college ministry blogs – weekly wrap-up

Last weekend, I offered a list of some great campus ministry discussions I’d found around the web. It seemed to be useful to some people, so I might make this a weekly feature!

It’s actually been a doozy of a week in the world of college ministry blogging! So I’m going to stretch this across the weekend, because I really hope you’ll check out several of these, at least. I’ll put everything here (in case you’ve got more time today than Sunday), but I won’t post tomorrow – because who needs another post from me when you’ve got all this other great stuff to read?

If you’ll take some time to dive in, I think you’ll be intrigued (and hopefully edified) by all the discussions…

Justin Holcomb lists a surprising “top six things you need to know if you’re doing college ministry” at The Resurgence. (It’s always exciting when a really well-read blog highlights college ministry!) Even if you don’t agree with these as THE top 6, his unique additions to our quivers are well worth reading in “6 Essentials of College Ministry.” (Hat tip: Steve Lutz.)

While they are on Day 34 of their 40 Days of Prayer for Campus Ministry, College Union has also presented occasional audio “Conversations,” too. Two more were released this week: with NewChapter, my buddies who are doing some very exciting things in support of our field, and with Gregg Taylor, Wesley Foundation Director at the University of Arkansas. (I haven’t listened yet, but I wanted to let you know.)

My friend Brandon Smith, director of Christian Campus House at NW Missouri State, blogs some great practical thoughts about student leaders: finding them, training potential ones, and placing them on a calendar year commitment (rather than a school year tenure).

Exploring College Ministry has seen its share of cool discussions this week, with you readers providing some great commentary on a couple of blogs in particular. I introduced a new series Monday, “College Ministry Poles,” and the very first post, discussing Cooperation vs. Independence among college ministries, garnered some great thoughts. So did Pole #2, which looked at the Integration vs. Incubation spectrum.

On the same day I posted Pole #2, well-known pastor J. D. Greear posted his own thoughts along the same lines. His post, explicitly for college students, discussed how to decide between involvement in campus-based ministry and a local church – and his conclusions aren’t exactly traditional. That post garnered plenty of comments, which are worth reading. (HT: Phillip Bethancourt)

You’ll also find plenty of comments on Chuck Bomar‘s series this week about his concerns with college ministry small groups. Even if you don’t agree with his assumptions and/or conclusions, it’s still important reading. The first post asks some introductory questions about small groups and gets a lot of great comments. In the second post, he  expresses concerns, suggesting small groups might not accomplish what (Bomar believes) they’re implemented for. The third post explores addressing these problems with any small groups we do have in our ministries.

Finally the most interesting blogging-and-commenting took place over at Brian Barela‘s The Necessary Things blog. Brian regularly comments on what he sees within his own organization, Campus Crusade for Christ. This time, a simple question – “Where is Innovation Happening in College Ministry?” – resulted in a flurry of comments and a true debate over the last several days.

It can be a little tricky to follow the comments – they’re chronological, but also in a hierarchical setup – but it’s worth the effort. And a warning: things get a little… feisty. But there’s some good wisdom in there, some insight into various ministers’ and overseers’ thinking (that I think is generalizable well outside of Crusade), and more. Just a note: I haven’t met Brian (but hope to sometime soon), but I did get the phenomenal chance to chat this summer with Ryan, one of the Regional directors in the Northeast. (He’s a big part of these discussions, as you’ll see.)

Be sure to take a look at Brian’s follow-up on this discussion, too, which is garnering its own interesting (though less debate-y) comments.


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  1. hey benson thanks for the link!

    yes it was a true debate.

    i spoke with Ryan on the phone friday and it was great to hear his heart, passion, and perspective.

    interesting what you said about the comments and how challenging it is to follow. i experienced that as well during the blogference.

    have yet to find a good way to filter them to make sense to a new reader. if you have any tips please let me know!

  2. Thanks a bunch, Brian! I’m glad y’all got to chat – like I said, it was great meeting with that guy this summer!

    On the comments-organization thing: it’s tricky, for sure. I probably prefer simple listed comments (non-hierarchical). While the hierarchical thing is a BIG plus in some ways, it does seem to make things tricky (when the hierarchy hits 3-4 levels), and it’s harder to check back and see if there are new comments (even for experienced readers, let alone people who haven’t seen hierarchical before).

    But, there’s up-sides both ways. Not sure I’ve seen anything better in the hierarchical camp.

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