New Year, New Vision

Anna Marie Magyar Advisors & Student Leaders, Event Ideas, Leadership, Personal Development, Planning, Resources 0 Comments

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” -Isaiah 43:19

Hello, friend! I hope this blog finds you well and with a great big cup of coffee! I would be dishonest if I did not share with you that as I write this it is currently 8:00 at night, and I am enjoying the most delicious vanilla sweet cream cold brew!

As a sixth grade teacher and a volunteer serving in college ministry, the summer presents itself as an invaluable time. I am intentional to rest and recuperate, but also in preparation for the new school year. I begin to pray and ask the Lord what new and exciting things He will do. I celebrate as I recall His marvelous works the year prior, and recount the ways He provided, opened doors I thought were sealed shut, and gave us opportunities I could not have asked nor dreamt of.

I also bring to the Lord the areas I may need wisdom in, situations I felt were challenging, and things I feel we need to do differently or completely get rid of. Without failure, the Lord meets me in this time of dreaming and visioning for the new year. I am filled with a new hope, new excitement and joy, and a new vision for how we can show the unconditional and unimaginable love of our God to our campus.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” -James 1:5

As the topic for this blog began brewing in my mind, I was reminded of James 1:5. For so many of us, we expect the same from the Lord that we have received or encountered with people. Circumstances with influential people in our lives begin to influence the lens through which we see our Heavenly Father. It becomes easy, even natural, to question if we deserve what we seek from the Lord, or if Jesus is truly faithful to give as generously and freely as He has promised.

It is for this reason I am so thankful for the Word, and the wisdom James received and shared. The Lord is faithful to give to you generously and without finding fault; not because He gains anything, but because He made you, He loves you, and He is pleased with you. If you question this, I challenge you to put it into practice. Seek the Lord, be open to Him doing a new thing, and watch as He amazes you with His faithfulness.

I am so excited for the new things the Lord will do this year. I am seeking Him as I embark on the new challenge at my job in doing math centers to improve learning opportunities for my students. Excitement fills me as the leaders and advisers of Saint Rose BASIC begin a whole new structure to our weekly meeting schedule (read on below if you are interested to see what this format will be). And I am filled with joy and wonder in the new thing the Lord has for you!

My friend, I want to encourage you that there is new vision for your future, your family and your life. The Lord promises to do a new thing, and I believe that is possible for you regardless of your season of life. I pray you seek His face diligently knowing that although change may seem difficult at times, you have a God who is so passionate about you that He would never leave you nor forsake you in the midst of these changes (Deuteronomy 31:6 and Hebrews 13:5).

Saint Rose Basic Meeting Schedule: Fall 2017

Starting in the fall, we will run our meetings in a four week rotation, as follows:

Week 1: Meeting will include a worship set of three songs and a message from an in-house speaker, like our advisor. A student leader will be asked to take notes on the message to share a summary of at the next week’s meeting.

Week 2: We will have worship, most likely a shorter set to account for time, and then the student leader who took notes the week prior will come up to briefly share a summary of week one’s message. This is done so that anyone who missed the week prior will not be left out of the small group discussions we will be transitioning to after the summary. Small groups will be led by student leaders who will have focus questions that will build off the week prior. We will end our meeting with a social activity of some kind.

Week 3: During this week, we will have a typical worship set of three songs, and a guest speaker. The plan is to get guest speakers from our sponsor church to help our students get even more connected.

Week 4: On the final week, we plan to have a fun get-together. We chose to incorporate this into our meeting schedule for several reasons. Firstly, many of our members already plan to attend the BASIC meetings Thursday nights. Trying to plan an event on another evening often loses several people who can’t come because of classes or other commitments. Additionally, our leaders work so hard and pour so much of themselves into the bi-weekly leaders meetings, weekly BASIC meetings, getting together with students, and their own personal to-do lists and responsibilities. Oftentimes planning additional events on top of this can be too much for our leaders. We’re making this change to avoid burnout in our leaders, and to prevent what is supposed to be a good thing becoming a burden upon them.

Words cannot express how excited I am with the changes we are making! I hope to update you on the progress of this shift in the future. 

About the Author

Anna Marie Magyar

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Wife. Cat mom. Lover of Jesus, coffee, and all things Disney. I was a student leader in my BASIC group at the College of St. Rose and have continued to help out with the group after graduating.

Reading on the Regular

Ryan Raflowski Advisors & Student Leaders 0 Comments

Real leadership is easily observable. Strong leaders have a way of inspiring the people around them in a sense that makes them want to follow. That’s leadership in its purest form, right? A leader has followers. If you are leading and no one else is following then you are simply taking a walk. I digress.

The best of leaders have a commanding presence and a group of people that seek to follow or learn from them. They probably seem pretty well put together from the outside looking in. But behind the flashing lights and the smoke machine is some dedication, determination, and hard work. Leaders take personal and spiritual development very seriously. They are committed to it and are determined to make it a priority.

Harry S. Truman once said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

The best of leaders have many great habits—one of these habits is reading. Reading is a means of helping a leader develop and improve. A leader who reads is one who recognizes that they need to sharpen their minds and build off of what they know. It is important for the leader to continue his or her own development in order to stay relevant. In full disclosure, I do not mean that leaders need to be trendy or know the latest slang—but I do see a constantly changing society and young people with new ideas, beliefs, obstacles, and attitudes. If a leader is to reach younger individuals then learning about their culture is a requirement.

Learning is essential for the leader.

Here are but a few reasons that leaders should read:

1) Inspiration

Reading can lift us up out of our current situations and provide us with fresh inspiration. We can identify meaningful ideas and strategies from others. It can also help us see the greater picture and not just what lies before us.

2) Expertise

Authors of books can generally be considered experts in their area. They typically have some type of background of knowledge and speak from a place of personal experience. Their experiences are valuable to us because we can learn from them. Why muddle through life making a myriad of mistakes when you can learn from the experiences of others? We can build off of the knowledge provided by these experts.

3) Mental Getaway

If anything, reading is a healthy way to escape from the demands of life for a short while. Reading has a way of challenging our imagination in ways that “Netflix & chill”-ing cannot do. We set the stage and picture the stories in our own minds.

4) Resource

Leaders come across obstacle after obstacle. We need to be building a bank full of strategies that we can draw upon when these situations arise. Further, when you work with people (which most of us do being in ministry), you often need to have some answers for them. Or at the very least know where to point them in the right direction. Life has many developmental struggles (i.e. finances, relationship issues, career stress, etc.) but then there are other unique situations (i.e. sexual identity, grief, self-harm, etc.) that call for some higher-level knowledge or expertise. Let’s be a resource when those situations arise. Or at least know the right direction to point them.

About the Author

Ryan Raflowski

Ryan is a school psychologist and co-advisor for the BASIC Chapter at SUNY Oswego. He desires to see a generation of young people recognize God's purpose and plan for their life. He tries to live "Kingdom-minded" and longs to see revival fire sweep across college campuses. You could probably find him walking around town playing Pokémon Go with his wife Kdee or indoors with their two cats Oliver and Lupin.

BASIC Live - Free online ministry leadership training

Free Ministry Leadership Training

Chris Zeigler Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development, Planning, Resources 0 Comments

One of the biggest challenges in ministry, and especially college ministry, is the challenge of raising up solid leaders. In college ministry it’s an ongoing process because of the high rate of turnover. So, when you do find leaders how do you train them and get them prepared for ministry in the fall?

It’s because of these challenges that I’m really excited to tell you about our 5th annual leadership event, BASIC Live, coming up on April 22nd. This year we have an incredible lineup of speakers. The even better part is, this training is completely free and you can view it online from wherever you’d like or join a Hot Spot in your area to watch with other leaders!

If you can’t join us the day of, there’s a way to sign up to watch afterwards. On April 22nd, the broadcast starts at 1 PM eastern time and will run till about 4 PM with breaks in between sessions. The Hot Spots start at noon with lunch provided.

Throughout the day we’ll be hearing from speakers like Onterio Green, young adult pastor at Bishop T.D. Jakes’ church. We’ll also hear from life coach Cindy Scott who will share coaching tips for working in teams and about how God has designed us. And there are so many others who will speak on topics of worship, raising up student leaders, discipleship and general leadership principles. 

It’s going to be an incredible event! To learn more, find a Hot Spot near you and to register check out the BASIC Live page.

About the Author

Chris Zeigler

Twitter

Chris Zeigler is the Assistant Director of BASIC. He was a student leader with BASIC at the SUNY Oswego campus and has never lost his heart for college students since then. He and his wife, Cheryl, have started BASIC groups at three colleges in NY. Outside of work you can hear him talking about his reluctant love for the Oakland Raiders, see him using his iPhone to get "the perfect shot" to feed his love for photography and playing with his adorable kids.

Learning More About Your Leadership Team

Learning About Your Leadership Team

Chris Zeigler Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development, Resources 0 Comments

Sometimes working on a team can be hard. When a group of people who have different ways of thinking and different personalities try to come together the result can be messy at times. But what if your team had a better understanding of how and why each person operates the way they do?

If you’ve ever thought things like, “why does John respond that way when I try to encourage him?” or “why can’t everyone just see the value of my ideas?” then a personality workshop could be perfect for you and your team. Back in January our staff participated in a personality workshop held by life coach Cindy Scott.

Cindy is an amazing leader who God has given great insight into how we’re wired and how we can work better together. God designed us all to be different. Often we see the way people differ from us as a negative instead of a positive. Or, on the other hand, we hold others in such a high regard that we try to be more like them instead of being who God created us to be.

It is so important for us to learn why God has created each person so unique and when we learn more about the unique ways He created us it also helps us better determine the purposes and callings He has for our lives. One thing Cindy said that stood out to me is that when you try to be someone you’re not it’s just as awkward as trying to write with the opposite hand.

As Cindy talked us through the different personality types and determining which personality traits each one of us has, it helped us start to better understand ourselves and each other. Not only was it helpful in improving how we work together, but it also helped us become more aware of ourselves and why we do what we do.

I’d encourage you to contact Cindy and plan a personality workshop for your team. She can do them in person or online via video conferencing. She has some other great resources as well like her Soul Care and Life on Purpose workshops. You can find out more information and get in touch with her by visiting her website.

I’m also excited that Cindy will be one of our speakers for BASIC Live this year. Cindy did a session a number of years back at one of our leadership events and everyone raved about it. For BASIC Live she’s going to do two teachings. One will teach us coaching techniques and the other will cover her Destiny By Design series. If you’re not familiar with BASIC Live, it’s our free leadership training event that is streamed online. You can go here to find out more information and get signed up.

I’m excited to hear all that God does as you take steps to learn more about yourself and the leaders He’s given you!

 

About the Author

Chris Zeigler

Twitter

Chris Zeigler is the Assistant Director of BASIC. He was a student leader with BASIC at the SUNY Oswego campus and has never lost his heart for college students since then. He and his wife, Cheryl, have started BASIC groups at three colleges in NY. Outside of work you can hear him talking about his reluctant love for the Oakland Raiders, see him using his iPhone to get "the perfect shot" to feed his love for photography and playing with his adorable kids.

17 Books to Read for 2017

17 Books To Read In 2017

Chris Zeigler Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development, Resources 2 Comments

So, you made a New Year’s resolution to read more or to be more intentional about learning. Or maybe you didn’t make that resolution. I won’t hold it against you. Either way, I’ve found that reading is a great way to jump start my brain and help me learn from those with different experiences and perspectives. It’s like getting mentorship from a well known leader while never having to leave your couch.

There’s so many good books out there that I couldn’t possibly include them all, but here’s a list of 17 (chosen to fit the theme of 2017) that I think could help you as a ministry leader. These are not arranged in any particular order, but I have separated them into books that are specific to campus ministry and those that are on the topic of general leadership and personal development.

Campus Ministry Specific:

The Fuel and The Flame: 10 Keys to Ignite Your College Campus for Jesus Christ by Steve Shadrach

Generation Ex-Christian: Why Young Adults Are Leaving the Faith. . . and How to Bring Them Back by Drew Dyck

God on Campus: Sacred Causes & Global Effects by Trent Sheppard and Pete Greig

College Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture by Stephen Lutz

General Leadership & Personal Development:

Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and Jon David Mann

Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters by Jon Acuff

Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney by Lee Cockerell

Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones

Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson

Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You by John Maxwell

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Seven Practices of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner and Lane Jones

This list is by no means comprehensive, but these are some of the ones that I’ve found very helpful over the years. I hope that you find some good ones on this list that can help you too. Happy reading! 

About the Author

Chris Zeigler

Twitter

Chris Zeigler is the Assistant Director of BASIC. He was a student leader with BASIC at the SUNY Oswego campus and has never lost his heart for college students since then. He and his wife, Cheryl, have started BASIC groups at three colleges in NY. Outside of work you can hear him talking about his reluctant love for the Oakland Raiders, see him using his iPhone to get "the perfect shot" to feed his love for photography and playing with his adorable kids.

Top 10 Posts Of 2016

Top 10 Posts Of 2016

Chris Zeigler Advertising & Recruiting, Advisors & Student Leaders, Evangelism, Event Ideas, Leadership, Personal Development, Planning, Resources, Social Media, Technology 0 Comments

With a new year right around the corner we like to take a look back at the top posts from this year. We appreciate you taking the time to read the blog this year. We know that there are plenty of resources available to leaders and we’re honored that you have chosen us. Our goal is to empower you to take your ministry to the next level and we hope that what our team shares has helped you do that.

Before we close out 2016 here’s a look back at the top 10 posts from this past year determined by how many times they were viewed.

  1. Fun Idea For Meetings: Interactive Trivia Games

    This idea incorporates a fun trivia game that anyone can set up and run for free. You could have it be a fun activity leading up to your meeting or as a way to break up the night.

  2. Why Everyone Should Pray To Be Baptized In The Holy Spirit

    There’s a lot of different perspectives on the third member of the Trinity and His role today. This post breaks down misconceptions about the Holy Spirit and explains why having Him in our lives is so important.

  3. Intentional Leadership Education & Training

    This was a guest post from Ryan Raflowski, a leader at the SUNY Oswego BASIC group. He shares about a workshop series they put together to communicate more intentionally with their group leading up to the election of student leaders.

  4. Rejoice In The Middle

    In life, we can allow ourselves to be disappointed with the process of becoming. Sometimes we need help to refocus our gaze from the struggle and circumstances we are in to the greatness and faithfulness of Him who called us.

  5. 16 Inspirational Quotes for 2016

    This post is exactly as advertised – 16 quick quotes that we gave you to kick off 2016. If you keep an eye out you might pick up on a theme next week.

  6. How Anyone Can Do Great Graphic Design For Free

    Great graphic design is hard to come by and often costs a lot of money. But it doesn’t have to. Here are some free resources that can take the headache and hassle out of designing something for your ministry.

  7. Authenticity In The Age Of Duplicity

    Students have been taught to question everything and they do. In this ever changing time, students long for some stability and authenticity. Let’s lead them to the most authentic love they will ever encounter.

  8. The Why Behind What We Do

    This short post from Sam DiStefano is a great reminder of the effect campus ministry has had on history and why it’s so important.

  9. 3 Practical Ways To Activate Your Prayer Life

    Prayer is something we all know we should do more of, but often it gets overlooked. Most of us have a desire to pray more, but saying it and actually doing it are two different things. Here are some practical ways to increase your prayer life.

  10. How To Be A Leader Amal Zeidan shares about how the secular leadership principles from the book The Ten Golden Rules Of Leadership have a Biblical foundation that can also apply to those leading in a Christian context.

So, those are the top 10 posts from 2016 all collected in one place so you can easily catch up on anything you missed. Thanks for reading and have a happy New Year!

About the Author

Chris Zeigler

Twitter

Chris Zeigler is the Assistant Director of BASIC. He was a student leader with BASIC at the SUNY Oswego campus and has never lost his heart for college students since then. He and his wife, Cheryl, have started BASIC groups at three colleges in NY. Outside of work you can hear him talking about his reluctant love for the Oakland Raiders, see him using his iPhone to get "the perfect shot" to feed his love for photography and playing with his adorable kids.

About the Author

Chris Zeigler

Twitter

Chris Zeigler is the Assistant Director of BASIC. He was a student leader with BASIC at the SUNY Oswego campus and has never lost his heart for college students since then. He and his wife, Cheryl, have started BASIC groups at three colleges in NY. Outside of work you can hear him talking about his reluctant love for the Oakland Raiders, see him using his iPhone to get "the perfect shot" to feed his love for photography and playing with his adorable kids.

Fix Our Eyes

Sam DiStefano Leadership, Personal Development 0 Comments

If we are honest, sometimes life just feels like it is too much. Too much to handle, too much to carry, too much to feel, too much to figure out. The weight of our circumstances can hang heavy on our hearts. It’s a universal feeling affecting God’s people from the very beginning.

I don’t know what it is for you. I don’t know what season you are working through and what mountains are before you. I don’t know if it is waiting, or risking, or changing that is next for you. I find myself in a season of pressing and of pain. I find myself in a season where there seems to be more questions hanging around then answers. And when my heart and my head went dizzy trying to figure it all out, God spoke something so simple and sweet.

Fix your eyes on me.

It was only five words, but they brought me to my knees. It was stern but soft. This is the call; when you are afraid, when you are anxious, when you are unsure, lift your head and take the time to meditate on who your God is.

The God who is wise beyond our understanding and perfect in all of His ways.

He is the God who makes no mistakes. Paul writes in Romans 11:33, “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and His ways!”

The God who is good. ALWAYS.

Exodus 34:6 says, “The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” He defines goodness for us. He assures us in Romans 8:28 that even our pain is good: “God causes ALL things to work together for good to those who love Him.”

The God who is unchanging.

What God has said and who He is cannot be changed. We have peace and security in this reality. He hasn’t given up, He doesn’t change his mind. “For I am the Lord, I do not change.” Malachi 3:6

The God who is powerful and in control.

Jeremiah 32:17 says, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.” God is a good King. He has all authority and all control and uses it for His glory. He is working in your life and nothing is too big or too hard for God to overcome.

The God who is faithful.

Perhaps the truth I have clung to most closely in this season. God will never leave or forsake you and nothing you do can change His mind. Deuteronomy 7:9 says, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.”

Something powerful happens in the human heart when we acknowledge the Lord for who He is. It is when we stop frantically looking at our problems and fix our eyes on Him that peace replaces anxiety, assurance replaces doubt, and overwhelming love replaces fear. He is with you, He is for you. Fix your eyes on Him.

About the Author

Sam DiStefano

Twitter

Sam DiStefano went to school at SUNY Geneseo and earned a degree in Childhood with Special Education. It was at college, through BASIC, that she learned what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. In June 2014, she joined on staff with BASIC and planted a chapter at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY that fall. BASIC has deeply affected Sam’s life and she feels called to help other students experience freedom and hope in Christ.

College Is More Than Just Staying Christian

Chris Zeigler Advisors & Student Leaders, Personal Development 0 Comments

Kent MurawskiThis week’s post is a guest post written by Kent Murawski. Kent is a father, husband, author and the lead pastor of Journey Church in Cambridge, MA (jcboston.org). Journey Church is a young church in one of the most influential areas of the United States. Home to Harvard and MIT, Cambridge is like no other place on earth. Prior to launching Journey Church, Kent was the Executive Director of BASIC from 2005-2009.

Fall is an exciting time of year. It’s back to school time and you might find yourself in one of several transitions. Maybe you’re just starting college, you have a year or two of college under your belt, or you’re done with college and considering grad school or the workforce. Here’s the most important question if you are a follower of Jesus: How are you doing spiritually?

Statistics tell us 70% of young adults between the ages of 18-23 stop attending church regularly for at least a year, even if they were active youth group attendees and leaders. Furthermore, only two-thirds ever return to the church, albeit sporadically.[i]

God doesn’t just want you to survive college with your faith intact. He wants you to thrive! Ask yourself a couple of questions: Would you deem it a failure if you went through college and didn’t grow academically? In the same way, wouldn’t it also be a tragedy if you went through college and didn’t grow spiritually – or worse yet, lost your faith altogether?

The goal isn’t to make it to the end of your college career limping over the finish line and thankful you barely made it out alive. The goal is to come out with a stronger faith than when you went in. College can be a deeply formative time in your relationship with God, and it’s also a time when many significant moves of God began throughout history.

Do It Again, Lord

Take Yale for example. Yale University has been the birthplace of many revivals over the years. During Timothy Dwight’s tenure (grandson of Jonathan Edwards) as the president of Yale, they experienced several moves of God that not only spread to the community, but to other universities as well.

For example, in 1802 a spiritual revival occurred that “shook the institution to its center.” Of the 230 students enrolled at Yale, about one-third were powerfully converted and nearly half of these went into full-time ministry! Yale experienced 12 similar periods of revival between 1815 and 1841, with the revival of 1831 being very noteworthy as 900 people in the surrounding community of New Haven were converted as well.[ii]

Navigating Transitions

Transitions are a proving ground. They leave you feeling vulnerable, unsure of yourself, and slightly off-balance. They can be disorienting as you chart new territory and pioneer new ground. Like any new thing, transitions are scary and exhilarating at the same time, but in the end there is always a choice. Will you lean into your relationship with Christ or will you trust in your own understanding to get you through?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

Here are three ideas that will help you successfully navigate this challenging but important transition:

  1. Choose the right friends. I’ve heard it said, when God wants to bless us, He brings someone into our lives, and when the enemy wants to hurt us, He brings someone into our lives. The Scriptures tell us that, “Whoever walks with the wise will become wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Proverbs 13:20, ESV).

Who you surround yourself with will in large part determine your trajectory throughout college, so choose wisely. One of the best ways you can do that is to find a great campus ministry. That way you start with a pool of people who share similar passions and convictions. Don’t wait to find like-hearted people who will partner with you in your walk with Christ. Do it now!

  1. Be rooted and planted in God’s house. Though I love campus ministries, plugging into a vibrant campus group isn’t enough, and your campus ministry shouldn’t be a replacement for a local church. Sooner or later, you will graduate college and begin a much longer phase of your life. It’s called adulthood. In this phase of life, the church – not a campus ministry – will become the major vehicle of spiritual growth and relationships in your life. Why not learn how to navigate church while you are in college? Where else can you find grandmas and grandpas, moms and dads, married couples, and single young adults in the stage of life where you will soon be?

Picture the local church as a greenhouse. In order for trees and plants to flourish, they need the right soil and to have the right amount of water and sunlight.

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. (Psalm 92:12-13 NKJV)

I came to Christ in college, but I really didn’t grow that much. Why? Because I didn’t connect with a vibrant local church. After college, God led me to a great local church and guess what? I flourished.

  1. Don’t put your relationship with God on the back burner. Your relationship with God is the most important thing about you. It defines you. You are a child of God. He is your Father. What could be more important than that? This is your highest identity. If you are going to thrive in the transition from high school to college and beyond, your relationship with God needs to be a priority, more than school, extracurricular activities, or anything else.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NIV)

Not only is your identity found in your relationship with Christ, but it is the source of anything of eternal value that comes from your life. As you hang out with God, fruit will grow from every branch. Let this sink in:

Our highest call is not to do for God; our highest call is to be with God.

The Transition Book

This is why I wrote the book, The Transition: Thriving Spiritually from High School to College and Beyond. God never intended for you to survive college. He longs for you to thrive through this and every other transition.

In The Transition, I unpack practical lessons as well as deep spiritual truths to help you flourish as you move from high school to college and beyond. You will be equipped to:

  • Understand how God has stirred young people throughout history to bring spiritual awakening
  • Build a strong foundation by going back to the basics
  • Discover who you are in Christ
  • Develop healthy relationships that will help you on your spiritual journey
  • Grow in practical wisdom needed for this stage of life
  • Find and fulfill your purpose

Get Chapter 1 for Free!

The book will be available for pre-order in November. To get the latest updates on the book as well as life-giving leadership content, subscribe to my blog.

Those who pre-order the book (and email the receipt to kentmurawski@gmail.com), will receive several helpful resources, including:

  1. Rest Assured: Seven Days to Sanity, Stillness and the Sabbath You Need (e-book)
  2. Video interviews with three top leaders of this generation
  • Jonathan Burgio – director of BASIC College Ministries
  • John Decker – director of Believers College Prep
  • Tommy McGreggor – author, speaker, and veteran transitions coach

[i] http://www.lifeway.com/Article/LifeWay-Research-finds-reasons-18-to-22-year-olds-drop-out-of-church
[ii] Michael F. Gleason, When God Walked On Campus (Joshua Press, 2002), 26

About the Author

Chris Zeigler

Twitter

Chris Zeigler is the Assistant Director of BASIC. He was a student leader with BASIC at the SUNY Oswego campus and has never lost his heart for college students since then. He and his wife, Cheryl, have started BASIC groups at three colleges in NY. Outside of work you can hear him talking about his reluctant love for the Oakland Raiders, see him using his iPhone to get "the perfect shot" to feed his love for photography and playing with his adorable kids.

Baby learning to crawl. Don't give up.

Don’t Give Up

Chris Zeigler Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development 0 Comments

I remember, not so long ago, when my children were babies and learning to crawl. With each one their determination was impressive. I’d watch as they wiggled to get their legs underneath their body, then as they struggled to do a mini baby push up to lift themselves into position.

Just that alone was quite the workout and it took time for them to build up the necessary muscles so they could hold that position. I crawled around the floor of our living room demonstrating to them how to move your arms and legs.

The next few days (or weeks) was a combination of grunting noises, lots of drool, time spent cheering them on and too much crying. But they didn’t give up. Sure, they got tired at times and collapsed out of exhaustion, but after a rest they would come back just as determined as before to figure this thing out.

Over time, they learned how to put together the right motions to get going on their own. When that happened it was an exciting day in our home as we cheered them on. Some time later we would repeat the process as they learned to walk. With another daughter on the way this summer I look forward to being a part of this process again.

Sometimes college ministry can be like learning to crawl. It takes so much effort to feel like you’re getting your legs under you, just to collapse in exhaustion.

It’s frustrating when you’ve labored in prayer and planning to see only 5 people show up to an event. It’s challenging when students fight with each other over petty issues. It can be hard to pick yourself back up just as determined when that student you poured your time into turned against the ministry and spread false rumors about you around campus.

As we come to the end of the school year you might be wondering if you can still do college ministry. You might feel like you’ve got nothing left in you. You might feel like no one is cheering you on. But remember that you’re making an impact and the enemy will do anything he can to stop you.

Just like a father cheering on a baby trying to crawl, your Father is cheering you on. Don’t give up just because it’s a struggle.

Don’t let discouragement stop you. Don’t let exhaustion beat you. Take a break and get away. But then, come back more determined than ever to reach the goals God has given you. With the muscles you’ve developed and the things you’ve learned you’ll find yourself making progress.

You’ll know how to handle the students who gave you trouble. How to encourage the ones who struggle with building friendships. How to bring victory to those who thought they couldn’t get over an addiction.

Just like a baby needs to go from crawling to walking, you’ll face more challenges. But when you do you’ll have experience to take them head on and you’ll see new growth as a result.

Don’t give up. There’s lives He wants you to touch. He’s put you on that campus for a reason and He has plans to advance His Kingdom there!

 

About the Author

Chris Zeigler

Twitter

Chris Zeigler is the Assistant Director of BASIC. He was a student leader with BASIC at the SUNY Oswego campus and has never lost his heart for college students since then. He and his wife, Cheryl, have started BASIC groups at three colleges in NY. Outside of work you can hear him talking about his reluctant love for the Oakland Raiders, see him using his iPhone to get "the perfect shot" to feed his love for photography and playing with his adorable kids.

About the Author

Chris Zeigler

Twitter

Chris Zeigler is the Assistant Director of BASIC. He was a student leader with BASIC at the SUNY Oswego campus and has never lost his heart for college students since then. He and his wife, Cheryl, have started BASIC groups at three colleges in NY. Outside of work you can hear him talking about his reluctant love for the Oakland Raiders, see him using his iPhone to get "the perfect shot" to feed his love for photography and playing with his adorable kids.