when we’re less accessible (gleanings from Catalyst)

Yesterday, I wrote (in passing) about gleaning college ministry learning from the broader teaching we get to hear. One of the guys at last week’s College Ministers Cohort, Seth Caddell, did just that. I asked him to provide a guest post based on something he got from the Catalyst Conference. (Seth’s blog is at www.lifeasexperienced.com.)

In his opening message, Andy Stanley addressed a difficulty lots of ministers face: The more successful we become, the less accessible we become. Instead of bemoaning this reality, he encouraged us to respond in one key way… as Seth describes (and applies to our field) below.

The number one temptation every minister faces is to do as much as you can for as many as you can. We can’t help but want to help. We want to hear each problem; we want to care for each student. But we can’t. We wish there was enough time to work with everyone, and often we try. We spend 30 minutes here and maybe 15 minutes there, hoping to impact as many as possible. Yet that doesn’t really work.

Sure, we could continue investing little bits of time and making our ministries as wide as possible. Sure, it’s cool when lots of students know our names and when we feel like we are having lots of “great conversations.”  But this last week at Catalyst, Andy Stanley offered a game-changer.

What if we went deep rather than wide? What if we did for a few what we wish we could do for all our students? What if we invested hours upon hours in a couple students instead of spreading that time over 50 students?

We would begin to make disciples – that’s what would happen!

Obviously, many of us would be unemployed if we totally rejected all but 2 or 3 students. But we also hinder our impact when we spread our time so thin. We have to find a balance between hours with a few and minutes with many.

Maybe we need to rethink the way we are doing discipleship. Perhaps many of us who are Lone Ranger types need to start recruiting some help. Maybe we need to empower our students to pour into other students while we pour into them.

Regardless of what solution you find, I’d challenge you to start thinking of a few students you have the opportunity to impact in the ways you wish you could impact everybody!


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