now is now

Much of the development we need in Collegiate Ministry includes the methods and models that will take solid, established ministries to long-term greatness.

We need more college ministry pros sharing their wisdom. We need more seminary classes probing the depths of theory and principles. We need to increase our creativity, deepen our impact, and strengthen our structures.

Of course, for many (most?) college ministers, we first need to start well.

Don’t worry! I haven’t forgotten that!

I do spend a lot of posts talking about issues meant to stretch us, and stretching ideas are often second-step ideas. For example, many newer college ministries aren’t going to be able to focus quite yet on reaching local youth, a topic I discussed several times last week. While that may be an important arrow in the quiver – to be used later – there are other focuses when starting (or restarting) a college ministry.

And that’s exactly the way it should be. The way we start a college ministry should be different than the ways we develop one that already exists. But if you’re one who perfers to “master plan,” like me, that may irk you a bit. You may not like the idea that you can’t do everything – from the start – just like you always will.

Let it irk you, but keep your hand to the plow. Then will be “bigger,” but now is now.

What you need to do in Year One probably won’t “feel” complete or balanced or “just right” because… it isn’t. But if it pours the best foundation for a college ministry that ultimately is complete and balanced and right, then we’ve fulfilled our ministry.

So… this will be a running theme this week, and I’ll discuss what seems most helpful to me as a ministry starts (or restarts). Hope it’s helpful.

the posts in this mini-series:

For more on starting college ministries, check out the “Starting a College Ministry” category.


  1. In your travels, did you find that most founding campus ministers were able to stick around long enough to see the “second step” ideas implemented? Or do a lot of ministries have a “planting” team, and then pass the baton onto a more permerment staff?

  2. I get the impression that there are a HUGE number of college ministers who are in their first or second year. The largest number of these are probably in churches.

    This isn’t because they’re planning to hand it off; there’s just a very high rate of turnover.

    But there are also plenty of long-term, established college ministries in all branches of college ministry. But even in many of these ministries, I haven’t always seen too many “second step” ideas being attempted.

    I have not run across many “planting teams” at all, although I think it’s a phenomenal (and missiological) idea. Not that they would always have to “hand it off,” but I’m all for up-front strategizing of any kind.

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