The Discipleship Do-Over

They say that if you watch baseball long enough, you’ll see something you’ve never seen before. That adage held true in a recent game when the Dodgers faced the Pirates.

In the bottom of the first inning, Pirates rookie Ke’Bryan Hayes, hit a long fly ball to right field that was ruled a home run. Just like that, the Pirates had an early 1-0 lead.

But immediately after the play, the cameras showed scurrying in the Dodgers dugout, followed by the umpires moving to the headsets for an official review. It was unclear why the Dodgers would dispute the ruling as every replay clearly showed the ball hitting the foul pole, which is considered fair territory. There was nothing to argue….or so it seemed.

After a very brief review, the main umpire removed his headset and clenched his fist, indicating that Hayes was being called out. Just like that, the home run was wiped away, the run was taken off the board and the Dodgers were no longer losing.

Things became clearer when the announcers showed replays of the runner rounding the bases. In his excitement, Hayes neglected to step on first base as he rounded the bag. The Dodgers noticed it and the replays confirmed it. Since he didn’t touch all the bags, the home run was negated and the runner was called out.


Incidentally, the announcers explained later, that a play like this, where a home run was reversed because a runner had not touched all the bags, had not occurred since 1971.


Ke’Bryan Hayes of the Pirates neglects to step on first base as he rounds the bag on a home run. He was called out after a challenge confirmed the gaffe.

The cameras zoomed in on a stunned Hayes in the Pirates dugout. At that moment, I’m sure he was wishing he could have a Do-Over.

As we coach and mentor Young Professionals, it seems like we’re often encountering people who wish they could have a do-over.

Many don’t like their jobs or are struggling with their career choice. Others lament the amount of debt they committed to, having believed their education would ensure them a well-paying job that would render such large financial obligations moot.

Unfortunately, we can’t go back in time and change our decisions, but we can seek to leverage our experiences and all of our learning for God’s kingdom purposes going forward.

That’s what our friend Grace is doing.

We actually knew Grace from our days back in Davis when she was an engineering student involved in our Cru ministry. Grace graduated and got a job working as an engineer.

Grace is living in our area and Jen reconnected with her a few years ago when we started ministering to Young Adults. Though Grace had worked for many years as an engineer, she didn’t really like it. When layoffs forced her out of a job, she took some time to consider what she really wanted to do.

I realize that not everyone is in a position to be able to consider a career change, but Grace was in a situation that allowed her to consider what was important to her and how she could best utilize her talents and passions to serve the Lord and make a difference in the lives of others.

Grace is an artist at heart and she’s looking for ways to use her creative abilities to minister to others.

Jen and Grace meet in person for the first time in over a year!

Recently, Jen asked Grace if she would connect with another Young Adult Jen has been coaching. Jen thought it might be helpful for this person to have someone else in their life who could provide additional spiritual input and emotional support.

It turns out this other Young Adult also has a creative bent, allowing Grace to connect with her in a way Jen could not.

Our vision is to help Young Adults thrive spiritually and live with purpose. We want to multiply our lives into others so that we might see an army of Young professionals mobilized to make a difference in their families, their jobs, and in their communities.

We are constantly reminded that ministry is messy. We’re no longer ministering to students who have limited responsibilities and unlimited dreams. Instead, we’re coaching and counseling Young adults, who sometimes are struggling to meet the increased demands of life and who often are facing the stark realty that life is not exactly how they imagined or expected it to be.

Our hope is to help them experience Jesus in their current reality and imagine new dreams that would enable them to make a significant contribution to God’s Kingdom purposes!

Would you pray with us as we seek to see Young Professionals like Grace mobilized to multiply their lives into others?

We are grateful for you!

We’re No Longer On Campus, But We’re Still Reaching Students

The role of a missionary is to establish ministries and raise up leaders who can take over, allowing the missionary to move on to establish new ministries.

For more than 20 years, Jen and I worked on university campuses to establish ministries and raise up leaders and laborers. Though we’re no longer serving on campus, we’re still involved in reaching students. By God’s grace, many of our former students are now leading the charge to reach this year’s freshmen on campuses throughout California, Arizona and around the world.

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Jon Roper (left), was a student involved with Cru at UC Davis and now leads the Cru ministry at UC Irvine.

This past week, I had the opportunity to spend the day at UC Irvine helping one of our former students, Jon Roper, who is now leading the Cru ministry there. Jon and his team are in the middle of Welcome Week, seeking to reach out to more than 20,000 students on the campus.

As I approached the table where Jon and 30+ students were already setting up for the day, I thought about all the hard work and effort that was expended just to get ready for that week.

Preparing for the first week of school was a gargantuan task when Jen and I were ministering on campus. Promotional materials had to be created and printed weeks ahead of time. Students had to be mobilized to show up early. Rooms and tables had to be reserved. Small groups had to be organized. Students needed to be trained in setting up appointments and sharing their faith.

Jon and I interacting with some international students from India.
Jon and I interacting with some international students from India.

A variety of events had to be planned and implemented during that first week. Everything we did was aimed at reaching as many students as possible, in the hopes of introducing them to Christ and plugging them into a community of Christ-followers that would aid them in growing into mature disciples of Jesus.

While the pace was harrowing, the reward was great. Often we would have thousands of new students to contact during the fall quarter. Some were already Christians who were looking for community, but many were non-believers with whom we had the privilege of sharing Christ.

I certainly don’t miss the long hours and hard work that went into the Fall outreach but the excitement and energy that occurs when mobilizing students is infectious.

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Beth (middle), was a student at UC Davis. She now ministers with Cru at Cal Poly, Pomona.
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Cal Poly, Pomona Epic students hand out snow cones to new students on campus

At UCI, it was fun to see Jon leading and directing his students to places around the campus to engage and interact with new students. Time will tell how the Lord will use those efforts but after just one day of engaging students, Jon’s team has over 1300 new contacts to follow up in the coming weeks.

Another former student, Beth Sekishiro, helped the Cal Poly Pomona Cru team initiate and collect over 700 surveys during their first few days and through those contacts, Beth was able to lead a freshman girl named Focus to Christ!

Because of your prayers and partnership, we are helping to reach students not only at UCI and Cal Poly, but also at Arizona State, San Jose State, University of Arizona, Chico State and numerous other locations in the U.S. and overseas.

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Cru students pass out campus maps with info for Cru activities printed on the back.

Thank you for your partnership, which has allowed us to raise up leaders who continue to carry on the work of reaching students long after we’ve tapped out! Please pray for these ministries as they endure long hours to reach out to thousands of students. And pray for us too as we continue to establish a new ministry among Millennials!

Click here to read the pdf version of The Lowedown!

Multiplication Revisited

It was 15 years ago and it was our very first day on campus at UC Davis. We were eager but new to the campus and nervous about how we would get a new group started. Armed with only a vision and a stack of questionnaires, we anxiously began approaching students who were there for various orientation activities.

We must have approached a couple of thousand students that first week and we spent most of the rest of the fall following up and meeting with students who expressed literally any kind of interest. It was both draining and rewarding at the same time.

The very first student Jen approached to fill out a spiritual interest questionnaire was a freshman named Tricia. Amazingly, Tricia was interested in getting involved in a campus ministry and after meeting with Jen and getting information about Cru, she ended up getting involved as one of our founding members.

Tricia was involved for 4 years and gave leadership not only to our Cru ministry, but helped us start Epic as well. Upon graduating, Tricia took the principles we had been talking about and became one of the first students from our ministry to go on STINT, a one year international mission. After returning from STINT in Central Asia, Tricia served as an intern with us at UC Davis and then joined the full-time staff of Cru, where she was assigned to give leadership to our ministry in Hawaii.

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Jen (left), Tricia (center), and Skyy (right)

Tricia served several years in Hawaii, building into students and giving them a vision for the world, just as she had been taught. One of the students whom Tricia mentored was Skyy. After graduating, Skyy spent last year as an intern with Cru, just as Tricia had. This fall, Skyy is leading a team of recent grads to the Middle East on STINT, just as Tricia had done.

In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul gave this charge to Timothy:

“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

From the beginning of our ministry, it’s been our desire to see students won to Christ, built up in their faith to follow Christ whole-heartedly so that they could be sent out all over the world to Win, Build and Send others.

Thank you for your partnership which has allowed us to do just that with countless students like Tricia and Skyy and now many others.

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