until i take a road trip overseas…

I don’t know if you got to look at my teaching notes from the other day, but I made what could seem like an interesting comment in there.

I mentioned (in the notes and to the students) that my focus was American college ministry only.

What arrogance! What selfishness!

But really, I think I have good reasons for talking about American college ministry pretty exclusively. Here they are.

  1. American college ministry is all I’ve seen.
  2. American college ministry is all I’ve personally done.
  3. I have the feeling college ministry in some other nations may be far different from what we experience here.

That third one is the key. While it’s easy to slip into assuming that “college ministry is college ministry,” regardless of nation, that’s not necessarily true. College itself isn’t the same in every place. I’m an advocate for contextualizing our ministries for each campus, instead of assuming we know what’s needed before we know the tribe. How much more should we be wary of assuming anything about foreign college ministry situations!

Are some international situations pretty close to what we’re used to? Sure. My guess is that some Canadian college ministry is similar, based on what I’ve heard. (Plus I love their worship.) And for all I know, maybe Peru or Luxembourg or Madagascar are pretty close, too.

But until I know more, I shouldn’t run my mouth about worldwide college ministry. So I won’t. Hopefully some of the things Americans learn can be used elsewhere; hopefully college ministers elsewhere have some wisdom to share with us!

And maybe one day, I can take a road trip to Madagascar.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, my international college T-shirt collection numbers exactly 3. So far.

Written from Lexington, Kentucky

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