R&D team (this week’s college ministry fridea)

This week’s Fridea is a bit wild, I’ll admit, but it certainly is a chance to delegate the practice of progress within your ministry.

On Tuesday, the third entry in the College Ministry Poles series discussed the tension between impacting students now and building our campus ministries for later (better) impact. One way to spend some time on the latter is to assign students to the task. Many college ministries have student “ministry teams” – Service Team, Prayer Team, Worship Team, and so on. What if you formed another team devoted solely to investigating ministry development?

So that’s this week’s Fridea: Create a student “Research and Development Team.”

I’ve never seen this done. But why couldn’t it be?

As I continue to ponder this one myself, here are a few notes that spring to mind immediately. Feel free to add any thoughts you’ve got – I’d love to hear them! And if you think this is a rotten idea, please tell me – and tell us why!

  1. This team could, of course, have a staff member or adult volunteers, too. No need to limit it simply to students.
  2. This R&D Team might be composed of students on other teams. Maybe it could function as sort of a “standing committee,” working in the background – even while its members serve in other ministry areas, too.
  3. One of the major tasks of this team has to be Research, not just Development. Exegeting the campus and seeking out needs are sure-fire ways to produce innovations that are actually valuable.
  4. Perhaps more than some other teams, this team could help raise up future college ministers. It’s sort of a microcosm of starting a brand-new ministry!
  5. There are a million avenues a team like this could explore. If you haven’t checked out Reaching the Campus Tribes, that shares great places to start looking (especially in Chapter 4 and the final chapter). But as students exegete their campus – and even collaborate with other ministries in other places – they’ll find plenty worth considering.
  6. This team might not only look for innovations, it might be used to assess the ministry and suggest improvements. Are we humble enough for that?
  7. It’s easy to imagine students being disappointed when ideas aren’t used (and clearly, students can come up with some unusable ideas). There might be ways to preclude disillusionment, and it’s worth thinking about.
  8. The students involved will have to understand the ministry’s identity and values quite well. At the same time, you’ll want enough diversity and “freshness” that a wide range of ideas can sprout.

Other thoughts? Would anybody be brave enough to try this?

It is now Day 40 of College Union’s 40 Days of Prayer for Campus Ministry! What an amazing idea. Congratulations, friends!

You can see all the Frideas, with a quick description of each, at this post.


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