the long view: what are your multi-semester strategies?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time speaking to many of Missouri’s SBC college ministers last week. Not only are several of them people I’ve met before (and therefore enjoyed getting to see once again), but the topic itself was really fun to talk about: “The Good, the Bad, and the Crazy” when it comes to building strong college ministries.

Right off the bat, the first of “The Good” was simply “Purposes & Plans.” In that section, I discussed how important I believe these aspects are for building the strongest college ministries possible. Sadly, far too few college ministries place a heavy emphasis on strategy in impacting students and the campus. Those who simply “run plays” instead of making plans are accomplishing far less than they could.

Part of this is looking beyond the coming semester (or quarter). So I’ve got a very simple question for today: What multi-semester strategies do you have in place?

Wherever your campus ministry is – from just starting to well-established – you should have several specific purposes in mind. These are things you believe your students should become, as well as things your ministry as a whole should achieve. And chances are, some of these purposes will require more than one semester to achieve.

If that’s the case, if some purposes aren’t simply about getting from A to B but require going from A to B to C to D… then shouldn’t we be strategizing how to get there step by step? So what multi-semester strategies do you have in place?

For instance, let’s say you wanted one-on-one disciplemaking to become part of the DNA of your college ministry. This probably wouldn’t be achieved in one semester, requiring several “steps” to get there.

First, discipling a few students yourself would be a big start. You’d make sure to mention that every once in awhile to the ministry as a whole, and otherwise help students begin to hear about this idea.

Soon enough, it would be vital to teach about disciplemaking in a ministry-wide way. (Any part of your “DNA” that isn’t backed up by proclaimed truth is encouraging legalism!) Finding and presenting testimonies of effective disciplemaking could help. Perhaps a retreat or attending a conference focused on this topic will get students considering this. Later, helping people find disciplers / disciplees will keep the ball rolling. At some point, your student leaders might be required to try to find someone to disciple. And so on.

No, you can’t foresee how each semester will go. So any “multi-semester strategy” is really just a basic blueprint. But the point is that not every goal can be achieved in one semester. So the question is, What are you planning to do this semester to help your ministry bear even greater fruit in later semesters?

The pic illustrating “the long view” above comes from Henderson State University, one of 2 HSUs I’ve explored.


[Click to ask questions, comment, or see any comments on this post!]


  1. PB

    Would love to see a breakdown of “How to make an effective discipleship ministry”. Newsletter #1 – the first semester (Model it to a small group of students and adults), Newsletter #2the second semester…..

  2. Pingback: another 10 reads for assessing your college ministry « Exploring College Ministry blog (daily notes about our field)

Leave a Reply