weekly review, march begins edition

If College Ministry as a field ever becomes as valued in greater Christianity as it should be, it’s conceivable that we’d have a standard Love the College Ministry Month. While many might vote for August or September as a helpful focus-month, I might offer March as a more arresting selection.

Arresting, because this is the month when the whole nation (including the Church) turns to collegiate thoughts – with wide attention to both Spring Break happenings AND the beautiful, truly collegiate extravaganza called the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. What better chances to emphasize the dangers and glories of our wonderful mission fields?

March can also be kind of a bummer-month for college ministers, right? Spring Break and Easter (either during or soon after March) can squash our momentum, sadly – and the following senior-itis and summer-itis don’t help, either.

So if you’re looking ahead in a less-than-excited way to March, just remember I’m celebrating Loving the College Ministry Month. :)

And as part of that celebration, here are some of this week’s more intriguing online discussions for our field:

reflection on a library visit: Nick Melazzo writes a post that starts with Harry Potter in 67 languages and then turns the corner to the profound. It’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed a college ministry conclusion this much. This is what it means to love your mission field.

two places your response could really help: Tom Grosh asks good questions about building community through Social Media, and he could really use our input for an upcoming talk on the matter. And collegiate church planter Aaron Proffitt is pondering starting a blog about his branch of our field. Encouragement and suggestions would be appreciated!

evangelism debate!: Brian Barela has facilitated an important discussion on his blog (as he often does), this time about “Ministry Mode Evangelism” (more commonly known as “random evangelism” or simply “campus evangelism”). While this campus ministry debate has elicited some helpful comments, watching the debate itself is also quite instructive. (I linked this last week, but there have been a bunch of comments since then.) Campus evangelism strategy is one thing that desperately needs to be discussed well, and this discussion definitely reveals some of the underlying tensions and theses.

atheist reactions to a college ministry conference: Jonathan Weyer posts some of his Atheist friends’ reactions to their involvement at the Jubilee conference.

is our campus ministry work actually working?: Guy Chmieleski offers a strong multi-post discussion on whether classic college ministry methods are actually producing transformative results. He springboards from an academic model called the “Cone of Learning” – and “springboarding” is something we need a lot more of in college ministry discussion. The posts take some interesting turns, too – my favorite is probably the third of the four posts. The posts start here and continue with numbers two, three, and four.

college ministers, learning, & web2.0: Matt McComas asks why more college ministers don’t use social media tools (and gets quite a few helpful comments). Then Matt follows that up with another VERY key question. Good times.

big week: This week at Exploring College Ministry was one of the more popular of the semester! My post on forty decisions you’ve already made about your Large Group Meeting received the most attention; I followed it with a key related observation urging us not to miss the trees for the forest (yes, in that order). I also posted about upcoming opportunities for college ministers, which include a very missional experience in Brazil and two church-based college ministers’ conferences in April.

spring break, by the numbers: Glen Davis provides an “infographic” on Spring Break – it’s certainly interesting, might be good for showing your students, and could also come in handy for sharing the importance of college ministry. I’m assuming the source is accurate, but I did check a couple of the references listed at the bottom. If you’re gonna use it in a broad way, you might want to check it out (as with anything stat-based!).

stay with family or go on a mission trip?: Guy Chmieleski wrestles with the family-balance issues that many married campus ministers have to deal with. Very worth checking out – as well as adding your own thoughts on this vital discussion. He raises the question here, and offers some first answers here.

books!: Steve Boutry posts a great review for college ministers of Sex and the Soul (and he highly encourages reading it). Meanwhile, Derek Melleby reviews Eugene Peterson’s new Practice Resurrection, which discusses both Christian maturity and church – two vital topics for college ministers, right? And the ever-faithful Byron Borger posts all the books he wishes had been released in time for the Jubilee college ministry conference (WITH a big discount – especially if you order some books on the list today!).

for more of this kind of thing: While scouring some saved web pages from the past, I posted a total of 14 college ministry-related items that might interest you – here and here! And you can always check out last weekend’s wrap-up of campus ministry discussions right here.

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