This week I’m springboarding from a “CBS Sunday Morning” report to talk about ways campus ministries can
- Love their campuses by regarding them as unique tribes and meeting their unique needs (yesterday)
- Think outside the box about unique ways to serve and connect with collegians (today)
So as I did yesterday for the first issue, here are my in-no-particular-order thoughts on the second question raised on Monday:
- We could generally be much more creative in the ways we approach college ministry. That’s one of my biggest peeves following all my college ministry explorations – we’re all just too similar. Campuses have so many variables that differ campus-to-campus… and that means our ministry efforts should vary more widely, too.
- Meeting students’ needs is meeting students’ needs. Look at the example we have of foreign missionaries of the past and present. If we love our campus and its students, we’ll want to impact them in LOTS of ways – not just through evangelism and (obvious) disciplemaking.
- Meeting students’ seemingly secular needs offers a host of opportunities that can lead to more overtly spiritual connections. Meeting felt needs will provide you a witness in places you’d never imagined reaching.
- Lots of collegiate ministries have found success by occasionally working alongside their school’s administration. I bet if a college ministry had designed and run MIT’s “Charm School” originally, the administration would have quickly praised and supported it. There are lots of practical benefits and spiritual opportunities that arise when we care enough about our campus to help the administration meet some of its goals… and when we come up with ideas they wish they’d thought of.
- Necessity is the mother of invention: Our creativity will increase as soon as we discover (and care about) the very unique needs of our particular setting. This is where the first issue meets the second. One reason we aren’t more creative is because we aren’t pursuing meeting the special needs of our individual campuses. Fall in love – special, preferential love – with your campus, and “invention” will soon follow.