You should plan on 7 hours of work to complete the following seven assignments before attending the SRT.
1. Please write your personal and ministry testimonies: One inch margin, single-spaced, 500 words for each testimony, 12 point font, with your name at the top. Please email them to Mike Olejarz by March 22nd.
Your personal testimony (PT) is a description of how you became a follower of Christ. Use Before, How, and After as the sections of your PT. Answer the following: What were you like before you became a follower of Jesus; How did your journey of following Jesus happen? How is your life different after you have become a follower of Jesus? The PT should be ONE page in length.
Your ministry testimony (MT) is a description of who you are, what you want to do, what you need, and should be ONE page in length. See the following example.
I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico as the oldest of three siblings. My family experience was pretty positive as my parents honored their vows to one another, lived out and modeled their beliefs, and taught the three of us to know what we believe and why.
I moved to Boston, MA in August 2008 and have had a very good experience as a student at Boston University. I joined the Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship chapter in the winter of ’09 and it has been a great community for me to be a part of. I met some wonderful people who helped me better integrate faith, studies, work, and career ideas. I enjoyed their support while going through a tough academic program and living a long ways from my family in New Mexico. In many ways, Chi Alpha has been my family while I have been in school.
One reason my experience has been good is the choice I made to serve in student leadership with Chi Alpha the last two years. I realize what a great opportunity we have as students to represent Jesus to our classmates and friends. I have gotten to a place where I know better what the Bible says, what I believe about how I should live my life, and why I should be a faithful steward of my life and talents. I certainly comprehend of how faith in God should affect my values, choices, lifestyle, and career plans.
God has been birthing dreams in my heart about what He wants to do in my life as I approach graduation. I plan to complete my undergraduate degree in business in May. But I have decided to postpone heading into the marketplace for a while. I believe God wants me to consider campus ministry as a career option. To take a step in that direction, I have discussed participating in the CMA program at Boston U (BU). CMA stands for campus missionary associate. It is a chance to stick around BU for a year after graduation and give back as a volunteer staff person.
Gene and Lynn Breitenbach are the Chi Alpha directors at BU and both of them have had a profound impact on my life. I have seen my character refined, self-awareness improved, Bible knowledge deepen, and am a better person overall. Much of that can be credited to the work of God in my life as I have sought to better align my lifestyle with the teachings of Jesus. Gene and Lynn (and many Chi Alpha students) have contributed to my growth as a person through their modeling and helped me figure how to follow Jesus better than I was when I first came to BU.
So I have decided to give a year to serving with Gene and Lynn on the BU Chi Alpha staff team. The cost of this decision is $1200/month. I am responsible to raise the cost of food, housing, insurance, training, etc, from interested friends and family. My goal is to raise the $1200 by August 1, so I can be ready to join the Chi Alpha staff team and students in preparing for the launch of the new school year.
God has already provided one third of my budget! I am currently asking friends in school and all around the United States to consider partnering with me as a financial partner. Several of my classmates are willing to give $50-100 towards this project. By doing this you would not only help me minister to the students coming to BU next year, but you would also help me fulfill the calling of God I sense. Together, both of us could develop a deeper passion for God’s redemptive mission in the lives of college students.
I am excited about investing the next year of my life into reaching students, training leaders, and impacting nations for Jesus.
Grace and peace,
2. Collect 30 digital images: The sorts of pictures you need are of yourself (and your spouse, if applicable), your campus, your current or former Chi Alpha group, images of 3-4 students in various settings, as well as pictures that communicate the need for a witness or demonstration of Christ on campus…a picture of someone you influenced towards faith in Christ, a dorm party, an international student, an outreach to athletes, etc.
When you download the Presentation Album (see #4 below), you will see the sorts of pictures we are asking you to accumulate.
3. Go to www.chialpha.com/srt and watch the intro, five and thirty minute support raising presentations (#1-3).
4. You will select one of the following five Powerpoint/Pages sample presentations and begin to select and place your own photos in the presentation.
First, if you are planning to serve as a Missionary Associate and/or a Give a Year with a Chi Alpha chapter in the United States, download and review the sample Chi Alpha Powerpoint presentation album on your laptop. Feel free to replace any of our photos with your photos, but be sure they match the title and content of the page. Note 1: You can opt not to change most of the pictures, but The Changing Lives picture (slide #7) should be a picture of someone you know and/or helped. Note 2: While you may change photos, do not alter the basic Chi Alpha text on each page.
Second, if you are heading into a Campus Missionary in Training (CMIT) experience this fall, download and review the sample CMIT Powerpoint presentation album from a recent CMIT on your laptop. As stated in the first paragraph, you can use your photos to personalize this presentation for your CMIT assignment. Adjust the text as needed to reflect your CMIT assignment.
Third, if you plan to work with International Students, download and review the sample PowerPoint presentation album from Chi Alpha missionary Karen Keyser on your laptop. As stated in the first paragraph, you can use your photos to personalize Karen’s presentation for your campus assignment. Adjust the Georgetown text as needed to reflect your international student assignment.
Fourth, if you plan to serve overseas as a Missionary Associate or Give a Year, download and review one of the two sample Powerpoint presentation albums from recent Give-a-Year’s on your laptop. As stated in the first paragraph, you can use your photos to personalize the presentation for your assignment. Adjust the text (i.e. country, etc) as needed to reflect your assignment.
Summary, pick one of the templates that best fits your upcoming mission assignment and use your photos to make it communicate who you are and what you are hoping to do. If you are not serving with Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, choose any of the presentations to create your own. Just be sure to use the same titled slide and general page content to set up your new presentation.
We will review your presentation at the SRT and help you sharpen it for use.
5. Be familiar with the various support raising resources at http://chialpha.com/Staff/support-raising-resources.html
6. You need to write five stories to bring with you to the SRT weekend. There are four reason WHY God needs workers on college campuses (or in other mission fields). The four reasons are: 1) Students need to hear the Gospel of Jesus; 2) We want to protect the investment parents and churches have made in training their children to be Christ-followers; 3) We want to reach international students for Christ while they are in America; 4) We want to impact our world by sending Christ-honoring college graduates to influence their communities and the marketplace for Jesus’ Kingdom.
Your task is to write one story for each of the four reasons and bring them with you to the SRT. The short stories (150-200 words) need to illustrate the spiritual battle your campus ministry is trying to solve. The stories don’t need to be from your own experience, but could come from other friends in your small group at school and/or your Chi Alpha chapter. Following are the four reasons and a sample story.
Note: If you are not planning to work with Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, you’ll need to create 4 stories of “why your mission field is critical?” and bring with you.
A. Students Need to Hear the Gospel. Background - Chi Alpha communicates with individuals who would not otherwise encounter our churches. A high percentage of those being won to Christ in Chi Alpha have no previous exposure to the Gospel or the Assemblies of God before coming to Christ. (77% of students involved with Chi Alpha come from non-A/G backgrounds).
Story: Brenna was raised in a broken home in New Hampshire with an alcoholic mother. She got involved in a same-sex attraction relationship and ran away with her lover. Frustrated with pain, loneliness, and an eating disorder, she later went to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She met Melissa, a Chi Alpha student leader who extended friendship, and a listening ear. Brenna got interested in Jesus and soon asked Him for help. Since 2001, Brenna has served Christ as a student leader in Chi Alpha, and leads a ministry for those struggling with same-sex attraction in Boston. She is married to husband Roy (another Chi Alpha student leader from Boston) and they have three children. (117 words)
Action Step: You need to develop one true story (with a picture) that illustrates why God needs workers on college campuses. A few questions that may help you describe why students need to hear about Jesus: What relationships have you developed with pre-Christians on campus? Who have you met that has never heard about the Gospel of Jesus? What is their story?
B. To Protect Our Youth. Background - Chi Alpha protects the investment that parents and churches have made in their youth. We believe an education at a Bible College or Christian College is an excellent choice for many students. However, the reality is that three times as many youth will choose a secular college or university. Parents and churches invest too much time, money, and prayer in its youth to not protect and empower that investment during the critical transitions from home to campus and the campus to the marketplace.
Story: Jake came to college after a healthy youth group experience at a large church. He joined a fraternity and started to drift into the party scene. Fortunately, Mike had a Bible study in that Greek house (and many others), and connected with Jake early on. After a scary experience involving alcohol during his second year of college, Jake approached Mike and said he needed help finding his way back to God. Mike and several Christians in that fraternity assisted Jake in learning to walk in the light. Jake used his last few years as a student to disciple several guys in his fraternity. He works as an engineer and continues to pass on the teachings of Jesus to others. (119 words)
Action Step: You need to develop one true story (with a picture) that illustrates why God needs workers on college campuses. A few questions that may help you describe why we need to assist Christian young people to grow in Christ while at college: Who have you met that came to college as a Christian, but fell away from their faith? What is their story?
C. To Reach International Students. Background - Chi Alpha serves international students, a core missions calling for the Church. Historically, we see the increase in the blessing of God when we focus on influencing the peoples of the world. More than 700,000 international students and scholars from almost every nation are studying on American campuses. George Barna says international ministry is “an opportunity of a lifetime.” International students speak English, want to make an American friend, and want to learn about our culture and our religion. These students are at our doorstep.
Story: Buyiswa came to Wellesley College (Hillary Clinton's alma mater) from South Africa. She was, in her own words, a lukewarm follower of Jesus, even after being raised in a Christian family. Through Mike's efforts, her older brother encouraging her, a lot of prayer, Holy Spirit insistence, and her eventual submission and willingness, she dedicated her life to His service. She led the Chi Alpha chapter at her school, influenced many ladies for Christ through a weekly Bible study as well as intentional conversations among her classmates. She returned home (after medical school in London, England), where she serves as a doctor. (101 words)
Action Step: You need to develop one true story (with a picture) that illustrates why God needs workers on college campuses. A few questions that may help you describe why we need to do foreign missions in reverse: What challenges do international students have to face when coming to America? What is God’s desire for these visitors? What is their story?
D. To Reach Our Future Leaders. Background - Chi Alpha works in our world’s most influential institution, the college and university campus and reaches future leaders for Christ. The social, scientific and spiritual theories of today’s campuses will become the accepted norm for tomorrow’s grade schools, businesses and television programs. What America is and what it will become is directly related to what happens on its university campuses. As a nation’s young leaders go, so goes the future of the nation.
Story - Scott came from a strong and stable Methodist family where his father was a influential lawyer in town. Scott's older sister Lisa had a transformational experience with Chi Alpha on campus in the early 1980's when Mike O invited her to Chi Alpha and church. Scott followed Lisa to school and got involved with Chi Alpha where he deepened his faith experience and strengthened what he believed and why. He added much needed confidence in handling objections to the Gospel of Jesus and an ability to handle hard questions. Scott graduated with honors and followed his father into the practice of law, eventually taking over the family practice. (108 words).
Action Step: You need to develop one true story (with a picture) that illustrates why God needs workers on college campuses. A few questions that may help you describe why today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders: What types of leaders are being educated on your campus? Describe the potential of a student leaving campus as a Christ-honoring follower? What is their story?
E. One Final Story You Need to write and bring to the SRT is about a “Changed Life.” One of the most powerful ways to communicate your vision is with a testimony of a changed life. Be sure to watch the short videos on the Media page for tips on seeing the Lord help you raise your mission budget and build a support team.
Action Step: You need to create one true story from your ministry about a student who has been transformed by God (and have a nice picture of him or her in your presentation). If you are new to Chi Alpha and do not have any stories of your own, then borrow one from a friend. What is their story?
Story: Stacia came to school committed to living for Christ and influencing her friends towards Jesus. She was a bit shocked to see the spiritual apathy in many Christians she met, as well as a lazy, intellectual-sounding indifference in many non-Christians towards Jesus and his teachings. We joined together to fast and pray for divine boldness as well as divine appointments as Stacia sought to connect with each person on her dorm floor. Her neighbor Taylor admitted he did not know anything about Jesus, so Stacia asked him to read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis one weekend, then discuss it. He agreed and came to Stacia on Monday to announce that early Monday morning he decided to put his faith, hope, and trust in Jesus. Imagine the praise God heard when Stacia heard how God revealed himself to Taylor and he decided to repent and believe.
This is a little glimpse into our campus ministry and why I am excited about helping more Stacia’s influence more Taylor’s for Christ!
BRING WITH YOU to the SRT: Your laptop, your sample presentation, the extra digital pictures not yet used in your presentation, pen, pencil, and three different colored highlighters.