Continuing with yesterday’s Big Idea…
Seeing college ministry as missions also highlights the role of strategy.
If college ministry is highly contextual (as I argued yesterday), then a need for strategy is implied right there. But beyond that, the other intricacies, oddities, and difficulties of college ministry cry for a need for extremely strategic “missions to the campuses.”
From everything I can tell in exploring nationwide college ministry, we’re lacking pretty heavily in this area. Both in developed college ministries and (especially) in new ministries, an “if we build it, they will come” mentality seems common – as does the mentality of “throw some things against the wall and see what sticks.”
From what I’ve seen, I’m personally dissuaded against either of these being the most promising main approach to college ministry. There will be times when we do simply “try things,” but I don’t think that has to be our modus operandi.
I honestly believe God has some brilliance He wants to shower us with, just as He has so often gotten glory through architecting some awesome strategic outreaches overseas.
This doesn’t mean every portion of our ministry has to be unique or surprising; when “normal” is strategic, we should go with normal. But being strategic in college ministry means that when we look at our present ministries, we see lots of little (and big) elements that were chosen with clarity and with well-formed reasons, as we built our strategic missions to campuses.
In my own ministry life, the enemy of strategy isn’t generally “lack of cleverness” as much as lack of effort and patience – effort to strategize in even the small choices, and patience to spend the time needed to learn and think.