whence comes the income?

As you probably know, most of the “fruit” of my college ministry explorations over the past few years has been absolutely free for others to enjoy. This blog, my Reaching the Campus Tribes book, and hundreds of in-person conversations with college ministers during my trips and here in DFW – all free! It’s a blast (for me), and hopefully it’s helpful (for you guys). Don’t worry – as much as I’m able, I hope to continue all those free endeavors and more!

I do think it’s helpful for our field to have people focused solely on helping Collegiate Ministry to grow. Obviously, we need countless men and women pouring directly into students’ lives. But I also think our field is helped by people devoted to buttressing that work on the ground and serving those campus missionaries. That seems to be my call – perhaps even for a lifetime.

But I’m at a bit of crossroads, and I figured I would ask for your brilliance!

For two years, I had sojourned – through a yearlong research-road-trip, five research trips following that, and plenty of other fruitful explorations – knowing God had called me to it, without focusing much on income. (Indeed, I continue to wait to see how God wants to provide for the loans that resulted, but that’s not really the point of today’s post.) At the end of the second year (that was last August), God seemed to be pointing me to start thinking about making a living as I walked forward.

It was time to ask diligently how my Calling (which remains the same) should correlate with Income – making a living so I can continue to help our field. As I was praying about that last August, lo and behold, I was approached about taking my first sponsored road trip. God is so good!

But that trip ended, so I’m back to the question about Income. So far, no Big Project has presented itself, so I’m praying about other means for making a living.

But here’s the rub: While I’m very open to whatever opportunities God wants to provide, I am hoping He might provide ways in which my Income doesn’t take time away from that primary Calling. It may be that God would have my source of Income and my primary Calling be separate, as happens with many bivocational ministers. But of course, I’d rather those things dovetail, so that I might focus on our field as much as possible.

So that’s what I’m pondering, and I’d like to ask for your ideas. I guess this is the big question:

Are there activities that could both help college ministries and bring in income?

And the second is like it:

What other means might God use to support my Calling?

I certainly have some ideas, as well as some opportunities for a little income – speaking at various functions – in the coming months. But as I’ve pondered this quagmire, I realized how much you guys have helped me all along – from those hundreds of conversations around the country, to the ideas for and comments on the blog, to the amazing editing help I had preparing my book. Why wouldn’t “open source” this situation, too?

Whether you see this post today or later, please consider praying and thinking about this. I would love to hear any ideas you’ve got! You can leave a public comment if you’d like, or contact me privately.

And remember, I wound up on a yearlong road trip – so I’m pretty open to crazy thinking!

Thanks for the help, friends. I look forward to considering each and every thought you’ve got! And whether you have ideas to share or not, I really appreciate your prayers and the many who have supported me (financially and otherwise) already!

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One Comment

  1. Hey Ben!

    This subject has been on my mind a lot lately! Ok, so this is part of a larger strategy for sustaining college ministers when their church can’t, and it is not technically income, but could your Church provide a host family for you to live with? This would at least cover your rent and sometimes food too!

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