So here’s one question you might never have been asked: How well is your collegiate ministry doing at producing campus-changers?
How often do students attached to your campus ministry stand up for unjust situations on campus, help make positive rule changes, start organizations or efforts that positively impact the school, work through student government or other “official” avenues to impact, or help bring needed change to the school? Are your students ever part of campus-wide efforts to share the Gospel, serve other students, reconcile opposed groups, increase awareness of local or international causes, or otherwise touch lives… and even “the system”?
Is it fair to evaluate college ministries on how often their students make a “dent” in the campus? I think so. Here’s why:
- Discipling students includes helping them identify their God-given strengths and vocations (which simply means calling). If students are coming to recognize these things, then some percentage of them should have natural opportunities to impact right here, right now.
- Discipling students means encouraging them in service, justice, and personal ministry. If they’re learning to care about these things, then that growth will overflow into action in their everyday lives.
- We’re trying to raise up students who will impact their worlds for the rest of their lives. College can’t only be “incubation” and in-house training for our students. They should be practicing missional impact even now… which in their case means impacting their campus (often even more than it means impacting their neighborhoods – see #4).
- Students are (generally) more “of” the campus than they are “of” their city, their families, or their neighborhoods. While some schools’ contexts differ, many American collegians are tied to their campuses (whether they live on-campus or off). This is their primary “world,” their primary “neighborhood.” So if impact is to begin “at home,” that means impacting the campus itself.