How long is a LEAD commitment?
In most locations, LEAD is a two-year commitment starting from the time that support-raising is complete. However, due to visa restrictions, the LEAD commitment in Australia and New Zealand is closer to 15 months.
Do LEAD Teams really make a difference?
Absolutely! Our long-term vision in all of our locations is to build indigenous, multiplying movements. LEAD participants are making meaningful contributions towards the fulfillment of this vision in every place they serve.
What are the academic requirements for LEAD?
A bachelor’s degree is expected for LEAD participation. Exceptions to this rule will be considered on a case-by-case basis. LEAD applications can be submitted as early as your final year of undergraduate study.
How much financial support is needed?
Each location costs $3550/month which covers salary, taxes, health insurance, ministry expenses, round trip airfare, training and startup costs, and administrative costs. The salary for each field has been set based on local living standards and the recommendation of the international field supervisor.
What about student loans?
It is common for LEAD participants to have student debt. Additional support may be raised above the base salary to help pay down student debt while you participate in LEAD. Our desire is to see LEAD staff prepared for a life of fruitful labor in all areas, including financial wellness.
Will a contingent LEAD staff receive training on how to raise support?
Yes, LEAD participants receive support training and regular support coaching until they have reached their full support goal. Support training events are called “CO Start” and are held several times each year.
Will participating in LEAD hinder ability to get a job after LEAD?
It is our expectation that LEAD staff that don’t extend their service overseas will re-deploy into all areas of life--business, education, public service, Christian ministry, international missions, etc. Participants will be intentionally developed in numerous skills that are highly marketable: teamwork, problem solving, adaptability, resilience, conflict resolution, work ethic, ability to receive feedback, intercultural communication, etc.
Who will LEAD staff work with on the field?
LEAD participants always work in teams--typically comprised of other American LEAD participants. They partner with long-term CO missionary staff and local Christian leaders. Every international location has a LEAD supervisor who oversees the development of each LEAD participant and coaches the team on the field.
Will LEAD staff return to America at any point during the
two-years of LEAD?
LEAD staff typically remain at the international location throughout the duration of the LEAD commitment.
What do LEAD staff do?
LEAD staff come alongside long-term and local staff to partner with them in the ministry. Typical activities include involvement on campus, building relationships, sharing the gospel, and discipling interested believers. Time is also spent in ministry training, personal development, team development, planning and executing ministry events, and serving in our partner churches. Some LEAD participants are involved in specialized roles--serving administratively in finance, marketing, IT, design, etc. for the benefit of the local campus movement.
How does a candidate choose between the different LEAD locations?
A good starting point is to consider the international location partnered with by a US Campus Outreach region. Beyond that there are opportunities in other locations for which the Lord may have uniquely gifted and called someone.
How is LEAD funded?
Each LEAD participant is responsible to raise their own financial support. Campus Outreach will train and coach each participant through the support raising process.
Is medical insurance provided?
Yes, each LEAD participant will have CO International’s global MetLife medical plan, even if they have coverage on another medical insurance plan.
Are retirement contributions part of LEAD salary?
Retirement contributions are not included in the LEAD salary. Retirement contributions (within specified limits) are allowed and may be funded by additional money raised above the normal support goal.
When would a LEAD staff actually leave for the field?
LEAD staff launch out contingent upon the completion of their support raising. Specific departure days vary by location and will become clearer in the support-raising process.
What help will LEAD staff receive in transitioning after
the overseas experience?
A big focus during the final months of LEAD is on identifying and pursuing the best future role for strategic kingdom contribution. This involves an annual conference, personalized assignments and many coaching conversations with experienced staff. The goal is that 100% of LEAD candidates are able to transition in healthy ways to their field of choice. Thankfully, we have a strong track record of this happening.
Are there any special LEAD conferences or trips?
Yes! A big part of the LEAD experience is making sure you are connecting with others to serve and to grow. Each year, the LEAD participants from various international regions gather together for a conference for this very purpose! Additionally, there are often other trips to various locations that line up with the goals for your location.