As I noted in part of my Back-to-School Blogathon post this week, sometimes the assessments we apply to our college ministries run a little toward the vague and the subjective. “How’d that go over?” might be a little too commonly used as a formal evaluation question, as may be “What do you think about the way things are going?” and “Will students invite friends next time?”
While there are many varieties of (better) assessments we can apply, one form of subjective-but-still-helpful evaluation involves looking at how well our students do in various areas of their lives.
If our college ministry is doing its job, then our ministry should be increasingly made up of students who do life well. So we ask ourselves questions like…
- Do our students date (and eventually marry) really well? A strong college ministry should probably be producing couples that everybody can look at to say, “THAT’S what dating should look like.” And our students – whether with each other or not – should end up in some stinkin’ awesome marriages.
- Do our students suffer well? Do we have examples of students who have walked through all kinds of crazy fires… and come out with amazing testimonies on the other end? And are our students corporately suffering together well, “weeping with those who weep,” coming around individual members who are suffering in amazing ways?
- Are our students really good at having fun? If they can’t obey Ecclesiastes 9:7-9 (or other verses that encourage enjoying each other and God’s world) as college students, then something has got to be wrong. In fact, a college ministry should be producing people who are far better at having fun than the general student population…
- Do our students “do school” really well? “Doing school well” doesn’t necessarily always mean getting straight-As. But are you producing students who can be pointed to as examples of what Christian collegians should look like… even in the classroom?
- Do our students give each other really good counsel? If you, your staff, and even a few student leaders are the only reliable guides for other students… that’s not so great. Is strong, biblical advice flowing throughout your ministry?
- Do our students transition to the post-college world really well? Yes, it’s your responsibility. Not (primarily) their Young Adult Ministers’, Singles Ministers’, or future Pastors’. (Or their spouses’!) If students aren’t regularly further along with Christ at age 24 than they were when they graduated, adjustments to your campus ministry could be in order!
What else could you ask? Are you open to honest answers – and to doing something about them, as needed?