So… the other day I bought some BreathSavers breath mints, since they were kinda staring at me in the checkout line at Wal-Mart. They say they’re “3 Hour Mint,” which according to the small print (still on the front of the box!) means they’re “clinically proven to reduce intrinsic bad breath for up to three hours.”
I started wondering: “Wouldn’t that be true for lots of breath mints?” I figure plenty of strong-ish breath mints would still have some scientifically-measurable effect three hours later… right?
So here’s where I went with that in my college ministry-lovin’ mind:
Stating the obvious, the basic, or the forgotten-but-fundamental reasons students benefit from our college ministry can keep them excited, keep them coming, or get them coming in the first place.
Even if a three-hour-effect is normal for lots of breath mints, hooray for BreathSavers for putting it front-and-center. It got me to spend my money.
For us, we should remind students on occasion that they benefit from being in our ministry. They have fun here. They get a weekly break to connect with Christ and each other. They’re learning things that will impact them and their future in dramatic ways.
We can remind them that our ministry gives them cool opportunities to serve others – and maybe even points them to opportunities they wouldn’t see without us. It’s providing them with relationships that will last a lifetime. It’s training them to be great spouses and great parents. It’s turning them into ministers – whether “vocationally” or otherwise.
And on and on.
These things are basic, but we forget – and if we forget, you can bet our students do. And if our students have forgotten the many “basic benefits” of our college ministry, you can bet our school’s other students (and the new freshmen each year) aren’t thinking about these things at all.
We might want to put them on the front of the box sometimes.