planting or being planted (2 frideas in 1)

Two Frideas this week: One for those in well-developed college ministries, with a flip-side Fridea for those in newer ministries!

It’s very clear to me that one of the “weak links” in the field of college ministry is successfully starting college ministries. That area seems to need some improvement. And today’s ideas might just be two ingredients for that improvement.

First Fridea: Help plant a college ministry elsewhere (or even on your campus)!

One of the ideas for multiplying collegiate impact I’m most intrigued by involves well-developed college ministries helping “birth” new college ministry work. This, I believe, could be a great (and perhaps sometimes better) alternative to the classic “cold start” model or the “metro” model. (The former refers to simply starting a college ministry in a new location from scratch; the latter model involves using an off-site staff team to foster ministries in a regional or citywide setting.)

This sort of “ministry multiplication” is already happening around the country; while I can’t say it’s prevalent, it’s certainly not unheard of. Just last week I got to discuss the work the Fargo / Moorhead Chi Alpha group is doing to help restart a ministry up the road at UND. Florida State’s Campus Christian Fellowship is working to plant a ministry on a local community college. And it was exciting to hear this summer from Ryan McReynolds about Cru’s national “Missional Team” strategy, which encourages strong ministries to plant additional Cru “movements.”

In fact, those newly-planted ministries might be on other campuses, but they can also be works on the same campus – an ethnic ministry or international student ministry, for instance.

If you’re a developed ministry, November is a great time to pray through the question: “God, would you have us ‘share the wealth’ by planting other ministries sometime in the future?”

The flip-side Fridea for newer ministries: Look for a ministry “mentor.”

On the other hand, couldn’t a newer college ministry take the opposite tack? Any kind of college ministry (whether it’s in a church or on a campus) could locate a strong “mentor ministry” to help it walk through its first year or two. During the odd and fragile period of a ministry’s beginnings, wouldn’t it be great to have friendly and knowledgeable help, including:

  • Exegeting your campus context
  • Ideas for activities
  • Long-range thinking
  • “Loaner” students / student leaders
  • Recruiting help
  • Design help (for advertising, T-shirts, materials, etc.)
  • Training (for leaders or student leaders)
  • Funding or fund-raising
  • Wisdom for “special situations” that arise

If you’re a newer ministry, November may be the time you’re wondering if things are going as well as possible. I’d encourage you to pray through the question, “God, is there another group who could help us get started really well?”

[Next week’s Fridea takes some of these ideas in a different direction, for any ministry.]

posted from Motel 6 in Kalamazoo, Michigan

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Road Trip 13: Day 33 recap
recap: a great day in Chicagoland, with some big surprise meetings
(see all explorations so far)
mileage: 6,489 miles so far
new campuses: Wheaton College (#25), North Park University / Theological Seminary (#26), University of Chicago (#27)
new states: Indiana (#14) and Michigan (#15)
T-shirt: the Bruin tribe of UCLA
friday: on to University of Michigan, where I’ll spend the weekend

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