The Power of an Outside Voice
I am driving to Houston in about thirty minutes to meet with my friend and advisor, Jim Herrington. Back in 1999, when campus ministers at the University of Texas were just beginning to pray together and seek God for transformation at UT, we invited Jim to be our consultant – to help us move down the road toward campus reaching.
For several years Jim came to UT to lead the campus ministers in a day of prayer, planning, and discussion. These conversations birthed some of CRM’s Ventures (Fusion Groups, Spark Groups, Prayer Mobilization, Spiritual Mapping, and Catalytic Events).
An Outside Voice Can See More Clearly
Thinking about Jim today, I was reminded again of the power of an outside voice. Having someone from the outside speak into your united effort to see your campus reached is a wonderful idea. An outside voice is less worried about offense, less tangled by the complexities of relationships, and is a neutral figure with nothing at stake in the process.
Thus, they are less prone to have an agenda and can see things more clearly. They are less of a perceived “threat” to those who enter the discussion, so people are more likely to listen and consider their input.
An Outside Voice Has More Experience
Of course you want to select the right person to help you move along in the campus-reaching process. You need to look for someone who shares the vision, has lived and practiced the vision, and has had experience leading others toward the vision.
Such a person is more familiar with the sticking points, objections, difficulties, and spiritual battles that create obstacles for moving forward. They can deal with these obstacles in a more precise way – a way that stimulates dialogue and understanding that leads to change in the heart (where change is really needed).
Campus Renewal Ministries Consultants
We, Campus Renewal Ministries, are eager to help your campus learn to partner in prayer and mission to see your campus transformed by the gospel of Jesus. Almost every time that we have been invited by a united group of students or campus ministers to share CRM’s vision and stories of where our ventures are working on other campus, the ministry leaders have taken the next step in partnership.
We have hands-on experience and are eager to serve you if your need the boost that Jim Herrington gave us so many years ago. If you are interested having us help you in this effort for your campus, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a side note, Jim is coming to UT again this month, because we’re never without need for more prayer and conversation led by someone outside of our immediate context.
Justin Christopher is the director of Campus Renewal Ministries at the University of Texas and author of Campus Renewal: A Practical Plan for Uniting Campus Ministries in Prayer and Mission. He gives leadership to the Campus House of Prayer and the misssonal community movement at the University of Texas.