weekly review, mini-exploration edition

You might know that I’ve been exploring the campus ministry scene in the great town of Fort Worth; as I began preparing this post, I was still there. Then a birthday dinner with my sister and her buddies, and then I finally made it back across the Metroplex to home.

It was a good few days, though! I’ll probably blog sometime soon on how valuable a 3-day excursion could be for you, too – lots of learning, lots of observing, and lots of collaborating are easily available to you in this incredible way.

For now, however, there are other great ways to learn, observe, and collaborate – namely, plenty of cool online discussions that relate to college ministry! Eat up, and enjoy (and don’t miss all the great college ministry methods people have been describing – they’re at the bottom!).

vocational theology & transitions: Mike Hickerson of InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholars Network interviews Derek Melleby of the CCO and Center for Parent / Youth Understanding – about Derek’s book (The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness) and his work on the Transition to College that’s such a struggle for so many Christian kids. A lengthy interview – in a good way. For more on one of those topics, Tim Ehrhardt posts some great thoughts on helping students consider their education and vocation theologically.

why college ministry matters: A great profile of one college minister’s work way up at Syracuse University could be really helpful for sharing the value of College Ministry – and presenting College Ministry as missions. All the more helpful for getting the attention of outsiders, it’s from the major Christian news service Baptist Press.

thinking theologically about the iPhone: The Washington Post looks engagingly at information-obsession, smartphones, and public connection with others. A lot has been written along these lines, but this is better than much of what I’ve seen – in large part because it asks questions more than it offers answers. It could be a really good, basic piece for waking up your students to this important discussion. (HT: Rhett Smith)

weeding out students?: Brian Barela continues his helpful posts on Starting a College Ministry, this time looking at creating purposeful ministry aspects that work to weed out students who aren’t really aligned with the ministry. A tricky topic, and one that I don’t have completely settled in my own mind – but a good read, and definitely worth pondering.

lifechange opens up ministry opportunity: Tim Ehrhardt provides a cool evaluation of our opportunity to minister to students because of – not just in spite of – all the transitions taking place in their lives.

you can help…: Chad Logan develop a brochure for explaining the basics of Christianity to international students. …Tom Grosh develop a bibliography of resources for understanding the various Generations and how to minister to them!

learning from others: Justin Wallace posts a phenomenal apologia for exploring other college ministries – complete with results from a couple of recent visits he’s gotten to make. A great post, and very worth reading. (And if you could use even more basic motivations for collaboration, Russ Martin provides one.)

two famous new presidents: Christianity Today has posted a couple of interviews with the two new (famous) presidents of two major Evangelical schools: Wheaton College (Philip Ryken) and Baylor University (Ken Starr – yep, that one).

a new college ministry partner to consider: Guy Chmieleski had several helpful posts this week – including reflecting on his NYC mission trip from this week. Perhaps the post with the most heuristic value discussed ministry partnership with alumni – an endeavor that could certainly be worth putting some energy toward in the coming months. (But you should check out the others while you’re there.)

How-tos, Methods, and Under-the-Hoods

  • …for starting in a new college ministry position: Lance Crowell has been writing a series on how college ministers (particularly church-based ones) should get going in a new college ministry. Solid stuff, with five brief parts so far. You can find the first post here, and then two, three, four, and five.
  • …for engaging students in play: Wes Woodell gives detailed instructions for playing “Humans vs. Zombies” – an interesting way to draw people to your group and have a good time, campus-wide
  • …for engaging students in discussion: Mike Hurt provides a really solid look at using discussion groups (instead of “lectures”)
  • …for engaging students in spiritual conversation: Mike Mattson of a secular recruitment consulting organization describes his interaction with a Christian campus ministry’s great discussion-starting table at USC. Great chance to see an outsider’s take on a method that has become pretty popular within college ministry.
  • …for raising up college ministers: Steve Lutz has been posting his content from a talk he recently did on discerning the call to college ministry – and preparing for the call. Definitely worth giving your students who are (or should be) considering a campus ministry vocation. Start here; 4 posts so far.
  • …for getting support for college ministry: Jerry Beavers notes an effort within one denomination to re-emphasize collegiate ministry. While the example applies specifically to their group, it’s a really helpful example for others, who need to consider doing the same within their own denominations or networks! Work the system!
  • …for evangelism: Tom Greentree takes a look at one simple evangelistic presentation that’s growing in popularity – and even links to a book that helps go further on this tool and its theology.
  • …for celebrating Passover with your students in a few weeks: Derek Leman goes all-out on the instructions and other helps. (HT: Scot McKnight)

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