end notes from the CMU seminar!

I had a blast teaching my seminar on “Better Brainstorming” – thanks for everybody who came and everybody who prayed for me. Those at the seminar truly made it better – coming up with some great ideas (as we practiced a brainstorming tool together), asking some great questions, and also offering some phenomenal comments.

I promised the attendees some “end notes” on the talk – areas I left out, links to various things, etc. But this should be helpful for anybody, too, both now and if you listen to the audio once it’s posted.


The Scripture passages I quoted include Psalm 127:1, Proverbs 3:6, I Peter 5:2, I Peter 4:11, and I John 3:18.

backwards college ministry

I’ve been posting quite a bit on “Backwards College Ministry,” and that methodology was definitely a key part of the seminar. For more explanation of that, check out the blogs that discuss it (and just so you know, they’re listed in reverse order at that link).

my book…

…can be found (for free!) at www.reachingthecampustribes.com.

something I left out

One point I never got around to was this: One of the important things to remember as you practice determining outcomes before methods is to keep doing it each time. After awhile, it’s easy to “lose the plot,” continuing with fruitful methods from the past and forgetting to keep being purpose-first each time. Don’t forget that a method is only as good as the purposes it fulfills… so as some purposes change semester-to-semester, your methods should change (slightly or extensively), too.

exploring the axes

Meanwhile, the book that most influenced my “Exploring the Axes” brainstorming method was Free Prize Inside by Seth Godin. You might also want to check out its predecessor Purple Cow, which might even be more useful to most college ministers than FPI is. (Seth Godin, by the way, will be one of the speakers at this year’s Catalyst Conference in Atlanta in October.)

speaking of catalyst conference…

If you haven’t heard, I’m organizing a “cohort” for college ministers in the midst of this year’s Catalyst Conference. And Catalyst would certainly be one BIG way to “stretch your quiver” – it’s one of the best ways I know to gather new ideas. Plus, by adding in the College Ministers’ Cohort, we’ll have some great chances to collaborate, “ideate,” and otherwise spur each other on. (For those at the CMU Conference, Wes Woodell recently encouraged people to consider this, too!) I really encourage everybody to check it out, and let me know if you’ve got questions.

the mad libs ebay road trip

I promised everybody a link to info about my Mad Libs eBay Road Trip. So there you go – it’s definitely interesting reading.

49 decisions

I mentioned my post of “49 Decisions You’ve Already Made about Your College Ministry’s Large Group Meeting.” Very surprising stuff.

finally, a few things to remember

  1. Creativity has no value in-and-of-itself – only if the creative methods are more effective at accomplishing your God-provided outcomes.
  2. Limits are a help to creativity. Necessity is the mother of invention. A tempest in a teacup is more interesting than a tempest out at sea.
  3. The more focused and explicit your purposes are, the more help they’ll be to your creativity.
  4. Don’t forget: studying college ministries outside your normal circles are more likely to help your creativity, whether or not you adapt the specific ideas you learn.
  5. Though I am indeed a big believer in starting with outcomes and then determining methods, sometimes God uses methods to help us realize purposes we should be aiming for.


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