Utilizing my extensive training in the world of Lego blocks, I’d have to assume that a building is only as good as it’s foundation. So, looking at the second word in our organizational DNA, “build,” ought to give us insight not only into the methods, but the underlying premises of what our organization truly is concerned with. How exciting.
Most missions organizations, from my perspective, put the thrust of “every tribe, tongue, nation” type verses primarily on the “going” or the “reaching.” And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But the job of the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20, which I would say is the banner verse under which Campus Crusade exists) is to “make disciples,” not just converts. In fact, with thanks to my friend Donny and my Logos Bible software (which, by the way, I need to take a course to learn how to fully utilize), I took some time this morning to study the original language of the verses in question, and as best I can tell the act of “going” in assumed, not the main thrust of the verse. The act of “disciple-making” seems to be the main verb. That’s not readily apparent in our English translations of verse 19.
So the reaching (see my discussion of “Win” yesterday) is a necessary component of the greater goal of our ministry, and that’s the building (“…make disciples…”) and eventually sending (“…of all nations”). We want for students and faculty to not only come to know Christ, but to become “disciples,” which is a truly rich word. We want to teach them the things they need to know to grow and to really experience the gospel over and over.
Recently I have been very encouraged by the division of CCC called Centerfield Productions, as they have been putting out some great resources that are helpful in not only effectively building students, but doing so in a way that is transferable. We desire to give students content in such a way that they can turn around (without hours of training and studying) and give that content to another student. This produces movements that are not leader-heavy, and leaders that don’t erroneously see themselves as integral to the movement, but as stewards of God’s movement. For more study on how we think this idea of transferability is biblical, check out 2 Timothy 2:2 and note how many generations there are from Paul (the writer) to “others.”
One of the criticisms I’ve heard of Campus Crusade is that we oversimplify tough doctrines (Like the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, for example). I’d like to offer a defense and explanation, again from my perspective as a staff member. (This is by no means CCC’s official stance on anything.) We have razor-sharp focus on one or two doctrines, namely the proclamation of the gospel and an intro into walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. By focusing in on teaching folks that the Holy Spirit is the power source for the Christian life, we are able to agree with both sides of the potentially divisive charismatic issue and yet not, in my opinion, dishonor the Holy Spirit. Is our doctrine exhaustive or complete in this area? No, and it never was intended to be. If we claimed it were all there is to know about the Holy Spirit, then there’d be a problem.
We are missionaries on the college campus. I see one of my primary goals as plugging students into the visible body of Christ, namely the local church. I give them the basics, and then train them to share those basics with others. I am squarely concerned with training. I want for students to learn how to share their faith in a way that is not street preaching with offensive, out-of-touch signs. When I’ve effectively built students, that’s one of the primary markers for me.
But to simply build them involves (and finds it’s completion in) sending them to repeat the process. More on that tomorrow.