the soil. it’s hard.

One of the simple but very, very important things I was reminded of on Road Trip 15 was the difference in what “success” might look like campus to campus. It’s important to realize that our “percentage of the student body reached” formulas (formal or informal) are at best only guidelines.

Sometimes a great ministry – well-established, well-run, full of Spirit and truth – won’t draw the number of students we “think it should.” In fact, one campus may be populated by several ministries like this and still not see nearly as many students reached as some less effective, less efficient ministries somewhere else.

Sure, I hope we see inroads and dramatic revival and even new, God-revealed methods that help grow our impact on campuses formerly thought to be quite difficult. We can’t use Hard Soil as an outright excuse (and I don’t meant it to be one here). But we should recognize it as reality.

  • So we celebrate the victories we see, including every life we see changed.
  • So we determine to push and tug until our ministry is the very best it can be.
  • So for us not already on a certain campus, we’re careful not to encroach on what God is already doing in tough places. We refuse to assume that our college ministry efforts would be helpful. Maybe they would be. But maybe not. Maybe the soil’s just hard, but there are enough campus ministries.

And we who are in Easier Soil settings must beware that we not assume we’re fulfilling our ministries just because we’ve got a lot of people or saw a lot of lives changed last year. It’s a bigger temptation to be mediocre when you can still draw a hundred…


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