show up, join in, take part (four days of frideas, part 4)

This Fridea is taken mostly from a post from 2009, but it’s a great one to think about at the beginning of ANY school year. Hope it inspires your college ministry to consider taking part in your own campus tribe.

See you after Labor Day! Enjoy this long weekend.

In the fall when I spent time at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, I got the chance to eat lunch with Clint Hill, the local Church of Christ college minister. One of the things Clint pointed out about their ministry is that they make an effort to participate in a bunch of the activities organized by the Student Organizations and administration of TAMUCC.

Is the campus holding a dodge ball tournament? Then their ministry will field a team for that. Have they organized freshman move-in? Then they’ll be out there, serving. All. Day. Long.

And so on.

I’ve heard other college ministers espouse this same “doctrine”: that there is great value in plugging in to what the campus as a whole is doing. Some of the whys:

  • Connections with the lost and other non-involved students
  • Participation as valuable members of the campus community
  • Endearing ourselves to the administration
  • Serving the campus by helping it thrive
  • Serving students tangibly in ways we might not imagine on our own
  • Recruitment to the ministry

When I organized a Service Team a while back, one of our major focuses was trying to tie in to service projects the campus was already participating in. That made a huge statement that we didn’t see ourselves as “the big ministry on campus,” isolated from what the tribe was already doing. We were proud members of the larger community.

So this idea, in a nutshell: Find out what the campus is already doing… and show up!

For some of you, this might be as easy as taking the Campus Events calendar and making its entries a part of your calendar, too. For others, it might involve choosing 4-5 important events this semester and attending them as a group – and purposefully. Sometimes it might simply involve encouraging, pushing, and helping students to be present and active within their campus, and teaching them how to do that with Jesus-purposes in mind.

In any case, I’m not sure it’s best practice for our ministries to be “islands” within (but not really with) the larger collegiate community. And I’m happy to have been reminded of that fact by a guy who just happens to serve among the Islander tribe of TAMUCC.

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