exploring the edges, applied

So, in regards to yesterday’s little brainstorming tool, what if we “explored the edges” of something like a mission trip? That’s the example I used in the seminar last week, but we can do this with absolutely any element in a college ministry.

Our edges include the who, what, where, when, and why of the activity. And while there are many questions we might ask as we explore, three good ones to start with are:

  • What if we did more?
  • What if we did less?
  • What if we got really crazy?

So let’s say your ministry, like many, has a pretty standard annual mission trip. Here’s what a session of “exploring the edges” of that kind of mission trip might look like:

the who

What if…

  • …we worked really hard to take a hundred students on this year’s trip?
  • …we limited the group to only five?
  • …we took non-Christians along? (I’ve heard several times of college ministries doing this very thing.)
  • …we took only our student leaders?
  • …we brought lots of adults with us?
  • …there were no adults at all?
  • …we partnered with another campus ministry – or five?

the what

What if…

  • …we worked non-stop, morning-to-night?
  • …we took a trip only to fellowship with each other?
  • …we had no planned mission work, but took opportunities to serve as they came up? (That was one aspect of the Mad Libs eBay Road Trip. Read about that college ministry trip here or unplanned mission trips in general here.)

the where

What if…

  • …we went incredibly far away: two thousand miles? to Alaska? to South Africa?
  • …we stayed close – the next town over? Our own town? (In-town “mission trips” can be amazing, actually.)
  • …we held our mission trip on our own campus (during school)?
  • …we went to five different cities on the same trip?
  • …five groups went to five different cities on five different trips?
  • …we didn’t know where we were going until we left? (This, too, applied to the Mad Libs eBay Road Trip.)

the when

What if…

  • …we took mission trips every weekend for a month?
  • …we took only a two-day mission trip?
  • …we left for two weeks?
  • …we went to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, Dallas during the Super Bowl, Chicago during the Olympics, or NYC for New Year’s?

the why

What if…

  • …we made “stretching” a major purpose of our trip?
  • …we made “fun” a major purpose?
  • …we cut our purposes down to only one important thing?
  • …we gave each participant a different purpose?

Some final suggestions for all this in the next post (probably) – including never, ever innovating just for the sake of innovating. [Here’s that post.]

Written from Langhorne, PA

Road Trip #11 update:
yesterday’s T-shirt: the 49ers tribe of Cal State Long Beach

campus visits: Drexel University (#10) and University of Pennsylvania (#11 and my first Ivy League school for this trip)
church visit: The Foundry, University City campus (#5)
click here to learn more about Road Trip #11)

One Comment

  1. Pingback: raising expectations #3: better brainstorming | Exploring College Ministry blog (daily notes about our field)

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