I left for this Road Trip 6 months ago Saturday, and I’ve certainly seen an awful lot in my trip around the country so far.
So I figured it might be a good time actually to post some purposes for the Road Trip! For sure, the trip has been purposeful from the beginning (see the About the Trip page) – but it’s taken time for those purposes to go from a little vague to fairly concrete. People often ask why I’ve chosen to self-fund (mostly) a year-long, incredibly busy, kinda lonely, definitely crazy trip around the country. So when they ask, I’ve had the chance to take the purposes from in-my-head to said-out-loud.
God will continue to help me understand the “whys” of this trip, but I do have thoughts from 6 months of Exploring College Ministry. In no particular order, here are purposes God seems to be accomplishing:
Seeing college ministry (and the Christianity it serves) through the wide-angle lens.
We all know there are regional differences, denominational differences, philosophical differences, and so on – but how often do we really experience those in person? I’ve gotten to see those various renditions on this trip, building a great view of a nation of college ministry (and Christianity) that I can pass on to all who are interested!
Collaboration to the extreme.
This year, I get to be a sort of backwards-Wikipedia; instead of “contributors” inputting at a central location, the “central location” comes to them! By visiting ministry after ministry and interviewing countless ministry leaders, we all gain access to a nation of Collegiate Ministry wisdom – both in philosophy and methodology. That’s a phenomenal thing. It’s been fun to know that this blog has already added “arrows to the quiver” for some ministers, and there’s plenty more to write about in the months to come.
Platform for making the point.
Another hope for this trip is that the appeal of a “year-long nationwide road trip” provides a platform to say one very important thing within the Christian community: College Ministry really, really matters. As I tell people about this neato adventure, there’s no way to separate the adventure from this specific collegiate exploration – nor do I want to.
No, this trip is not just a “publicity stunt.” But if road-tripping around America ultimately lets me highlight the importance of Collegiate Ministry – to an audience not usually attentive to our collegiate mission field – I’ll consider that a definite victory.
Encouraging the engaged.
Finally, it’s been a great joy to encourage those presently participating in this amazing endeavor. These saints spending their lives discipling college students are amazing people; if I can help them even a little, I’m honored. For example, it has been neat to hear that my interview questions to ministers “got them thinking” about ministry in new ways. I’ve tried to remind them how much their profession really, really matters (’cause it really does). I’ve gotten to help college ministers network and collaborate with others they didn’t know before. And maybe I’ve gotten to encourage ministers personally – even sometimes just by letting them know that others are fighting with them in this same glorious fight.
So those are a few concrete purposes for this trip. It’s been phenomenal. Please keep praying that His will would be done.
Written at Pepperdine University, Malibu