This is the week of Catalyst Conference in Atlanta – and the College Ministers Cohort there! I’m excited to join with well over 100 college ministers at our various activities this week, including a big lunch tomorrow. Today’s the first “main” Catalyst day, though, so I wanted to revisit something that Cohort attendees AND the rest of us should consider.
Because we have to stand up for our field of ministry.
Last night we (in the Cohort) got the last-minute chance to tag along at a dinner. The speaker was David Platt, who spoke (phenomenally, as always) about mustering his family’s and his church’s resources to care for a hurting world. He had some Q&A time at the end, so I did what I hope I’ll always do.
I went to bat for College Ministry.
Simply by asking Platt how his church had mobilized college students to reach the world (which I knew they had), a room full of mostly non-college ministers got to hear – clearly – the potential our students bring to the cause of worldwide impact.
My question (obviously) wasn’t any big deal. But I bring up that episode from last night simply to encourage us all to consider raising the question of Collegiate Ministry every opportunity we have.
And at a place like Catalyst (or any conference or seminar), the opportunities are plentiful:
- To a seminary: “What programs do you have for training college ministers?” (No, not youth ministers. College ministers.)
- To a parachurch ministry: “How do you connect college students with this?” “Have you had the chance to engage people with this early in their lives, like in college?”
- A denomination or other multi-church group: “How do you mobilize and resource college ministry in your churches?” “I saw all your stuff for Youth Ministry… what kinds of Campus Ministry programs do you have?”
- To a publisher: “What do you market to college students?” “Do you have anything college ministers can use for small groups?” “Do you have any collegiate versions or study guides of your books?”
I’ve written before,
Christian organizations need to realize that the field of College Ministry shouldn’t be overlooked – not just because it’s such an important and valuable mission field, but because their very aims (of both ministry and sales) would benefit.
You never know when a seminary representative might return to her campus and say, “Have we ever thought about training college ministers here?”
We never know when a publisher – after getting questions at a few conferences in a row – might make a suggestion at a meeting back at the offices.
When they hear from us – especially if they hear from many of us – it’s going to make an impression.
We should be asking these questions, putting this topic on their minds. Because nobody else will.