big idea #5: the word and the whys

The fifth potentially transforming college ministry idea is placed after #4 on purpose; you can read those two posts about churchmanship starting here. (Or see the whole series here.)

Helping students understand what the Bible proclaims regarding church involvement is just one of the ways we can accomplish Big Idea #5:

Help students connect to the biblical whys.

It’s tempting (for me, at least) to try to motivate students to righteousness by taking short cuts.

On the one hand, I might just hope for (or expect) them to believe me. So when I point them toward church involvement or prayer or any other “good work,” I hope that by repetition and emphatic proclamation they might be swayed to righteousness. (And in fact, some students will indeed be swayed into conformity with their leaders’ or peers’ expectations.)

Or another tack I might try is appealing to students’ own ideas of “common sense” morality. We all know, for example, that students can be pretty easily drawn to Social Justice activity. So if I make comments like, “Obviously, we need to be involved in feeding the hungry,” I’m bound to get some agreement and some action.

And when either of those methods (or both) become my only means of motivation, I’m hurting my students in the end.

I’ll discuss this potential harm tomorrow. But for now, the better option:

We need to regularly (not always, but regularly) connect the behavior we encourage with biblical truth. We have to show students why we urge the “good works” we urge.

Yes, our time with students is limited. Yes, this requires more work for us. Yes, it may annoy some students who prefer to “measure themselves by themselves.”

Yes, I think this could radically improve the impact of our ministries.

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