This summer – between the giant Road Trip 11 and the end-of-summer Road Trip 12 – was a great time of connecting with some great college ministry thinkers AND working through some big thoughts about our field. One of the “big thoughts” I blogged was in the post below, as I tried to passionately describe the BIGGEST help we can provide the field of College Ministry.
For a couple of years now, I’ve had one presupposition that has driven my journeys, actions, and thoughts. It continues to be at the front of my mind as I work to help Collegiate Ministry – as a field – progress from where it is to a stronger place.
Here’s the presupposition:
The biggest help anyone can provide for College Ministry (right now) is raising its value in the mind of Christians.
There are many problems and much lack within college ministry. Naming a whole bunch of things that we certainly need is easy enough, because our field is underdeveloped. We can (and should) point out the need for everything from books… to funds… to better methodologies… to organizations that advance our cause.
But those very things have a “Z Factor,” an issue that affects EACH of those things. The root of the problem, why things seem so out-of-sorts here, why we feel like we’re walking uphill when making these changes – is because American Christians don’t generally acknowledge how much college ministry matters.
When college ministry matters, we all acknowledge the many people who are serving campuses and students in awesome ways.
When college ministry matters, people give money.
When college ministry matters, people demand books on college ministry… and buy books on college ministry… Therefore, when college ministry matters, books are commissioned and published.
When college ministry matters, more college ministers arise (and there are lots of college ministry jobs).
When college ministry matters, the desire increases for efficiency and wisdom and creativity and skill and training in college ministry.
When college ministry matters, college ministers see the need to improve our work. (Yes, I think we too could better value the work we do.) Therefore collaboration increases – through sit-downs, blogs, podcasts, informal training, formal training, reading, ministry visits, conferences… Discussions – both academic and practical – are rampant (when college ministry matters). And the cream rises to the top, so those discussions just get better and better over time.
When college ministry matters, more high school Christians plan to join a college ministry when they get to school.
When college ministry matters, students are reached better, and more of ‘em are reached.
God is glorified in the campuses like never before.
When college ministry matters.
So if you can only pray for one thing to help the field called College Ministry, I’d encourage praying for this. If you can only work on one thing to help College Ministry, think about working on this (first).
We should keep doing the other things – writing books, training others, starting seminary courses, blogging, collaborating, donating, and so on – more and more, as much as we can. But everything will involve more people and be easier, better, and more effective once the value of college ministry is raised in the hearts and minds of Christians.
So if you have to pick a priority for your college ministry improvement schedule, please consider this for your Number First. You can start by telling people where you are how much college ministry matters. Or run an ad in the Super Bowl! Use the free book if it helps, or get some testimonies together, or write something of your own. Or use any influence God’s given you to “plug” this area that receives such disproportionate attention. But if you have the opportunity, do something.
It’ll be a really good day… when college ministry matters.