I find it a little… confusing… that many campus ministries seem to plan their entire programs on a year-to-year basis. I’m not sure we can know where our ministries are headed or what our students are going to be up to next week – let alone nine months from now. We’ve got all sort of new students coming through semester-by-semester, ideas that pop up that we need to run with, new issues to deal with directly, changes on campus, and even whole ministry identity-shifts every once in a while.
The truth is, I believe your ministry and your campus are both too exciting to plan a whole year at a time.
If you did “master plan” back in the summer, let me encourage you to consider what (or whom) should be added, subtracted, tweaked, spun off, reined in, increased, decreased, encouraged, discouraged, confronted, or otherwise changed.
In a few areas, you might consider “re-upping,” strategically reinvesting in some of the systems and opportunities you already have in place. So that happy note is our College Ministry Fridea for the week, and here are some examples:
Your leadership team: Depending on how you do student leadership, it’s likely some new potential leaders have arisen. Have you considered re-upping your commitment to involving students by opening the leadership application process once again?
Your small groups: If small groups are part of the DNA of your campus ministry, why oh why would you only have a “push” at the beginning of the school year? Some students have matured, others have become intrigued by hearing about the groups, and some are simply new. Re-up your commitment to small group discipleship by opening present groups – or forming new ones – for next semester or quarter.
Your vision and values: Students have short attention spans, and a good chunk of next semester’s group probably wasn’t around when you shared your vision and values last semester, anyway. Re-up.
Your recruitment: It’s crazy to think that students are only going to join in the first few weeks. And besides, there are students out there who have wandered from your college ministry or others… and they need to find a new community LONG before next August. (Plus, you won’t have nearly as much competition recruiting in January or February!)
Your programs or teams: There’s no way every good service idea, ministry team, or other ongoing program needs to wait ’til August. Are there some “new institutions” you can start in January? (Hey, it’s the perfect time to start slow, too, and gear up for the Fall…)