sisterhood of the ministry plants

This is an oldie but a goodie! And I figured for anyone attending next week’s College Ministers Cohort at the Catalyst Conference, it might be an especially pertinent Fridea!

Does your college ministry have a “sister campus”? What about a “sister ministry”?

A sister campus or sister ministry of this kind would generally be outside your normal realm – whether it’s across town, across the state, across the country, or even across the world. And like “sister cities,” having a sister campus provides an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship, a relationship that could end up pretty fruitful (and fun) for your own college ministry.

Maybe it’s just “adopting” a college campus across the state or across the country. Or it might be getting to know a ministry at another school – and forming a bond through the years.

Below, you’ll find tips on how this “sisterhood” could come about, ways it could impact your ministry, and some final thoughts.

the how: how you might establish a “sister situation”

  • By proximity. I originally pondered this Fridea after discovering that my pals at the University of Arkansas Baptist Collegiate Ministry had developed a ministry relationship with John Brown University, an interdenominational Christian college about half an hour away. What about your campus? Are there any schools nearby that might allow for prayer walking, parties together, cooperative ministries, service projects, etc.?
  • By ministry relationship. When I was in Dallas, I hoped that one day we might connect with another campus on a mission trip powerfully enough to take that relationship long-term. That’s one example of how two ministries could form a “sister campus” bond. Other ministry activities – of your students, of your church, etc. – could make the way for “adopting” a campus in a different city.
  • By random relationship. You never know, but a sister campus could pop up on you by surprise; it’s your job to make impactful use of the relationship! When I was in Abilene, Texas, for example, we saw several students transfer between Hardin-Simmons and the University of North Texas (a few hours away); that’s a potential chance to form a sister campus relationship. Or maybe your students will “catch” your own passion for your alma mater, and a bond could form. Or maybe there’s a particular “fan contingent” within your group for a particular school. Whatever the case, your sister campus might be sitting right under your nose.

Tomorrow, I’ll expand on what to do in this newfound sisterhood, and some final thoughts on how to be especially fruitful!

After first visiting the beautiful Boston College (pictured above) in 2003, I’ve thought it would be neat to have BC as a sister campus!


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