where college ministry and student life kiss

This week’s Fridea may seem odd, “secular,” or otherwise out of place. But it can actually be an incredible tool as part of your college ministry arsenal.

What if you looked for ways your ministry could dovetail with the school’s student life aims?

As I talked with one college minister the other day, we discussed how his major state school struggles – a lot, apparently – with student life. Though located in a true “college town,” there isn’t nearly the fun, energetic college-town “vibe” that is often found in such places.

School administrations care about things like this for several reasons; student retention is one of the big ones. So when I hear about campuses like my friend’s, I see an opportunity. This campus might need a hero… somebody whose job (as college minister) has already helped them excel in fellowship and community-building.

What if you hosted an event for students in the fall? What if your building was used for more than just worship space? What if you performed edifying, encouraging functions on campus on a semi-regular basis? What if you really got crazy and redesigned the mascot, created a popular school T-shirt, or started a school tradition or two? (What if your ministry became a school tradition?)

Aren’t we supposed to pray (and work) for the benefit of our “captors”? I believe service to the campus can be a spiritual act, indeed – not to mention the enormous ministry benefits that can come from direct engagement OR better student life at our campuses. We can gain favor, we can make solid relational connections, we can have fun, we can draw new students, and we can better integrate our ministry with the campus community. And if it works – if we really do help student life do its job better – we all win; school spirit may be a fully secular concept, but there are, without a doubt, some spiritual benefits.

What if you helped it happen?

Written from Stony Brook, NY

Road Trip #11 update (Day 25):
yesterday’s T-shirt: the Dragon tribe of Drexel (the day before was mostly an LSU Tigers polo, with a Minnesota Golden Gophers T-shirt once I got comfy)

campus visits yesterday: Columbia University (#24 and my 4th Ivy of the trip), Stony Brook University (#25)
click here to learn more about Road Trip #11)

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