updated tuesday, may 18
It’s not often that we who invest our lives in students get to hear “thoughts on college ministry” from Christian leaders in other areas. (But I look forward to the day when that’s not the case!)
So you might imagine that I’m lapping up all I can this week, as Dr. Michael Frost is discussing missional ministry with our team of 40 – a majority of whom are college ministers.
He just started teaching yesterday, but I’ll add to this list (on this same post) as the week goes on. So be sure to check back each day; if something new has been spoken, I’ll try to have it here.
For now… (and please remember, these are his opinions, not necessarily mine)
- He said he doesn’t like the approach of motivating college ministry by sharing the bleak statistics: his specific example was sharing the large number of people on our campus, “but only 1% follow Christ.” That’s not all that motivational, he said. Instead, he seemed to be inferring that we should motivate by sharing the specific people to whom we’ve been sent.
- He said that as a general rule, “I don’t think we’re meant to evangelize strangers.” This was said in response to a question about how “announcement” and “demonstration” work together without one being subservient to another (a key point he argued on Monday). He stated that they’re meant to work as two sides of the same declaration, not as two pieces that are juxtaposed. That point led to this quote, which certainly directly applies to our methodologies. (Again, these are his thoughts, not mine.)
- After stating that missional Christians have to embed ourselves into communities, he added, “I guess you do [that] as campus ministries especially.” In other words, he was stating his observation that college ministries often already participate in that area of missional ministry.
- He used the arguments of Allen (1927) and Bosch (from the 80s) to argue against campus ministry models that let the church “outsource” their mission aspect. He described it as the college ministers saying, We’ll go on mission, and then we’ll send them to you to get the Worship, Discipleship, etc..
- Connected to #4, he said oftentimes those people most willing to go “on mission” get ejected from our churches into performing that mission outside the church.
- Connected to #4 and #5, he noted that we campus ministers are part of that “missional” bunch of people. So we need to take that passion God has given and make sure we’re connecting with our churches enough to help bring them to this understanding.
More to come! Meanwhile, if you’d simply like the notes of what Frost is teaching this week, I’m blogging that in my official capacity on the trip. I’ll update this list in the days to come, too.
Feel free to interact with anything he’s said here (or with me personally). I’m looking to glean this week – not just for me but for all of us, and not just things I agree with but things that can and should make us all think!
Update: Brazil Missional Trek
Monday, Day 4: This was another long day. I went with one team to journey throughout downtown and a few different neighborhoods, seeing some sites but ultimately ending in some “free hugs” service and an amazing time with the Zoe Church community at Starbucks. I even had the chance to talk about Jesus with a guy – in tandem with one of the Zoe members! (To follow along with the team and what we’re learning / experiencing, see our blog at plantingbrazil.wordpress.com.)