Yes, many college ministers have gotten to spend this week (and get to spend the next, and maybe even the next) recuperating, planning, and otherwise enjoying a brief hiatus in their primary duties. However, there are lots of college ministers who are functioning full-speed-ahead this week! So this Weekly Review is dedicated to those hard-working (and cold-enduring) brothers and sisters in our field!
Specifically, there are plenty of college ministers serving on Quarter System campuses (as opposed to Semester System) who have already gotten started on the Winter Quarter. (Most of these can be found on the West Coast and in Ohio, but there are others.) And across the nation, many church-based college ministers are pulling out all the stops to minister to home-grown students before they return to school.
So as we celebrate these guys and gals (and pray for them), here’s this week’s review of some of the best online college ministry discussions:
On brainstorming: Justin Wallace kicked off Heart of Campus Ministry’s new series on The Art of Brainstorming, discussing things he learned about leading team brainstorming sessions. (I’ll be blogging there this Monday, so be sure to check that out!)
Tools for sharing the faith: After his much-celebrated postgame comments this week, I figured I’d point you to Colt McCoy‘s evangelistic “I Am Second” videos and page! And Keith Davy posts about a new Campus Crusade evangelism emphasis, using Short Films to spread the word. As is often true, one campus ministry’s resource developments can be gain for everybody!
Book collaboration & two helpful analyses: Brian Barela not only previews an ebook he’s working on (for those starting a college ministry!), he wants collaboration. And in another post, Brian offers a really helpful analysis of three directions campus ministries might “bend.”
One more cool post went up yesterday, where Barela drew out the reasons a “gray areas” message he heard was so impactful. I would love to see more blog posts like this from around the college ministry world – simply filtering down some activities, messages, and other campus ministry staples to their key principles or “best practices.” (If you read the post, you’ll see what I mean.)
Starting, and starting slow: Matt McComas describes his observations and asks for suggestions as he begins to transition from a big college ministry in Bozeman to a Metro team in Portland (or, as he describes it, “from cowtown to urban hipster”). Meanwhile, his fellow CCC staffer Bob Fuhs provides a solid exhortation to move slowly in such endeavors. Be sure to check the comments on both posts, too.
Book suggestions: Derek Melleby with the College Transition Initiative blogs his fave books from 2009 – many of which might make good teaching, small group, or disciplemaking material.
BIG week on this blog: Exploring College Ministry is well on its way to the most second most hits of any week ever… so thanks a bunch for reading! This week has included a post pushing college ministries to enthusiastically recruit students, a first-of-the-year encouragement for us to consider quitting our big projects (that seemed to scratch where some people were itching!), a Fridea with 9 ways you could consider taking the courageous “Combo Approach,” and a reflection on how Campus Crusade’s local Winter Conference mirrors its ministries on the ground.
College students, young adults, spirituality, and why our work matters: Several items came out for helping both us and other Christians (like pastors and parents) understand the audience we serve! You might want to pass some of these on!
First, Scot McKnight begins a multi-post series at Jesus Creed about Christian Smith’s Souls in Transition. The book is about the spiritual activities and pursuits of “emerging adults” (people 18-29). So it’s obviously directly connected with not only what we do, but also the world into which we’re sending our students. I look forward to hearing McKnight’s take.
Further, Sam Rainer highlights the Pew Forum’s new research project and gives some basics on Millennials. And in a related vein, Tim Elmore points to 12 key ways the world changed in the past decade (you know, the decade when our students “grew up”). Chuck Booher, Senior Pastor of Corona, California’s Crossroads Christian Church, pens a helpful article in The Christian Standard with some basics on understanding and connecting with college students and young adults. Bob Hetzler notes a good way to find out what collegians and young adults think about a church.
And finally, Rhett Smith gives a great look at the issues surrounding how parents can help their students plug into a ministry when they go to college. And he asks for thoughts on this very important issue (and has received several comments so far).