the little things that make a big difference

If you’ve read my book or many of these blogs, you know I think it’s important to recognize that there are serious contextual differences between campuses. And one of the really important things about these road trips is that they always provide real-life, in-my-face examples of such differences. Sometimes these differences are relatively “small,” yet they help us recognize that each campus is its own unique tribe, worthy of being approached in its own unique ways.

So I pass on to you some of the differences that have already been discussed (in only 3 days of this trip). For a good mental exercise, you could ponder the positives, negatives, and interesting strategies that might arise from these situations!

  1. Midwestern State University in Texas has many Caribbean students.
  2. UT Chattanooga has already finished classes for the year.
  3. Many freshmen may not have cars at some schools (like at Wake Forest) – or may not even be allowed to have cars.
  4. At some schools, freshmen are likely to go home on a weekend early in the semester; on others, they might avoid going home because they’re afraid of missing something.
  5. Some schools are on the Quarter System instead of the Semester System (like University of Washington).
  6. Community college ministry will likely encounter students with emotional, mental, or other such difficulties.
  7. An enormous percentage of Pepperdine sophomores study abroad. (Think that affects ministry?)
  8. Commuter-heavy campuses abound (like CSU-Pueblo).
  9. Many schools (like CSU-Pueblo) now lock their dorms to outsiders (so don’t plan on recruiting or serving door-to-door).
  10. Some freshmen have curfews.
  11. Some schools (like Midwestern State) have a full Nursing Program – providing an especially service-minded (but often busy) group of students.
  12. Some major universities are within 10 miles of other major universities (like WSU and U of Idaho, or NDSU and MSU-Moorhead).

Written from Longmont, CO

Road Trip 14 recap, Day 3
yesterday: spent the day at the Ascent Conference, with LOTS of great learning & connecting
today: church stuff, including some college ministry

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