I have the awesome chance to lead a Student Leaders’ retreat for a college ministry in West Texas this weekend, and the college minister and I were chatting about the plans yesterday. He noted that the members of his leadership team (running about 40 students this year) hadn’t yet had the chance to get to know each other all that well. So we’ll be working on that during the retreat.
And that leads to today’s thought.
I imagine that scenario isn’t extremely uncommon: Student leaders (and adult volunteers in ministries that have them) are focused on their vital ministry duties AND on connecting with new freshmen, with students on the “margins,” and with others who need to be exhorted and brought into community. Your leaders are leading, in other words.
But while they may be helping other students find deeper community within your college ministry, do they have that same chance? I’d argue that it’s extremely valuable for you to foster community on purpose among your leadership, because those students (and or adults) are likely to impact each other in a way neither you nor those they’re regularly ministering to will. Friendships should be forming among them – even amazing, God-honoring romantic relationships might arise – and those leaders should be forming tight bonds with each other… while avoiding an appearance of “core clique,” of course.
Are you only training, personally discipling, and giving ministry opportunities to those in the “core” of your campus ministry? Or are you helping them, too, develop community with others who will sharpen them?