Spring Break – Urban Immersion

Last week we hosted almost 30 staff and students from around the Northwest for a spring break urban immersion, Portland style. Many thanks to Chicago Cru for the inspiration. It was a blast.

Here’s why we did it:

  • To get students and staff in the city to experience the power, diversity and brokenness of the city.
  • To give them a taste of what it could look like to serve in ministry here. Surface potential future interns or staff.
  • To boost our movement at PSU and surface leaders at various other schools.

Here’s a brief summary of what we did:

  • Sunday night: Devotional on why we need the city and our vision for the week.
  • Monday: Evangelism training, scavenger hunt via public tranport and evangelism at PSU and downtown.
  • Tuesday: Launching day at four large community colleges in the area, seeking to surface leaders.
  • Wednesday: Acts 17 prayer walk experience in Hawthorne district and day of service at Portland Rescue mission.
  • Thursday: More evangelism training and evangelism at PSU and downtown.

Overall the feedback has been really good and I think we might do it again next year. It was a huge win for us and the students who joined us. God moved in their hearts. Feel free to join us next year :).

Everystudent.com and Facebook Ad’s report

Recently I ran some ad’s on Facebook for everystudent.com in the Portland area. My purpose was to add an element of broad exposure to our evangelistic efforts and well as test the response. Keep in mind that I’ve set up our ministry email to receive any everystudent.com questions that come from students at schools in the Portland area.

I targeted 18-21 year olds who are in college in the Portland area. The ad’s ran for a Sunday and Monday at about $1/click. Here’s the results.

Yada, yada, yada got 58,962 impressions and 5 clicks.

Human Kindness Matters got 400,649 impressions and 59 clicks.

Questions about Life got 9,970 impressions and a whopping 0 clicks.

Out of all of those clicks has come three emails. One person with a real question, one with no question and one that was belligerent.

On a side note this ad was dissaproved from Facebook. Haha!

Long story short, I’m still not sure how I feel about this strategy. I love the thought of reaching students that we don’t have access to right now, but was this worth the $60 I spent? How could I make it work better.

8 reasons why every staff person should have a smart phone

I can’t mandate it, but I can tell you that there is value to having a smart phone on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ. Here’s my top 8 reasons why.

  1. Facebook – can’t remember that students name? Pull it up quickly on your phone.
  2. JotNot – Take a picture of that receipt you need to send in to HQ and quickly turn it into a jpg. or pdf. No more scanning!
  3. Google Doc’s – If your team using Google Docs’s (and they should) access them from your phone
  4. Concur – Manage those pesky One Card reports on the go
  5. Task  Managements ( I use Things) – Get all your to-do list in one place and relieve some stress.
  6. Reeder (a blog reader) – stay up to date on leadership blogs, friends blogs, etc.
  7. Evernote – Keep track of any notes, ideas, meeting agendas with this handy app. It’s like my brain but never forgets anything. You can also take pictures of things and store them here…like that strategic plan masterpiece you drew on the whiteboard.
  8. The Bible – All kind of apps that put a multitude of translations at your fingertips. My favorite are YouVersion and the ESV Bible app.

A new Operating System!

Recently in a Catalyst Podcast Daniel Pink talked about how we ought to respond to the culture millenials are bringing into the workforce. We need to create an environment where gamechangers will flourish!

1) Give them autonomy. Don’t try to control to much. A great example is the practice of allowing them a portion of their time to go work on whatever they want…just as long as you show it to us. We need to get out of the way and watch as what they create generally produces all kinds of fixes.

2) Help them gain mastery. Millenials have an internal desire to get better at stuff, thus one of the best things we can do is shine a light on the progress. Celebrate with them!

3) Give them purpose. People want to work for a greater story. Everything we invite them into needs to be painted with the context of the greater purpose! This gets me excited about the possability of recruiting to full-time ministry.

4) Add feedback to the job. This was suprising, but makes sense as people crave authenticity and being know. They want to work in an environment where everything is out on the table.

All of this is missing one particular spiritual element, namely the Holy Spirit, but gives us a better understanding of the nature of the people (staff, students, and volunteers) we’re working with.

Are you a millenial? Are these values true?

Things and stuff of the week

Three things that might be of interest to you all:

I loved, loved, LOVED this post by Ryan McReynolds on the Cru Press blog about how we ought to view facebook. Lately I’ve seen a bunch of people give up Facebook. I don’t know the whole circumstances but I do know that God calls us to engage the culture and Facebook is a tool to do that.

We’re starting to try out a texting service called Begrouped.com within our ministry at Portland State University. We’ll use it for timely reminders, room updates, etc. So far, so good and it’s free. We’re also going to institute it at the Lake Tahoe Summer Project.

I knew about Arcade Fire before the rest of the world was alerted to them at the Grammy’s thanks to Tim Casteel, who’s blog I love. You should get to know Tim.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Superbowl + Ad’s = #Brandbowl

An added element superbowl entertainment for me was following the twitter hashtag #brandbowl and reading vast sweeping judgements of commercials and brands.

Biggest losers on twitter…Groupon and Godaddy

Biggest winner…Chrysler

I liked this commercial.


Great story, great thematic elements that draws you in and almost make you believe that Big Car business in back on track. It assumed the audience had intelligence. It helps that the ad agency that produced it is the phenomenal Weiden-Kennedy from here in Portland. I have two problems with this commercial…

  1. It’s a Chrysler. It’s a car that still does not have a great reputation. Advertising can only do so much. Maybe this speaks to how hard it is to change your brand if you’ve fallen off the deep end in the past.
  2. It’s Marshall Mathers. An although I think the dude is tremendously talented, he also wrote about putting his girlfriend in the trunk of a car. It kind of works having him represent Detroit…all city hardened and stuff, but ultimately it’s character that counts.

Take it or leave it…this coming from a guy who thought the Doritos commercials were funny too.

New Facebook Groups

Have you checked out the functionality of the recently revamped Facebook Groups? I’ve started using them with various groups of people and so far…me likey. My highlights:

  • Quickly email everyone in the group.
  • Create documents and allow the group to edit the document
  • Group chat with all or part of the group
  • No more confusing email conversations between 5 people.

Here are the best examples of how I’ve seen Groups be helpful so far…

  • Creating instant community and information transfer at a Washington State University – Vancouver a commuter school that we’re launching a ministry on. Incredibly helpful!
  • A place for our staff team to connect about random things, post funny pictures and for the mom’s to weigh in on any thoughts they might have. A work in progress.
  • The Lake Tahoe Summer project directors have been using a group to capture random thoughts, develop conference call agenda’s, and tackle a few less important items that don’t need to take up our conference call times. Super helpful tool for us so far.

The goal is to make technology work for you right? Are these new group a helpful tool? How could you use them?

Cru Conference on Facebook = Engagement

An engaging Cru Conference facebook page has been a huge hit…before, during and after the conference. Darren Holland has done a great job at making it an engaging place where conversations are happening. There’s no way to prove this, but I can’t imagine conversations like the one below hurt recruiting.

Apparently giving away a free ESV Bible helps build momentum too…
What do you think?