different is good

Simple thought:

If most of the students who are presently in your campus ministry are enormous fans of – and show up at – most of your activities… are you sure that’s a good thing? (And what does this mean for the college minister? See the next post.)

If your ministry, like most, aims to reach as broadly on campus as you can, are you holding a broad enough range of activities? Are the times / days varied enough? Are there plenty of activities mixed in there that some students really, really like… even if others really, really don’t?

Why do we need everybody to show up at everything?

I know this is a tricky thought for those with smaller ministries, but it might at least be worth pondering for a little bit. It seems to me, there might be some advantages to having only a portion of your students interested in any given activity, as long as they’re different cross-sections of students for each activity.

Just a thought. (If you want to be hit even closer to home, see the next post.)


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  1. Pingback: you should dislike some stuff, too « Exploring College Ministry blog (daily notes about our field)

  2. I think both can be accomplished if your leading the group in the right direction. I believe, when led and taught correctly, a ministry will have almost every one of it’s members at each event. They must first be taught that the ministry is NOT about them and what they like and that the focus of every event is about reaching out to others.

  3. A great thought! And you’re right – just like the college minister, hopefully we have lots of students coming to events they wouldn’t naturally “prefer.”

    But I also know many college ministers have pointed out to me the need for us to guard students’ time – and that’s definitely true. So in a ministry with a lot of activities – and not just outreach events, but also events that don’t focus on (or don’t focus largely on) outreach – hopefully students don’t feel like they need to be at everything. (One of the best ways to disciple our students early is to teach them how to say NO to GOOD things – even things within our college ministry.)

    Meanwhile, if our outreach is working, we’ll hopefully have plenty of students who aren’t quite “there” when it comes to taking part in the work of the ministry. (In fact, it could be a sign of unhealth if new ministry participants are immediately “all in” – that’s more the realm of the cults than the college ministries.) So with all our new students, it’s likely they would prefer some events over others… if indeed we vary the style and focus of our events, like the post encourages.

    Lastly, don’t miss the point about times, too. Hopefully we’re staggering our events in such a way that different students can be exposed to different activities.

    Still, a very good point. We need our students to recognize that the purposes for activities (usually) go beyond just hanging out.

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