Driving down a dirt road past a field of golden wheat swaying in the wind always inspires me. When E. Scott Martin shares the next prophetic confirmation of the coming awakening, this is often the picture I see in my mind. We are in the process of preparing for a harvest, which is why pioneering new chapters and creating health among existing chapters is one of our top priorities.
Our work to expand Chi Alpha on 400 campuses in five years is built on a commitment to healthy development, not a rapid push for more pins on the map. But how does one measure health? I always loved biology class, and what has stayed with me is how scientists know when an animal has reached maturity. An elephant calf, for example, is considered mature when she can reproduce. When we pioneer a new ministry, we are not just looking for that ministry to grow in size but to get to a healthy point of reproducing disciples and releasing laborers.
One strategy in pioneering is to identify campuses with the highest probability of producing future Chi Alpha leaders. Whenever a missionary team goes to a new campus, we work to ensure they are supported through training and coaching for the first three years. The idea is to plant healthy ministries with teams that can raise up and release leaders to do the same.
A great example of this strategy was recently realized just this past January when I returned to Columbus State University with Ouida Bradford, the Georgia Chi Alpha Director. We were meeting in the same space we had met in nine years ago with her initial pioneering team when she was campus pastor. This time, we were training CMITs who were headed to Auburn University, Georgia Tech, University of Georgia, and Clark Atlanta University (a historically black university) to join pioneering efforts, a perfect picture of multiplying ministries.
Whether a new plant or an existing Chi Alpha chapter, as we continue to grow in health, we will experience the beauty of growth.