you say it’s a pillar, but…

Every college ministry has “pillars” – those areas its leaders feel are essential for the mission they’re called to, the methods and themes that it’s most important to do well and get right. Often one college ministry’s pillars will be different from those claimed by other ministries (including other ministries on the same campus); they’re the main aspects of a ministry’s “DNA.” Deciding your ministry’s “pillars” usually involves both discernment up-front and observation over time.

After writing a bit about pillars yesterday, I wanted to address three important ways these pillars should be used in any campus ministry (although sadly, these steps are far too often avoided). In other words, these are pillars for your pillars.

In a college ministry, your pillars should be:

  • Taught. The why of our pillars must be taught, and it must be taught ministry-wide. If Service is a pillar of a college ministry, then just offering service opportunities isn’t enough; if Evangelism is our focus, then it should be the focus of some of our teaching, too.
  • Accessible. If Leadership Opportunities are a pillar of your ministry, is the road to leadership obvious and available to anybody (even if they aren’t in some evasive “inner circle”)? And if Small Group Involvement is a pillar, then group sign-ups shouldn’t only be available in the first few weeks of the school year… right?
  • Repeated often. Along the lines of yesterday’s post, our pillars should be regularly spoken, among our student leaders and all the students. Can it be as explicit as having everybody repeat the pillars of your ministry, out-loud, on a regular basis? Sure it can, as long as you aren’t creepy about it. And whenever the opportunity arises, slip in a comment: “We’re donating to a Microfinance ministry, because International Involvement is one of the focuses of our club.”

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