college ministry collectives (a fridea)

While this week’s Fridea actually shares some affinity with last week’s Fridea, I actually stumbled upon it through an entirely different connection. Here’s the Fridea:

Pool your resources with other college ministries, for specific endeavors or ongoing events.

Obviously, cooperating on single events or even ongoing activities isn’t an entirely new idea (though it’s sadly unpracticed in some quarters). But this Fridea takes that a step further – or perhaps just explores the edges of that idea.

On a conference call with some Southern Baptists of Texas church-based college ministers the other day, someone brought up an interesting idea. What if one ministry sent students on a summer mission trip – organized by another college ministry? I thought this was intriguing – especially because this didn’t involve ministries in the same town.

The big question: Is it always wisest for every college ministry to plan its own mission trips? What about for every college ministry to design – from scratch – its publicity materials? Or to plan its own Fall Retreat? To write its own curriculum? Design its own web page? To participate in its own leadership training or record-keeping or administrative work? To brainstorm with only its own leaders and students? What if one leader in Pittsburgh is really strong at producing advertising materials, while another in Philly is awesome at designing web pages? Could they somehow trade?

If you’ve read this blog for more than a week, you know I’m a strong proponent of contextualization in college ministry… so it might be surprising that I would suggest creating “collectives” of college ministries at all. But like all Frideas, this will not be a fit for every ministry. Any idea (whether normal or innovative) must be applied only when it matches the purposes of the activity and the unique context of the particular campus tribe.

But I can imagine situations where resources could be conserved and maximized through pooling, collaborating, or even “tagging along” (with permission, of course). And by resources, I mean far more than money – I mean time, energy, talents of the individual leaders and students involved, and any other resources we have available.

Look at each of the suggestions listed above, and think about how this might work. Any experience with this sort of thing? Any other ideas for College Ministry Collectives?

Find synopses of all the past Frideas over here.

written from the middle o’ Pennsylvania

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Road Trip 13: Day 40 recap
recap: a full day hanging with national staff at the headquarters of the CCO (see all explorations so far)
T-shirt: the Purple Ace (!) tribe of the University of Evansville
friday: on to State College, PA, where I’ll spend the weekend!

One Comment

  1. Collaboration is part of the DNA of our church-based college ministry. For example, we are currently beginning plans for an outreach next semester with CRU, which is neither them tagging along with what we are doing, nor vice versa. Instead, we are taking leaders from both CRU and our ministry and creating a round table discussion on outreach and planning an event to work on together. We both bring some unique strengths that we would not have individually, plus, whenever we do these types of ministries we see the prayer of Jesus in John 17 being answered. Also, it stimulates fresh growth all around.

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