged down in it.
I refuse to look a the Crusades in a positive light. At the same time, people make mistakes. I believe, our dear brothers made a huge mistake centuries ago and damaged the name of Jesus. This grieves me.
Maybe I’m a post-modernist. Maybe, just maybe, you think I’m emergent (please don’t). Maybe, you are afraid I think “Christ” is offensive too and am glad that’s removed. But trust me, when I say, over the course of my years invovled in ministry with twentysomethings and even CRU, I encountered many people - Christians and non - who were turned off to Campus Crusade for Christ, not because of Jesus, but because of “Crusade”.
Our names and our words matter. We should never shrink away from talking about Jesus or declaring the cross and what it means for the world. But, cultural things need to be taken into consideration. Paul does it. Jesus does it. The Bible speaks in cultural ways. So should we.
At my core, at my heart, I’m a missionary. Not to Africa or China - but America. I strive to look at America in the same way a missionary does when they submerge themselves into a foreign culture. I’m not here to get rid of the gospel or Jesus, but to contextualize it in ways the culture can hear and understand. Because in the end, I long for every one to know Jesus as their Savior and if something is in the way of that - other then the cross - I want it eliminated.
At the same time, I believe the Gospel and saying someone needs Jesus is a naturally offensive thing - why should I try and make it more so?
Let me ask you this…
How would you feel, if a Muslim student group, went onto a campus and called themselves “University Jihad for Allah”?