Happy Twelve-Twelve, 2009! Less than two weeks ’til Christmas, so I hope the semester or quarter wound up (or is winding up) nicely.
I don’t know what your Christmas Break looks like, but those weeks might be a great time to familiarize yourself with opportunities to LEARN in college ministry. Of course, if you’re already reading this blog, you’re clearly already participating in some professional development (I hope this blog provides that, at least!).
Along those lines, let me point you to some of the discussions around the ‘net that I found most interesting this week:
a new college ministry legal case: The U.S. Supreme Court is actually taking up a college ministry case involving offering membership to students who don’t hold a ministry’s theology or values. So this is a HUGE something we should all be watching (and praying about). See Christianity Today‘s synopsis here, or a larger article from Inside Higher Ed.
more on evaluating college ministry success: As you’ve hopefully seen, multiple blogs have been discussing how to measure success in college ministry. I had the honor of guest-posting at Heart of Campus Ministry, and the approach I suggest is actually one of the most important things I’ve ever learned about ministry to collegians. In related veins, Alice Connor posts a great article reflecting on what “on-the-ground” success really often looks like for us college ministers, Ian Clark provides a solid 10-question assessment tool NewChapter has used to help college ministries evaluate their own work, and Jason Hayes is asking what successful disciplemaking looks like.
If you’re interested in all the recent posts on this topic, check out the top entry on last week’s review.
evangelism on the college campus: Interestingly enough, there are sometimes providential pepperings across various blogs – unconnected posts that address the same college ministry issue! Pretty cool!
One such “theme” has been evangelism. First, Eric Pederson gives us the chance to test-run a creative new Evangelism / Pre-Evangelism approach, through “Spiritual Conversation Cards.” The first 150 to respond get a free copy and get to help test the effectiveness of this approach! (HT: Ryan McReynolds) Second, Keith Davy wonders aloud if evangelism to Postmoderns works the same now as it did ten years ago – a really important question for many of us.
using volunteers in campus ministry: Another of those multi-blog themes has shown up in two posts about using / training college ministry volunteers. Chuck Bomar has gotten a few good comments on his request for helpful methods / resources for this area. And though I’m not sure it’s applicable to our work on every page, Walt Mueller highlights a book written for Youth Ministry Volunteers that could be useful just the same. (I also think it’s really cool that somebody published a book like that!)
articles for promoting college ministry (for our overseers & otherwise): Several places have also provided entries that might be perfect for passing on to those who need to understand our work better. Whether it’s supporters, overseers, pastors, parents, youth pastors, or somebody else, these might be illuminating to them:
- Jason Locke (a college minister-turned-preacher) with a great primer on differences in college ministry today vs. the past
- Bob Hetzler on involving younger people in a church’s vision-forming and planning process.
- Baptist Press with some attention-grabbing reasons parents should care about ministry to collegians
highlights here at ECM: On this blog, the highlights include an urgent encouragement for you to consider lending your talents to help the whole field of college ministry, a suggestion to recount your college ministry’s history, and some college ministry theology dealing with our field’s relative lack of suffering. (Interestingly enough, Brian Beckstrom just thoughtfully posted on a college student’s funeral he attended this week.)
and more good reading: Bill Westfall applies Good to Great to his college ministry, Mint.com provides a really cool visual stat-sheet regarding charity-giving that might be useful with students (HT: Todd Engstrom), my good friend Mark Warrington finally starts blogging with a cool post about implementing some Millennial technology in our college ministries, and another cool Dallasite – Mike Reading – continues the history of his unique college ministry.