What Happens After They’re Sent? Utilizing the Alumni of Your Movement

miami university footballHow much is your strategy influenced by feedback from your ministry partners and/or campus alumni?

When I started raising my initial MPD (financial support to fund my ministry), one of the first groups I namestormed through were fellow San Diego State alumni.  They helped give momentum to my MPD efforts because they were familiar with the vision and mission of CCC. Additionally, I wanted them to be a part of reaching the campus in more ways than solely being financial ministry partners, but couldn’t figure out how.  Until I read about “the U.”

Few college football programs have had more NFL draftees than the University of Miami, or “the U”. Like them or not, it’s obvious they prepare their athletes very well  for the pro level.

When I read an article about how their strength coach interacts with Hurricane alumni, I found what I was looking for:  Campus Crusade alumni can give feedback that will help us create vision and train students to better serve them not just as college students, but also for the decades after graduation. The hope?  So that reaching the campus today can more effectively translate into reaching the world tomorrow.

miami university

Here’s my takeaway from the article:

1.  The alumni/NFL pros came back every off-season to train because they understood that they were well-prepared for their careers as athletes.

2.  The camaraderie associated with being an alumnus.

3.   While the article doesn’t dive into it specifically, I’ll bet the strength coach gets tons of feedback regarding what works and what doesn’t in the NFL, and incorporates that into his training methodology.

How much is your strategy influenced by feedback from your ministry partners and/or campus alumni?  Are your alumni/ministry partners encouraged to give feedback and stay involved years after graduation?

About the author:

Andrew Lundgren is on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, serving at Northern Arizona University.

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  • Laura

    Thanks for this insight Drew, I would love to find ways for alumni and my ministry partners to be involved and giving feedback for strategy, etc. Has anyone really seen this play out on their campus?

    • http://www.brianbarela.com/ Brian Barela

      hey laura! bob fuhs suggested that i form an advisory committee to share our overall vision and strategy with, and to help think through ways to bring outside resources in to accomplish this.

      alumni would be great for this. it provides some space for them to share their thoughts but doesn’t necessarily lock you into implementing every suggestion.

      • http://www.andrewlundgren.com Drew

        B-squared:

        Already have some feelers out from ministry partners re: this topic and have some responses as well. Do you want me to forward that email to you?

        Drew

  • http://www.danbirchblog.com Dan Birch

    Cool Post Drew, I think that correlation between CCC and ‘The U” is great!

    I think practically its real tough for MTL”s or staff to involve alumni outside of raising money. The reason being is CCC reaches a ton of students on campus who are barely involved to those who join staff.

    Why does that mater?

    It matters because some students never get the vision of CRU and view it as a big youth group during college. Others do, and join staff are live missionally in the work force. There is a wide gap of alumni who actually understand CCC’s mission from those who only partly grasp it.

    So the question remain, how do CCC MTL’s staff tell the difference? and why does it matter?

    Thats the hard part, that as staff we can’t really tell the difference. A lot of alumni feel unused in there church, or want to live in there glory days, and want to become involved in CCC. The danger of that is drawing the line between serving and trying to overly contribute.

    It matters because it can severely damage are MOVEMENTS if the wrong people are SPEAKING into the lives of our students. It is our job to protect the influences around are students, and just because people are involved in CCC doesn’t mean they are a good influence and are helping accomplishing our mission to winning, building and sending are students.

    So where should Alumni be involved in our movements?

    I think there is differently some room for improvement that staff can interact with alumni on. #1 fund raising. Raising money for the campus is by far one of the biggest needs. ANyway alumni can help in that process is by far the number 1 goal.

    Job opportunities,or facilities. I know having a place to go or use, like a house or gym are huge needs for CCC movements. And alumni in the area can help in contributing in those ways.

    In conclusion, I think that as long as the LINE and BOUNDARIES are established on the involvement of alumni in our movements that is ok. We have to be careful not to try and “add” and another part time staff member. No matter how involved alumni have been, they are NOT STAFF and DO NOT KNOW fully grasp our vision to the degree we do. Not to be critical but that is the reality and we need to be careful of that. But alumni can be a great help if we mobilize them in the right way.

    Good post Drew, it made me think! Get it!

  • http://www.andrewlundgren.com Drew

    Laura- thanks.

    Dan-

    I probably miscommunicated what “involvement” looks like. In the vast majority of cases, I would agree that alumni and ministry partners shouldn’t be on-campus giving feedback on the day to day management/leadership of a movement. If they want to return as volunteers under the leadership of an MTL, by all means come and be involved.

    Your comments re: fundraising were really what stimulated these thoughts. I’ve been two 2 Fellowship Dinners in the past and could count the number of alumni (that I was aware of) on one hand. That’s frustrating. So as far as I’m concerned, if they aren’t reached out to for things like the FD, then they should be. On the other hand, if campuses are reaching out to alumni right now…great work.

    Finally, in terms of using alumni/ministry partner feedback for ministry strategy: I’d be asking alumni things like-
    1. Did the way we Win/Build/Send help you get a vision for reaching your school, law firm, or police station and make disciples for the next 30 years after graduation?
    2. How has your time on-campus helped you serve and contribute at your local church?
    3. If you could look back on your time in school, what are some things, spiritually/ministry speaking, you wish you could have done differently? What skills were you taught on-campus (sharing your faith, leading a bible study, learning a new culture, etc.) have been most/least beneficial to you?
    4. Finally, do you love God more after graduation than you did when you first got involved?

    I would hope that alumni & ministry partners would be a resource to utilize, but not THE RESOURCE to drive vision and mission. If what we do on-campus doesn’t prepare students for a lifetime of following God, then there need to be some adjustments. If our students graduate from our movements loving God, loving people, and making disciples then we have ultimately succeeded. It’s hard to know that unless we get feedback from them and adjust accordingly.

  • http://www.hertzlers.com Jerry Hertzler

    I think Drew explained well how alumni and ministry partners can help us lead campus ministries.

    Viewing our alumni as sources of funding and our staff members as the only ones who fully grasp our vision is not the way to build movements. Local ownership of our vision by students and alumni and local resource development is the way.

    Also, any initiative toward alumni will probably be done by an MTL who knew the alumnus in the past. I am certain that an MTL could distinguish between a student who lived missionally while on campus compared to those who viewed Cru as a youth group.

    Going back to the article, the point was that Miami U brought back NFL players, not the ones who went on to other careers. We would bring back alumni and ministry partners who are living missionally, not the ones who went on with their own agenda in life.

    I think it’s a great idea.

  • http://www.andrewlundgren.com Drew

    This may also be an opportunity for more detailed cooperation with Staff from CCCI ministries who target groups away from a campus (Priority Associates, Military) and get feedback from them regarding win/build/send strategies.

    As an example, if I have a student involved in the ROTC program at NAU, you bet I’m going to want to tailor their development towards things they might encounter in their branch of the military. Since I have zero practical experience in any branch of the military, that would be a good time for me to correspond with the Military Ministry to help prepare that student for ministry in that context.

  • Zandy Keliduan

    Thanks Andrew for the good reflection about alumni.

    I have experienced about alumni. Before I knew about principles of movement, I just build movement for students when they in campus and not after graduated. Some of them just asking how they can involved with CCC? but I don’t care about that. So, only 5 or 6 of them build movement in they area after graduated. It’s my mistake, i realized.
    Now, after I learned about principles of movement, some of potential alumni they join with the Team Movement, some of them build movement in they areas, and some of them be a influence people in they marketplace, and many of them in my team of mission to support MPD.
    I’m praising God for that.
    So, i think and learned I must have a right mindset about student today leader tomorrow, and I want to prepare them early to be a potential leaders wherever they are. And maybe they will be better if in our link to advise them how they can be better in build movement in they area.
    Thanks. God bless us.

    Zandy

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