excerpt #2: bold statements

Last week, I shared the table of contents and cover from the upcoming ebook, Reaching the Campus Tribes (going public April 20th).

Today, some words from Chapter 1 that point to the purpose of this book and a glimpse at some of its “bold ideas” for the field of college ministry. Here’s that excerpt:

…So this short book is more proclamation than primer, more megaphone than microscope, an “opening inquiry” rather than any final word. It may seem to have too few illustrations, too few evidences, and even too few pages. But I hope this book raises questions and drives people to find out more. And if this book does fuel an interest in college ministry, then I and countless others will have many opportunities to share examples, spiritual insights, facts, arguments, and “best practices” for this field.

For now, this book is the urgent message I would share with Christian leaders over coffee, not the ultimate “how-to” for this vital area. I have focused here on the big picture, which means I don’t get to discuss all the specific skills, methods, and spiritual needs involved.

But the big picture still gives us bold ideas to consider. For example, I will discuss:

  • How ministry to college students is quite different from both young adult ministry and youth ministry.
  • How college campuses are a lot like tribes.
  • What commonalities are shared by the three “branches” of college ministry.
  • How strategic student discipleship is lacking in many Christian colleges.
  • Why a large, city-wide worship service for college students is often a terrible way to jump-start a college ministry.
  • Why better college ministry will lead to better youth ministry, better young adult ministry, and better missions work.
  • Why college ministry is “R&D” for Christianity.
  • Why churches with no plan for college students should help their high school kids find another church – and what it actually means for a church to have a College Student Plan.
  • How Christians can approach college ministry in many ways beyond the “classic” forms.
  • Why impacting college students is a far more practical undertaking than many people assume.
  • And many other important ideas.

Reaching the Campus Tribes will be out April 20th!


  1. Hey Ben,

    I know people are going to be challenged by this book. I’m looking forward to seeing how this ebook shapes the dialogue concerning collegiate missions for years to come. Thanks for your insights and spiritual reflections concerning this important field.

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