After all my travels and explorations and conversations, one of the clearest conclusions is that we don’t have nearly enough college ministries that have been built – from the ground up – with their particular campus in mind.
Many, many of us are good at slapping some coats of Contextualization on our already-built ministries, ministries composed of bricks from various sources. If we spend time loving one campus long enough, we might occasionally do some minor renovations that involve Contextualization more heavily, adding a wing or modifying a previously incongruous room to match better the campus we love.
But there’s not a lot of evidence of campus ministries designed with their own campus in mind more than any other influence. This sort of ministry would be composed of local bricks, nearly every decision affected by the campus tribe in which it finds itself. These college ministries are inherently contextual rather than simply growing to fit (somewhat) the field they’re in over time.
Of course, a large number of college ministries are still doing amazing work on their campuses. The lack of ground-up contextualization hasn’t kept them from bearing exciting, enormous fruit. But what more might we accomplish?