One of the most awesome moments of helping lead the student leader retreat last weekend involved one soon-to-graduate gal. At various points throughout the weekend, her college minister and I were able to help find her place in the ministry.
She’d been on leadership team for this college ministry for a few years now. And as she approached graduation, she wondered about connecting her major – Exercise Science – with the ministry. Fortunately, her college minister gave her wide latitude – and during the course of the weekend, she was able to take some real steps toward understanding just what this might look like.
I bring up that aspect of the weekend to ask an important assessment question for your campus ministry: How many of your student leaders are serving in positions that match not only the needs of the ministry, but ALSO their life callings or very unique gifts and talents?
It’s the “also” that’s tricky, right? Because certainly, we need to ask many of our students to step into positions that wouldn’t exactly be described as their “Dream Jobs.” Sure, they hopefully have aptitude and passion there, but that’s different than tailor-making a position to fit them. That’s part of learning service, in fact; we don’t want our collegians to ever learn that service is more about “the experience” than the actual results. (It’s loving in “deed and truth” rather than just “word or tongue.”)
However, we’re also trying to disciple our students to find the callings (including the so-called “secular” callings) that God has placed on their lives… and to connect all those callings to Faith. One key way to accomplish that might be letting students explore ministry roles that fit those specific callings. So while your well-laid plans on the College Ministry Dry-erase Board this summer might not have included a “Graphic Design” student leader position, the presence of a Senior who’ll be chasing that calling for the next forty years might be all the impetus you need to, indeed, tailor-make that position.
And while you may never have an “Exercise Science” team, an Outdoors team might allow those students to “exercise” their calling in a ministry setting.
And so on.
The unique individuals God brings to our ministries make up part of how He directs our ministries, yeah? If He’s brought faithful servants with specific gifts and unique callings, then He might just have something specific and unique in mind for them, at least at some point during their collegiate career.