Perhaps besides September, March may have the best potential for an annual commemoration of the awesome work taking place through college ministry of all varieties. Why?
On the one hand, there’s ample evidence of the darker side of the collegiate existence during this month, as thousands flock to the beaches and elsewhere to engage in plenty of well-publicized debauchery (“de-beach-ery”?).
But the flipside of that is that hundreds of college ministries go out to impact during the same Break week – even sometimes in those very party scenes, as well as in many locations nationally and internationally. (I helped take a such a group to the airport early Sunday morning!)
Finally, this is also the month when a large portion of our country turns their eyes to March Madness, even if only to fill out a Tournament bracket and watch a few nationally televised basketball games. As I’ve written before – and I’ll post again soon – the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament can be like a true “vision trip,” starkly highlighting the amazing missiological opportunity among this unique people and their thousands of individual “campus tribes.”
We may be a few years away from the American Church as a whole celebrating what we do throughout an entire month of the year. But perhaps we can celebrate among ourselves for one week – and think about how we might draw others into the celebration of College Ministry.
I’ve seen college ministries and campuses all over this country (and a few places outside our country, too), and I can report that it is… Definitely. Worth. Celebrating.
As I mentioned, I took some students to the airport Sunday morning to catch a flight to Haiti. Exciting stuff, although 4:36am is a particularly brutal wakeup time on “Spring Forward Day”… So since I’m writing this late Sunday night, I’ll keep this short. For now, a few quick things to get us in the spirit of celebration:
- Celebrate. Don’t forget that what you do as a college minister is really important. Think about why. Tell people why (in a humble way!). Ask people why, ’cause they may have some reasons you haven’t thought about.
- Take advantage of this unique month. If I were you, I’d be the one organizing the Tournament brackets and basketball watching parties for your church (whether you’re a church-based college minister or not). I’d be sharing testimonies of Spring Break mission trips. I’d be pointing out the great need, using Spring Break clips from the news (or MTV?). I’d be thinking and praying about other ways to share the story of what we do, while the winds are blowing rather “collegiate” this month.
- Notice. Sometimes we need to be more in awe that God has called us to this unique area of ministry. Whether it’s Googling to find the work others are doing during Spring Break or noticing the beautiful panorama of campuses in the basketball tournament’s field of sixty-eight, wonder should be part of our response. We are a fortunate few. Have you noticed?
- Stay tuned. I’ll offer various helps to keep us in the spirit of celebration this week. I hope you’ll take a look, and I hope you’ll pass ’em on to others who need to hear the importance of college ministry.
P.S. In case you’re wondering, I’ve visited 46 of the 68 schools in this year’s Tournament bracket. Now to find all those T-shirts…