the early bird: finding a national hero

In Reaching the Campus Tribes, I write:

It may be that college ministry will be best served in the same way [Youth Specialties helped youth ministry develop] – by a “super-sized hero,” an organization devoted to proclaiming the value of college ministry and helping the field develop. …

An … organization like this could serve as a think tank, a resource producer, a collaborative network, a fundraiser, and a rallying cry for college ministry – across the branches of our field, across denominational lines, and throughout the country (from Chapter 8, “Into the Harvest: A Road Map Forward from a Road Trip’s Findings,” p. 95-96).

I think a national organization devoted to supporting college ministry, providing resources for these efforts, and developing our field could be extremely helpful.

I was discussing this possibility with a colleague the other day, and I remarked that I believe there really is room for this to happen right now. In fact, I think the field of college ministry is heating up, but there’s a real vacuum of resourcing and support for a large number of college ministry efforts.

So here’s the equation I see:

vacuum + growing concern = wide-open opportunity for some group to step up

That means the early bird can get a giant worm. The first organization to muster the investment, focus, and breadth required to serve college ministry nationally might just find an enormous audience… and ultimately an enormous amount of campus-reaching might happen because somebody was called to be our hero.

Of course, it’s also vital that this be done right. One more equation is clearly at play:

vacuum + growing concern – deep understanding = wide-open opportunity for waste or even damage

But besides that concern – which is a true concern that we should all take seriously – I’m pretty hopeful about our situation. In fact, the field seems so ripe that it may simply be a matter of time before there are multiple organizations like this.

But, of course, the greatest amount of worm-munching might go to the early bird.


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