Traveling Team Reports
In March of 1999, we featured an article in the Student Mobilizer by Tucker Jamison. He wrote of The Traveling Team's vision, one that is worked out through on-campus visits, hoping to ignite a passion for mission. With a full schedule behind them (and another full year ahead) we thought it would be appropriate to touch base with the Traveling Team. Learn more on the web: www.thetravelingteam.org.
Deanne Van Slyke, Hendrix College
"Hey! I just wanted to thank you again for talking with me last week when you were at Hendrix. God has been showing me some awesome things about Himself since then. I took your advice and went through my Bible looking up verses with the words 'nations' and 'world.' Wow."
Setting the South Aflame, The Traveling Team: (front from left) Piper Black, Stephanie Hughes, Jessica and Tucker Jamison, Amanda Hendrix, (back from left) Squid Falkner, Rebecca and Claude Hickman.
Jason Ridings, Kansas University
"The team and I sat down one afternoon in our Student Union, and they started unfolding scripture after scripture from the Old and New Testaments, they revealed to me what was always there. God's heart for the world. I live for a different purpose and with a fresh new perspective since the weekend God used this virtually unknown ministry."
A Fixed Vision, A Van on the Move - Piper Black
While the location of the Traveling Team van is constantly changing, the vision and passion of The Traveling Team remains the same: to raise up World Christians and Campus Mobilizers on the college campuses of the world. Last year we presented the Biblical basis for missions to over 11,000 college students in 87 large group meetings in 9 states. We had opportunity to meet one-to-one with 600 of these students. During our time with them, we talked to students about where they were in their walk with Christ, and challenged them to become a World Christian, and ultimately a Campus Mobilizer.
Because the amount of time and staff we have to spend working individually with students on a regular basis is limited, we want to be as strategic as possible with whom we invest our time and resources. All of the 600 students who had one-on-one follow-up have been, and will continue to be, challenged to grow into World Christians and Campus Mobilizers by monthly accountability, e-mails, retreats and resources on our website. Out of the 600 students we met with, 280 have take active steps toward becoming World Christians and mobilizers on their campus. These we have placed in our "Focus Group".
Students in our Focus Group receive more personal attention from our staff by way of letters, phone calls, and personal visits when possible. Our desire is to develop a friendship with each of these students and equip them to mobilize students on their campus. We will provide them with resources toward this end, and continue to challenge them to go deeper in their walk with Christ.
One of the opportunities available to all students who desire to grow and be equipped is our seven-week summer project. There were 18 participants in this summer's project. During these weeks spent in Los Angeles, California, the students take the Perspectives course. They are also exposed to the various religions and cultures represented in Los Angeles through temple visits, speakers and outreach.
This upcoming school year we will be traveling to Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Florida. If you are interested in scheduling The Traveling Team for a conference, retreat, or campus meeting contact us at: [email protected] Pray that God will stir the hearts of students to embrace His heart for the nations.
Piper Black serves on The Traveling Team as office and traveling staff.
The Goal and How to Get There
The goal. What is the goal of mobilization? I have been asking this question a lot lately. especially since we have just ended our first year of traveling. Most of us are familiar with the end goal: reaching every tongue, tribe, and nation. But how do we get there from here? As mobilizers, what is it that we want students to do? Cross an ocean? Reach out to internationals? Pray for the world? These all are great things, however, we do not want to mobilize students to a single activity. If we do, they go back to life as usual once the activity is completed. Instead, we should mobilize them to a change of perspective, so that no matter where they are or what they are doing they are now World Christians. When they come home from the summer missions trip they know they are not done. It is not a geographical issue, but a heart issue. A World Christian understands that God's heart is for the world and no matter where they find themselves on the planet they are furthering His Kingdom. The vision that they took hold of has now taken hold of them. Because it is the World Christians who will make a difference in reaching every tongue, tribe, and nation we as mobilizers must see it as our goal to raise them up.
So how do you raise up World Christians? There are three things needed in order to do this. They must be given motivation, information, and a lot of attention.
Motivation. Millions of Christian students pass casually through four of the most important years of their life. Many are involved in college ministries and yet vision for the uttermost parts is absent. Why? "Without vision the people perish" (Prov. 29:18). We must understand that very few students have been introduced to the fact that three billion souls are without Christ. Even fewer students realize that their lives can be used to impact the eternal destiny of these people. Everything in our culture says, "Look out for number one!" Students lack vision and they need people to speak it into their lives. We need to be people who can motivate students by sounding the trumpet that life is about more than just themselves. Whether it is through a speaker at a campus meeting or conference, through a discipler or friends, the student is exposed to God's heart for the world. Motivation is always the first step of mobilization.
Information. We cannot stop there. Without information, motivation has a tendency to be just a good talk from a speaker with a neat personality. If all we give the students is motivation, we run the risk of creating "zeal without knowledge"(Prov. 19:2). I myself am a product of a good speaker that left me with no tools. If only he had given me a small amount of follow up, I would have been saved from years of struggle! As I travel from campus to campus, I see this same problem recurring. If we can follow students up with information regarding mission agencies, prayer resources, magazines, definitions for terms like "welcomer," "goer" or "mobilizer," etc., then they will be better equipped to start taking steps. The information is already out there, let's put it in their hands.
Attention. Even after information is given, we still may see very few World Christians raised up. There are plenty of case studies of students who have motivation and information yet they still do nothing. Why is this? Because everything around them is pulling for their passion, time, and resources. I am amazed, personally, at how much I can forget in just one night of sleep. Students are no different. They desperately need personal attention. The best person to give personal attention is the one discipling them. Unfortunately, many students are not being discipled so it falls on us as mobilizers to provide some of the needed attention through establishing relationships and various channels of communication. As difficult as it is to pull this task off, there will never be a substitute for providing attention to college students after the motivation and information has been delivered.
So what is the goal? Ultimately, the goal is to see the Lord praised in every nation. However, to get there we need to raise up and equip World Christians through motivation, information, and attention. If that goal is met effectively, we will see a mighty movement of ready laborers to finish the Great Commission in our generation.