Last week, we had about 190 college ministers, student leaders, and others join us at the lunch for the College Ministers Cohort at Catalyst! When I got to speak briefly to everybody, I shared something that’s vital for all of us to remember.
I pointed out that while we were hearing some great teaching by really famous Christian leaders, business leaders, and activists at the Catalyst Conference, we might be missing an important fact: In that room (where we ate lunch) was about as much practical, next-step sort of wisdom for our individual college ministry works as in the entire arena of 13,000 people.
Why? Because other collegiate ministers have something for us that those outside our field simply don’t (and can’t).
Yes, it’s great to hear Francis Chan and Mark Driscoll and Jim Collins. But the somewhat-experienced college minister across the room or across campus has more direct wisdom to offer for what we do.
Obviously, we need to hear both kinds of teaching. But too often we college ministers miss out on the opportunities of BOTH sides. On the one hand, we become “connoisseurs” of leadership books, podcasts, and other teaching forms without translating those ideas directly to our calling. And on the other hand, we avoid learning from other college ministers (especially those outside our own circles).
Both failures are… failures, in my opinion.
There’s probably more practical wisdom about college ministry on your campus – and there’s certainly more in your state – than there is at any general leadership conference. I hope we can all take advantage of the opportunity that presents us! And when we do have chances to learn from those outside our field, I hope we’re really good about applying it to our particular (and peculiar) callings!