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A 3D view of leading your campus staff

March 13, 2016

They are a source of healing for others, yet are handicapped by their own brokenness.

They see the world being reached through one and secretly want to be that “one.”

They have volumes of scripture memorized but struggle to recall a single verse in the midst of discouragement.

They “holy dream” of reaching the unreached but often lack the spiritual sensitivity to dream about holiness.

“They” are our campus staff, and the job description is simply this: lead them.

Leadership. It can be broad and overwhelming or narrow and effective. It all depends on the lens through which you view it.

We are listening to learn about our staff while learning to listen to them. We are helping them teach the Word, and at the same time, we make sure the Word is teaching them.

They can fear failure and fight through it at the same time. Their passion and stamina are contagious. Their ideas are off-the-wall, yet often ring the victory bell. They really will change the world…if only we don’t mess them up.

So, where do we start? Here is a 3 D view (Devotion, Direction, Development) of what they need most.


Our highest priority is our own walk with the Lord.

It is not a catchy saying but a foundational principle that we can teach what we know, but we reproduce who we are and whose we are.

Therefore, the greatest gift we can give our staff is to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit while submitting to the authority of God’s Word.

Jesus’s response to the religious leader’s question in Mark 12 about the greatest commandment was devotional in intent: love God and love people.

While our roles may expand, responsibilities may be added, and the number of those looking to us for leadership may increase, this one thing has to be constant.

Be with Him and be with them. And don’t be with them until being with Him.

Relying on experience and passing on lessons you have learned have a ceiling. Communing daily with the all-knowing, good, and redeeming God is limitless.

Therefore our leadership has a pipeline of grace, truth, and humility that is transformative and Christ-exalting.

The key: model devotion to Christ.

Be with Him and be with them—don’t be with them until being with Him.


“You have given me something to die for.”

That was the response Andrew gave when asked by a campus staff member why he wanted to link up with our vision and strategy on the campus instead of many other things he could have done.

This is the heartbeat of our campus staff. They really want to make a difference. They just have to be shown and reminded of what a difference it makes. This is a vital role we step into.

They are young, zealous, and ready to conquer the world. All of that has to be aimed at something.

They must have vision and direction—vision to know where they are headed and direction to know how to get there.

When they are rejected, are discouraged, do not see fruit, or are physically and emotionally weary, we can love and lead them by providing a gentle and clear answer to the question, “Why are we doing what we are doing?”

Do you have that clear answer? Start with writing out your own personal vision, memorize it, pray it, find promises in God’s Word to support it, and communicate it to others until you believe it and live it.

Looking to a North Star that shines through the fog helps us be able to walk others through the fog as well.

The key: model direction from Christ.


Where will they end up?

Homes, churches, schools, courthouses, foreign countries, oil refineries, doctors’ offices, and many other landing pads will receive our campus staff in the years to come.

Our goal, while we are with them, is to help them discover their gifts, discern their challenges in being used by God with their gifts, and then develop and empower them toward effectiveness in the mission using their gifts.

There is no cookie-cutter campus staff mold. No one person can do all things well. We are all one body with many members and many equally valued gifts.

Some will gather people more effectively while others will lead and disciple with greater vigor and understanding.

Some will have a bent toward counseling and empathy, and across campus, another staff member will give direction to the masses with no inclination toward feelings.

There needs to be holistic approach in our leadership. We are not leading them to get more ministry converts and contacts for what we are entrusted to lead.

We are leading them for their good and God’s glory, which is greatly expressed as our staff lead, love, and labor from how He has made them and gifted them.

The key: model development for Christ.

Reflection questions

What hinders my devotion to Christ, and what are steps this week I can take to safeguard against those?

Can I effectively communicate my vision, and have I led my staff to develop their own personal vision?

What are the skills, gifts, and character strengths of my campus staff, and in what ways can I affirm or develop them in those this week?