“persons of peace” and college ministry

Over on the Planting Brazil blog I’m writing this week for the IMB, I just highlighted our first teaching session of the week. It was a talk on locating “persons of peace” as we seek to impact a city, region, etc. If you’re unfamiliar with the term (or want a refresher), check that out here.

We don’t usually use the “persons of peace” terminology in our campus ministry work. It certainly feels foreign-missions-ish; in fact, I’m not sure how often we use it even within North American missions.

But this is one of the numerous places where college ministry already reflects missions practice, because I know there are many examples of college ministries connecting with people like this. And as we more distinctly acknowledge our affinities to foreign missions (like I wrote about in Reaching the Campus Tribes) and learn more from that amazing field, I think this is an approach we can use even more effectively.

What are some ways God could use “persons of peace” in a college ministry?

  • A sorority member grows to respect your ministry, so she’s open to you sharing leadership principles with the girls in the house
  • A few RAs on campus are willing to announce your ministry’s activities at their required dorm meetings
  • The University President’s administrative assistant is excited about your work, and she helps cut through some red tape for your campus-wide event
  • A friendly encounter with the head of the Muslim Student Association (you didn’t even know who he was!) leads to an ongoing dialogue with its members
  • Befriending a janitor gives access to the “keys to the kingdom,” as it were (and he’s patient when your weekly meeting runs a little late)
  • Connecting with an atheist coach leads to you serving as chaplain of the basketball team
  • You notice a swarm of band members coming to your weekly meeting, after the first chair flautist has found a new interest in, as she puts it, “Jesus stuff”
  • A tenured political science professor is willing to become your ministry’s sponsor, and he’s “got your back” when a disgruntled student claims you’re “intolerant”

As I said, college ministries are commonly missional / missiological in this way, even if we rarely use those M-words. But though there are plenty of examples of this, I’m sure there are plenty of other college ministers who could make better use of this opportunity. Students, professors, administrators, and even janitors – we can “look to the fields” and find them.

Update: Brazil Missional Trek
Sunday, Day 3: We began our Teaching-Application daily rhythm, although I needed to pull back in the afternoon and “get ahead of the game” with both my rest and my responsibilities on the Trip Blog. (To follow along with the team and what we’re learning / experiencing, see our blog at plantingbrazil.wordpress.com.)

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