Do something no one else is doing.

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When coaching a leader who wants to grow God’s Kingdom, I often encourage him or her to have a signature event or strategy that is unique in his or her context. To have one or two occasions a year that an entire team can rally around helps build momentum and benchmarks into an initiative. I love looking back at certain events or strategies as a way to gauge growth personally, professionally, and as a team.

Since January 2017, Cultivate has been helping YoungLife at Oakland, a student-run campus ministry, with servant leadership development amongst their volunteers. However, when YoungLife was looking for a way to attract their target of the 19 year old male student at Oakland University who thinks Jesus is irrelevant, Cultivate turned to Become for help to develop a signature event that could happen every year. I suggested that YoungLife should “own the snow day” at Oakland University in a way no other campus organization ever had. Snow days are impossible to predict, but when they come, the people with the plan (and the sleds) are the ones to know.

Yet, I knew sledding by itself was not going to have the wow factor YoungLife needed to get their target demographic away from video games and Netflix on a cold day, so I suggested something I had experimented with during my days working for Dan Sadlier* at Kensington Church - scouching, also known as the art of attaching skis and snowboards to the bases of couches and armchairs.

Let’s just say it was a success. YoungLife had over 40 new students come out (and sign the waiver) to scouch 6 weeks before their spring retreat, making it a valuable promotional event that wound up leading to several retreat sign ups, new attendees at their weekly gathering and a chance to hear the gospel, not to mention an event they can be known for for years to come with a video like this:

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