Encounter 2010

Hey guys, we are currently busy at a winter conference with 1100 college students in Greensboro, NC.  It's exciting stuff seeing students see God, respond to Him, and be inspired to change the world.  If you'd like to follow along or anything, you can check out the conference website here:  Encounter 2010.

We have some great speakers like Crawford Loritts.  You can check out more about him here:
his church bio
his speaking bio
a sample of some of his talks

We also have the priviledge of having Brooks Ritter and his band lead us in worship.  You can check out some about him here:
the church where he leads worship
a sample of some of his music

Please pray for everyone at the conference to truly encounter Christ and impact the world for His glory.  I will try to update you along the way this week!



Facebook #2

The second advertising campaign I wanted to tell you about is creating a facebook ad.

I designed an ad using our logo to link to the website that I created over the summer (more about this in an upcoming post).  Basically I wanted to drive traffic to our new site, so students would know who we are and what we are about.  You can target facebook ads to a specific audience, so I was able to make it appear only on people's pages that are in the UNCG, High Point, and Wake Forest University networks.  This gave me access to about 30,000 students.

You can pay to advertise per click or per thousand impressions (each time they put the ad on someone's page it's an impression, even if they don't see it, and they rotate through several depending how long folks are on facebook).  So you bid a price you are willing to pay up to for each click or each 1,000 impressions and if it wins cheaper than that you pay only what it would take to win.  Also, you can cap the amount of money per day you are willing to pay...I chose $15.  Of course, this is my first effort at this and I wanted to experiment with it, so we used it at the beginning of the school year (most people check facebook very frequently during this time so it's good for exposure but bad for expenses being more costly to win the bids).  My desire is that many people would at least see or be exposed to Crusade by seeing the ad and hopefully click thru to the website and get involved in Crusade on their campus.

Here are the results for 2 weeks worth of advertising:
1,712,663 impressions (1.7 million!)
163 clicks on the ad to our website
about 5 people filled out contact info on the website
average over 10 clicks a day
cost about $213

So I gained some good experience working with this median that I can hopefully use in the future to fine tune advertising to increase exposure or maybe even use to promote a certain event...like going on summer projects to our students.  It was worth a shot!


Facebook #1

So, I have undertaken two new marketing/advertising campaigns on facebook.

This week, I will highlight my most recent overture.  I wanted to start small, so I took the smallest movement I coach, at Greensboro College.  I decided instead of making a group page, it would be more popular to make a fan page that people can "like."  That way, every time someone likes it, it will show up in their profile and hopefully others' news feeds as well.  I am going for organic marketing with this. 

Go search on facebook for "Cru at GC" to see the page I made this week:

Basically, Greensboro College has about 1200 students and just under 1000 traditional (live on campus, 18-23, 4 year students).  There are a few student organizations on campus, but it seems like the same 25 students are involved in them all.  I honestly don't think most of the other students do much socially.  Many go home over the weekends and of course enjoy partying it up downtown at the clubs and bars.  However, it is a DIII school with 16 sports teams offered, so there are about 300 athletes on campus.  They are typically a bit different from the rest of the student body.

That's the lay of the land.  I have been praying that the Lord will spark a revival here.  After years of seeing a handful of students come through and hear the Gospel, we're trying some experimental things to increase awareness.

On this fan page, it has the typical wall with posts and questions to interact with fans.  Also the info tab with info about Weekly Meeting, Fall Retreat, Winter Conference, and I'll add Summer Projects.  The BIG difference is what else is on here.  I Googled around until I figured out how to edit FBML and made a Welcome "splash page."  This has a picture, contains our purpose and vision, and relays info about the weekly meeting.  I then added two apps that CCCI developed.  One is for everystudent.com and the other is for Starting With God.  These two help answer questions non-believers or young believers would have and also provide info on how to begin growing in Christ. 

I hope that this simple, free resource ends up helping to draw new people into the kingdom of God, get them plugged into Christian community, and equip them to reach out to others as well!

Pray with me for GC!



On Campus

2 funny things about being on campus at the beginning of a new semester.

1) BAD:  being asked if I'm a freshman...I guess that will be a compliment, in the future

2) GOOD:  being asked what sport I play when meeting with athletes...I guess they're really polite b/c I'm pretty sure I don't look like an elite level athlete, lol




“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee...”  Saint Augustine

Today is Sunday, and it is also the last weekend before the chaotic beginning of the new semester for us.  So I wanted to highlight a key concept to both walking by faith, and to longevity of ministry...resting.  And I don't mean just a physical resting.  But resting by relying completely on the work of Christ on the cross for our sins to draw us near to God, instead of relying on our own efforts to try to earn favor or a relationship with Him by doing something. 

If you are tired of trying to find rest and life in things other than Christ, then I invite you to join with the author of Psalm 46 and "be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" I hope that you will join with me in resting in the finished, redemptive work of Jesus Christ on our behalf.  Please worship Him along with some old friends of mine from NC State, the Shelly Moore Band:

Jesus I Am Resting Resting 

Jesus I am resting resting
In the joy of what Thou art
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart

Verse 1
Jesus I am resting resting
In the joy of what Thou art
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee
And Thy beauty fills my soul
For by Thy transforming power
Thou hast made me whole

Verse 2
Oh how great Thy loving kindness
Vaster broader than the sea
Oh how marvelous Thy goodness
Lavished all on me
Yes I rest in Thee Beloved
Know what wealth of grace is Thine
Know Thy certainty of promise
And have made it mine

Verse 3
Simply trusting Thee Lord Jesus
I behold Thee as Thou art
And Thy love so pure so changeless
Satisfies my heart
Satisfies its deepest longings
Meets supplies its ev'ry need
Compasseth me 'round with blessings
Thine is love indeed

Verse 4
Ever lift Thy face upon me
As I work and wait for Thee
Resting 'neath Thy smile Lord Jesus
Earth's dark shadows flee
Brightness of my Father's glory
Sunshine of my Father's face
Keep me ever trusting resting
Fill me with Thy grace




It's almost time for the school year to start back. Before it does, I want you to take a minute and watch this video to celebrate some of the things the Lord has done already. Also, this summer marks my 5th year on staff. Wahoo!

Thank you to our faithful friends and partners!


Sphere's of Influence

Places I pray and work towards renewal in regularly...the Triad, New York (spring breaks), Clearwater (this summer), and East Asia.

Here is a quick snippet of what the Lord is doing in a few of the areas I minister and partner in.

In East Asia check out this article about the growth of Christianity.  Also, our region is sending the most people overseas in recent years including one guy I discipled and one girl April discipled from the Triad.  God's on the move expanding His Kingdom!

In the Triad, we are grearing up for another busy kick off to the school year.  This summer after project I have been busy developing 2 websites and meeting with multiple churches about developing partnerships.  We are poised with the infrastructure to support the work the Lord is doing here.  We are hoping to launch a new greek movement and faculty movement at HPU and continue to expand the gospel's influence into new areas of campus.  I will try to keep you all up to date with the events, parties, outreaches, etc. that goes on as we seek to get students involved at the beg. of the year.

Our goal is that every person would know someone who truly follows Jesus on the campuses of the Triad!  Put simply, we are: "On the campus. For the campus."  We accomplish this by launching and coaching gospel-centered movements.  Here is a great article about movements by Tim Keller (please read).
This is basically sums up what I do on campus:
"A strong movement, then, occupies the difficult space between being a free-wheeling organism and a disciplined organization.  A movement that refuses to take on some organizational characteristics - authority, tradition, unity of belief, and quality control - will fragment and dissipate. A movement that does not also resist the inevitable tendency toward complete institutionalization will lose its vitality and effectiveness as well. The job of the movement leader is to steer the ship safely between these two opposite perils." Tim Keller

Lastly our students have closed up shop and made it home from Clearwater.  They did a great job and we are hoping to have a few of them over to visit us next week to catch up!

Thanks for praying!



Happy Blogaversary!!!

My wife, April, is celebrating her one year anniversary of starting her delightful blog: Cup of Delight. I strongly recommend you follow it to keep up with the fun, random things she enjoys...and it will give her joy to know she's using her journalism skills to creatively write to an audience (note: she hates editing, but loves blogging). Also, it would be great if you could encourage her to write her own fiction book (children's maybe). I guarantee you will have an adventure reading her experiences!

I also wanted to throw some love to Larissa's baking business. She's a dear friend and the best baker we know. Even as I am typing at 1am, I am wishing that I had some of her cupcakes (our favs) to snack on. View some of her Yummy treats and enjoy!

That is all, and be on the lookout for our summer project update post cards in the mail now!

Love y'all,


US Supreme Court Decision

Here is an email we got from our National Executive Director of the Campus Ministry for CCC. In this letter it outlines how the Supreme Court decision will impact Christian organizations on public campuses and also some of the rights protected. Peruse at your own amusement:

Dear Campus Staff,

You may have heard about the recent decision by the Supreme Court in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (Martinez). There have been a number of articles, blog posts and letters written regarding the case. Because of the importance of the decision, I am writing to give you our thinking on the case and its implications for our ministry.

While the decision is important and will have an impact on some of our campus ministries, it is, actually, very narrow in what it pertains to. There are some aspects of the reasoning that are of concern to us, but for the most part, we believe the decision will only have a limited impact on our ministry. Most important, the court affirmed what has clearly been the law, that Christian students have a constitutionally protected right to organize and register clubs on public university campuses and that they are free to express their faith, and to study and worship together through those clubs.

The Martinez case arose at a public law school in California when the school refused to register as a student club a law student chapter of the Christian Legal Society (CLS). CLS is a professional association for Christian lawyers and law students. Because of its religious mission, the organization has a statement of faith that it asks its members to agree with, and it requires the leaders of its student chapters to agree to live their lives in accord with Biblical teaching. The law school stated that these religious and life style standards for members and leaders violated its requirement that registered clubs be open to all students. CLS brought suit contending that the law school’s policy was a direct violation of the United States Constitution’s First Amendment.

The law school contended in the litigation that its policy simply required every registered club to allow all students access to membership and leadership. Limitations based upon membership in the organization the club represented, or beliefs in its message were prohibited. Thus, the school argued, for example, that a Republican could be elected president of the Democrat club and vice versa. This policy, the school described as an “all comers” policy.

Confronted with this policy, on a 5 to 4 vote, a bare majority of the Supreme Court upheld the right of the school to adopt an “all comers” policy. At the same time, the court was clear that such a policy had to be objectively and consistently applied to every registered student organization. Equally important, schools may not limit or inhibit the message of a club, even if the message is a religious one. In fact, the university is required to ensure that each clubs’ message is maintained and preserved - regardless of how controversial the message is.

So what does this really mean for us? This means that most of us will be able to continue doing what God has called us to do- reaching out to every student and faculty, offering the good news of the gospel, inviting students and faculty to work alongside us to build the Kingdom. But, if you are concerned or unclear about the non-discrimination policies and their enforcement on your campus (or on a campus where you are considering a new launch), or this becomes an issue for you, we have legal counsel available to advise you and we ask you to contact them directly.

We serve a sovereign God, who is able to do infinitely more beyond anything we can imagine. And we know that He is passionately pursuing all to come to know Him. These types of things can never thwart what He desires to do all around the world.


Our GSO: Know. Love. Serve

Well, we are back from our summer project mission trip in Clearwater Beach, Florida.  One of our main goals back home in Greensboro, NC is to get to know more people, serve in our church, and love our city.  We will take part in a week long renewal project in our city through our church, Hope Chapel.  Some of what will be going on in Greensboro is a work day at the Newcomers School for immigrant and refugee children, a furniture drive and set-up an apartment for a soon to arrive refugee family, a luau at Golden Living Center, a workday inside and outside at Lindley Elementary School (where our church also meets), amongst other things. We want to encourage others and you to join in with us and to reach out to your neighbors and city with the hope of the Gospel of Christ!

Check out this great video for it's vision:

Our GSO from Michael Van Patter on Vimeo.


Clearwater POTD: June 27

Sweet Girls!

Clearwater POTD: June 26

Swimming with Manatee!! Here is the baby manatee we found:

Here is Mitch and me (the only two crazy enough to get in that water) trying to reach the manatee. If you look real close to the right of Mitch's head, you can see it poking out of the water. We did reach it-and it touched my leg! And then some crazy foreign lady yelled at us for "harassing" the manatee. We did no such thing, crazy animal lady!

P.S. I am not sure what I stepped on in that water. It felt like cole slaw.

Clearwater POTD: June 25

Staff Retreat= Most Comfortable Bed EVER.

Clearwater POTD: June 24

Sorry for no photo of the day for several days. We were on our staff retreat and Internet cost $10/day. We figured it wasn't worth it, so I am catching you up now!

Transition Night
We passed leadership on to the students-they washed each other's feet.
Only 5 days left for the staff!


Clearwater POTD: June 15

Jeff's Life Group
Jon from Middle Tenn State, Jeff, Aaron from NC State, Chris from Appalachian State, Ryan from Illinois State, Rob from Middle Tenn State, and Daniel


Clearwater POTD: June 5

Tonight, the students had a "Reverse Sadie Hawkins White Elephant Creative Date Community Building Extravaganza." Basically, the guys donned the girls in princess crowns and performed for them. Then, the girls got to choose to keep those guys and that date, or to steal someone else's.

Clearwater POTD: June 4

Sunset by the pier


Clearwater Photo of the Day: June 1

By the pier

Clearwater Photo of the Day: May 31

Well, today it's going to be PhotoS. Tonight we had our first weekly meeting. The students played a game in which each group had the same materials to transform a team member into an assigned creature. Here were the fabulous results:

Suzy the Turtle

Nathan the Pirate

Hannah the Mermaid

Aaron the King

And the Winner...

Charlie the Shark
I, unfortunately did not get a picture of his amazing dorsal fin in the back.


Clearwater Photo of the Day May 29

Yep, that's me! Today we had the students do a "staff hunt." We dressed up and spread out around the pier while students searched for us. I decided to go goth. Unfortunately his picture does not do justice to my amazing eye makeup. Only two groups found me! I also received many stares and scared little children. Jeff didn't dress up. He just hid in the marina...and no one found him.

Clearwater Photo of the Day: May 28

This is late because sometimes our internet doesn't work!

Enjoying some down time with pool volleyball. That IS a homemade net.