If you’re new to this blog – or even if you aren’t – you might have missed some of the highlights from a very busy summer! So before the approaching school year begins, here are some of the top blogs, biggest adventures, and most important milestones from the summer of 2009.
Road Trip #11: the biggest since the biggest: The summer kicked off with a 6-week excursion to and through the Northeast, my longest road trip since the yearlong trip! With speaking engagements at two conferences a month apart, it just seemed natural to take time in between to explore New England. So I’ve now been on college campuses in 45 states in the past 2 years! See the recap, the big itinerary, or all the related posts from Road Trip 11. (I also began Twittering as this trip began, which has turned out to be a really good tool.)
Jimmy Fallon’s Millennial methods: Since before the show even began, I had noticed Late Night with Jimmy Fallon was clearly wooing – and reflecting – members of Generation Y. So I decided to write about it, to reflect on some ways we can adapt those same ideas in our ministries. Not only have those posts drawn hits by the hundreds, but they received an early stamp of approval from Gavin Purcell, one of the creators and co-producers of Late Night. See the series so far.
The Church Plan Project… still waiting: In June, I introduced what I hoped would be my next big project – helping churches develop their best possible College Student Plan. But I’m still looking for churches willing to participate. It’s not an easy sell to try something new – especially in a field that doesn’t receive a lot of attention as it is. The sad thing is, we desperately need to change how we begin college ministry work in churches… because our “usual” has a pretty bad track record.
Great days for the blog: Several weeks ago, this blog passed 50,000 hits… and it seems to be picking up steam, too, with increasingly more hits and comments. Last week was actually the best week on the blog ever, even though it’s still summertime!
The hottest topics: These were some of the most discussed, most read, or simply most important posts of the summer:
- The Surprisingly Unmissional Approach to College Ministry – discussing how some very missional churches end up anti-missional in this one area. Lots of great comments on this one.
- Why I Call It “College Ministry” – instead of “campus ministry,” “collegiate ministry,” “student ministry,” or something else. Great comments here, too.
- The Biggest Help to College Ministry – discussing what I believe the field of college ministry needs most, first.
- Strong College Ministry Books (What It Takes) – my thoughts on what we need from those writing books (or speaking or blogging) about college ministry
- College Ministry Name Difficulties – readers were particularly interested by the branding plights of Campus Crusade and Baptist Collegiate Ministries, as discussed in these posts
- Recruitment Posts – ever-mindful of the college ministry calendar, several recent posts have discussed college ministry recruitment, just in time for the new school year. (Click here for all posts in the Recruitment category, including those recent ones.)
- Frideas – whether through innovative advances or simply valuable tweaks, the summer’s Frideas have offered weekly doses of interesting collegiate ministry methods.
- Every Reason I Needed to Know for College Ministry I Learned from Transformers 2 – not actually important. Just kinda fun.
Reaching is reaching people: My book, Reaching the Campus Tribes, appears to be making its way quite well through many circles and communities! (You can see a list of the sites I’ve found discussing the book here, on the right side.)
Even though it’s only been public for four months, the download site has received well over 4,000 hits – and that doesn’t count people who have shared the book via email, blog, flash drive, CD copies, or any other means… TODAY the book was highlighted and discussed at the major Jesus Creed blog, and earlier this summer, Derek Melleby of the CPYU interviewed me about the book (Part 1, Part 2). In late June, I also added an abridged version to the site for helping any of us understand or explain why college ministry matters!
An exciting summer for our field: It’s been awesome watching our field advance this summer – including through the publication of a college ministry book by Zondervan, one denomination’s major 40-day campus ministry emphasis, solid back-and-forth discussions at two collegiate ministry blogs, the introduction of a college-ministry-related doctorate at Gordon-Conwell, and three other great pieces of news I discussed last week.
Road Trip #12 (the surprise excursion): As August began, I left for Southern Indiana – only 2 days after I figured out I’d be taking this trip. (Surprise!) I visited a conference for a college ministry group I’m not a part of… and had a wonderful time there and in explorations on the return trip. Read the wrap-up, the itinerary, or the posts describing that trip.
All that in less than four months? I can’t wait to see what’s coming this fall!
Meanwhile, I’ll be speaking on Thursday at a college student leadership retreat. If you think about it, I’d appreciate your prayers!