Sadly, the Texas Rangers underperformed last night. But if you watched in the innings before we fell apart, you might have noticed (or heard the Fox guys talk about) today’s entries in this series. Here are those two characteristics – aspects that would make the Rangers a pretty great college ministry indeed. (If you missed it, the series starts here.)
Just yesterday, I heard commentators marveling at how “loose” the Rangers seemed, even as the World Series approached. For us in Dallas, we’ve been watching guys give each other shaving cream pies in the face, celebrate wins in wonderfully frivolous fashion, play like stinkin’ kids out on the field, and otherwise enjoy themselves… all while winning the American League, of course.
I have, on occasion, lamented the fact that fun isn’t nearly as prevailing a characteristic among college ministries as it could be. There are certainly exceptions.
And yes, most college ministries do have fun. But being fun – owning “fun” as an adjective describing a campus ministry – is certainly rarer. That’s too bad.
One of the many ways the Texas Rangers have a fun time together may be something you noticed in the game last night. They have a couple of hand signs used for encouragement: The Claw (for any big play) and The Antlers (for particularly speedy plays). These not-so-secret inside jokes are a random – and fun – addition to the games on the field.
And that’s one more ingredient that would make them a strong college ministry.
The organic growth of traditions is a really healthy sign of all sorts of good things in a college ministry. (More on that here and here.) So yes, in some ways it’s a symptom of other great characteristics. But such things – spiritual traditions, inside jokes, favorite activities, shared memories – also add to the community and mutual encouragement that can make a college ministry so beautiful.