Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chain of Discipleship - December, Prayer Letter Update

Here is our prayer letter for this month featuring:
  • Your Picture In This Chain of Discipleship

click on the image below to enlarge it to a size where you can read it:

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Here's the text:
December 2008 Crutsinger Prayer Update

"Your Role In The Chain of Discipleship"

Seeing a disciple become a disciple maker is exciting. It really gets exciting when you start to draw out your discipleship chain. Your disciples who discipled others who discipled others...

Paul’s theme statement on discipleship was 2 Timothy 2:2. “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others also.” The principle of great discipleship is spiritual multiplication, not simply winning a person to Christ. Wining someone is adding to the kingdom. Not 2 + 2 + 2, but 2 x 2 x 2. This verse transforms addition to multiplication. The emphasis goes beyond winning one person, to investing your life in that person, who will be qualified to mature another disciple who will in turn teach others. Producing disciples.

What I think is incredible is that your investment in our ministry places you into each discipleship chain! Without the prayer and contributions of ministry partners, we would not be freed up to do the ministry God has called us to. And because of people like you, students are being, and have been, discipled all over the world.

I (Howard) was discipled in 1989 in SV. I was able to disciple Jared (class of 2005), who discipled Matt (class of 2006), who helped Jenny (class of 2007) get started and then discipled by our staff girl Nikki. Matt then discipled Dave (class of 2008), who is discipling RJ (class of 2010). RJ invited Jordan who gave his life to Christ at the 2007 SV Summer Conference. RJ is helping Jordan grow steadily in his faith, and his mom said how happy she was to see the transformation that has been happening in her son. Jordan has a desire to reach his friends for Christ and recruited his friend Daniel to the SV Winter Conference where Daniel gave his life to Christ! The next day Daniel asked, “do you think I can be in the discipleship chain?” Each of these students led (or is leading) discipleship groups with their peers, seeing several of them come to Christ over the years.

This is God’s work. It is not about us, but about Him. 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 says, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” All of our staff disciple students to send them into the culture equipped with the Gospel for a lifetime. Chains like this are occurring in lives all over the country.

Because of your partnership, eight generations of spiritual multiplication is happening, and this is only one of many examples. Please pray this vision of multiplication would expand to reach every student on every campus, their families, and ultimately the world! Laura and I count on the generous support of people like you to continue to bring hope to students everywhere and to help them move their lives toward Christ.

We know how much the economy is affecting many of our supporters, and so we are especially thankful and grateful for your sacrificial giving toward the building of His kingdom. Thank you so much!

Grateful for your Partnership,
Howard & Laura Crutsinger

Friday, November 21, 2008

November, Prayer Letter Update - Page 1 & 2

Here is our prayer letter for this month featuring:
  • Essentials of Spiritual Growth & Multiplication Project
  • Senior Leadership Module 3
  • Will It Solve The Problem?
  • Dad’s Cancer
  • Launching SV in College Towns
  • Thank You
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Here's the text:
November 2008 Crutsinger Prayer Update

Emerging Strategies = "The Cutting Edge of Strategic Learning, Innovation and Resource Development to Accelerate the Ministry of Turning Lost Students into Christ-Centered Laborers"

Essentials of Spiritual Growth & Multiplication Project
We are creating a discipleship tool written by Campus Crusade President Steve Douglass to help students grow in Christ and get involved in ministry and spiritual multiplication as soon as possible.
Globally there are 3 “Styles of Learning”:
  • Literary
  • Primary Orality (cannot read)
  • Secondary Orality (can, but will not read)
Today, 58% of adults after college will never read another book. 2/3 of the world can’t, don’t, or won’t read… therefore they cannot hear our message through text. They are deaf to the Gospel b/c it is not presented to them in a way that gets to their heart. Ironically, 90% of all Christian ministry today occurs through literate communication styles! My department’s goal in resource development is to incorporate several active learning strategies: visual, hands-on, immediate application, discussion, memory, arts, video & easy transferability.

This “Essentials” series takes into account that today’s high school and college students are post-modern in philosophy and are secondary oral learners (people who can read but do not prefer to learn by reading). They are highly relational and make sense of the world through their experiences, story and discussion.

How it works: No lectures here—the group discovers Biblical truth together through a directed discussion around a passage of Scripture rather than a workbook or other written materials. Group leaders are provided with a session preparation checklist and lead from a group discussion outline. Group members keep a “mini-journal” that records what they learn from each discussion, and action to take and a person to tell.

So, what’s the big deal? We presented our design concept to Steve Douglass and he loved it! We are praying this new delivery method and new layout will exponentially increase and radically deepen spiritual multiplication all over the country!

Please pray we get a field test version of the first four lessons complete by Feb. 4.

Senior Leadership Module 3
We had a great module focusing on “execution” with a particular spin on how you have to adjust from doing things yourself to execute well through others. The basis was the “Stellar Execution” model by Bob Lewis. Each component has 2 axes—”defined” and “practiced or applied”. Four components are: 1) Achieving strategic clarity; 2) Building leadership competency; 3) Acquiring process capability; and 4) Creating a culture of accountability.

We took a Backstage Magic Tour at Disney giving us a look at a large company with a great reputation for executing well everyday. We then did an assessment of 3 national CCC ministries – Canada, US Ministries, US Campus- by teams using the stellar execution model. We identified strengths and gaps in the current level of execution, as well as developed an action plan to bridge the gaps. Included was a “start, stop, keep, improve” exercise for the first component- strategic clarity.

In the final afternoon, we looked at the character structure of a leader and how that impacts the ability to execute well. The “Growth Model” is something we use to teach about creating the right environment for character growth—based on Henry Cloud’s work (Changes that Heal). We considered what the impact of a leader who is “all truth, no grace,” or “all grace, no truth.” We discussed how a leader’s ability in love/bonding, responsibility/self-control, forgiveness (dealing with both good and bad), and authority impact execution.

I will have to report on progress made in “execution” within Student Venture during Module 4 in April 09.

Will It Solve The Problem?
My SLI team of six were “hired” (for free) by the National Team of Campus Ministries to solve a critical two part problem. Our vision: 1) All strategic roles are filled. 2) Veteran staff find ways to move into strategic roles that fit them well. Our mission: 1) Analyze the cultural problem of veteran staff not moving into strategic organizational roles. 2) Propose a blueprint for cultural change that will address this problem. After six months of intense research, on October 20, we presented our Strategic Solution: Four steps to capturing the contributions of our most experienced staff. A principle and founder of a multi-million dollar firm that consults the nuclear power industry read our report very carefully and he was thoroughly impressed saying, “there are many important findings in this report, as well as some great solutions.” He also said that in the business world you would pay $100,000 for a study and report like this. Pray that the implementation of our solution would achieve the desired results!

Dad’s Cancer
My father (Howard) is doing great battling his brain and lung cancer. Dec 15 will be his one year anniversary of the diagnosis. He is currently on chemo and radiation sabbatical until the doctors conclude if further treatment is necessary. He is a trooper! Please pray his medical reports continue to come back with good news.

Launching SV in College Towns
Kendra is a student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and active in the Cru (college) ministry. She is married to Nate, a farmer. During the summer of 2007, she worked at a summer camp for teens. When she got back to school in the fall she asked one girl from the camp, who lived near IUP, if she wanted to be in a small group. This soon expanded to include up to 20 girls from the basketball team and the cheerleaders. Kendra recognized that students can lead and she began to help some of the girls reach their friends. As the year progressed they saw other college students and a mom get involved. Because Kendra was familiar with Student Venture, she and Nate took some students SV’s Fastbreak in New York in February. Kendra began to sense the tug to consider interning with Student Venture.

During this past summer, Kendra and Nate began a weekly co-ed Bible study. IUP local leader, Phil Floyd, and Student Venture coach, Shawn Basone, are working together to help Kendra keep Win/Build/Send in their Bible Study’s DNA. During a training segment of each week, they are taking time to go through the CoJourners evangelism training. They are being purposeful about taking students out to share their faith. Recently, they invited a staff member in the region to lead an evangelism training. Kendra was encouraged to have about 15 teens and 15 college students come out. College and high school students paired up to go out witnessing. According to Kendra some of the college students had either never shared their faith or it was the first time since Summer Project. They were encouraged by the younger kids’ faith. Some of these students continue to look for sharing opportunities. Kendra and Lizzie went out to follow up a girl that came to their Bible study. After they went through the Gospel, the girl said she had already trusted Christ when she attended Kendra’s study.

In the coming weeks, Kendra and the teens are planning an outreach that will include students from two different high schools. They are already recruiting high school students to go to the Winter Conference, where they will have a high school student track. And they are making plans to take a group of IUP and high school students on a Student Venture mission to St. Petersburg, Russia in the Spring. College students, a USCM staff, a SV staff and others in the region are all working together to see an exciting ministry among high schools students grow. Please pray many other SV movements will be launched by college students!

Thank You
Helping provide national leadership to Student Venture is a huge honor and responsibility. We see your partnership as being critical. Thank you for your prayers and support!

Grateful for your Partnership,
Howard & Laura Crutsinger

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

April, Prayer Letter Update - Page 1 & 2

Here is our prayer letter for this month featuring:
  • My Dad's New Battle With Cancer
  • SV Leadership Conference
  • Starting SV in College Towns
  • Car Wrecked
  • Benjamin’s 1st B-Day
  • Thank You
click on the images below to enlarge them to a size where you can read them:

click on the images above to enlarge them to a size where you can read them...

Here's the text:
April 2008 Prayer Update New Battle With Cancer
On Dec 13, 2007, I called my dad to wish him happy birthday. He talked about how he must have food poising because of how bad he felt. Two days later, my mom took him to the hospital to see what was causing the vertigo and slurred speech. They first thought it was an inner ear infection, but after running tests, diagnosed him with a one inch tumor in the back of his brain & two other tumors in his lungs. They advised immediate brain surgery as he was just days away death. He has “stage 4 squamous (non-small cell) cell lung cancer”. On Christmas Eve, my dad underwent surgery to remove the brain tumor. The doctors were not sure he’d survive the surgery, so treating the lungs was irrelevant at the time.

Since then, he’s had at least 75 doctor appointments, 5 weeks of daily localized radiation on the brain, then chemo on the lungs, and now 5 more weeks of radiation on the lungs. For a couple of months, every week was filled with more and more unfavorable news... He developed blood clots in his leg that broke loose and went to the lungs, he came down with pneumonia, they found a fracture in his back, and was even diagnosed with sleep apnea. I find comfort that God is the One to determine timelines for life and health, though the stats from some of the doctors are bleak, we are optimistic that he’ll pull through. By God’s grace, he is making small steps of progress.

Please pray that the medical treatments would aggressively attack the cancer with minimal negative side effects. Pray my dad would become a pleasant willing participant in this process. Please also pray for my mom who is exhausted with all of the new caregiving responsibilities, doctors’ appoints, and transportation needs. She is a trooper! Clinging to James 1:2-8; Romans 8:28

SV Leadership Conference
We hosted our annual SV Leadership Conference. I spoke to all of our city leaders about resources that could help them more effectively reach the students on their campuses. The emphasis was on distinguishing the difference between “bible study” and “discipleship”. Our materials must be easily transferable. We have to be strategic in how we raise up the next generation of student leaders, if they are going to become active participants in spiritual multiplication. (2 Timothy 2:2)

Starting SV in College Towns
We finished a creative training resource to walk college students through a “START” process telling how we launch Student Venture on a high school campus. Pray God raises up leaders to open new campuses for thousands of students to hear about Christ. To see the whole booklet, visit:

Car Wrecked
I (Howard) am without a car until I can find a replacement. Laura drove my car since she left the kids at home with me so she could attend a monthly SV women’s meeting. She was waiting at a red light. The light turned green. Laura pulled out. And WHAM! She got side-swiped by a guy who ran the red light. Fortunately she was not hurt, but my car was totaled.

Benjamin’s 1st B-Day
We celebrated Benjamin’s first birthday (Jan 31). We had a small group of friends over to watch him dive into his own smash cake. It was great fun! Benjamin is sooo close to walking. His bright blue eyes and his cackling laugh make us smile.

Cooper got his first haircut, often tackles daddy when he gets home from work, corrects Benjamin when he chews on electrical cords, and loves to play. He’s got enough energy to compete with the Energizer bunny. “More bible, daddy!” is often heard before he’s put to bed - I’m sure it’s his manipulative tactic to stay awake longer, but we take full advantage of it.

Thank You
We are so appreciative for your partnership in our ministry. Your prayers and support enable us to be involved in providing national leadership to Student Venture. We have the best group of staff and interns within SV. I long for the day when kids involved in each of their ministries get to approach you in heaven to thank you for your investment in their lives!

Grateful for your Partnership,
Howard & Laura