9 ways to partake in that crazy, courageous combo approach (a fridea)

It’s the first Fridea of 2010!

If you’re new around these parts, Frideas are weekly posts that offer nothing more than a college ministry method you might find useful. But, as far as college ministry methods go, these are often doozies – outside-the-norm ideas generally derived from things I’ve seen around the country or done myself!

(If you wanna see links to all the Frideas so far (with short synopses), click here.)

This week’s Fridea? Join with another college ministry to combine some element of your ministries – once or regularly.

Believe me – I’m not suggesting any overreaching push for unity here. This is a more targeted, specific idea than some of the “unity attempts” occasionally tried. And whether you lead a campus-based ministry, a church-based ministry, an institutional ministry at a Christian college, or a campus church, this idea could help accomplish some real and practical purposes.

Some concrete combinations, for your consideration:

  1. A ministry team. If your ministry has a few students who are passionate about reaching internationals, performing drama, tutoring fellow students, or anything else, it’s possible another ministry does, too. Why not “combo” a ministry team for those students?
  2. A topical study. Got a few students interested in studying Social Justice, reading C.S. Lewis, or exegeting the Book of John? So might the InterVarsity group, or one of those church college ministries in town.
  3. The weekly worship service (a.k.a. the “sing-and-speak”). I know it’s a wild thought, but what’s gained when two ministries share the same large group meeting? (Believe it or not, I know of a couple of places this happens.) Or, at the very least, you could spend one week in a happy combo.
  4. Prayer. Prayin’ together. That’s allowed, right?
  5. Leadership training. How different can leadership training possibly be, from ministry to ministry? (And if there are some differences, all the better reason to pool your resources!)
  6. One-time projects. Whether it’s reaching out to the homeless on a Saturday or organizing some grand campus-wide event, plenty of projects are perfect for the combo approach.
  7. Mixers! (or other fun-n-games). I’m surprised more ministries don’t have “sister ministries” that they do fun stuff with – either on campus or at a nearby campus. At the very least, it’s a chance to catalyze inter-ministry romances, right?
  8. Spring Break or Summer events. Everybody’s planning work can get easier when there are more groups involved. And who says only those in your ministry would be interested in that mission trip or Summer Project?
  9. Campus visits. You’ve got times when you head out on campus just to “hang,” and so do all the other college ministers. Surely a lunch or two could be spent together, eh? And for students’ campus evangelism, cooperation could broaden and deepen the experience and impact.

Is it bad that one of the first benefits of the Combo Approach that pops into my head is the chance to do less work? But that honestly can be a true benefit of this. You might also see increased resources, greater diversity of wisdom, greater diversity of people, greater numbers of people, increased unity, easier time achieving critical mass, a cool witness within the watching campus, and building relationships that can lead to all kinds of other benefits.

As I said, I’m well aware that “unity attempts” don’t always work. But take this Fridea as what it is: An invitation to (re)visit the question, “Is there anything we might want to combine with another college ministry?”

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