hospitality in college ministry #10: keeping the outliers in

Last week, I jumped back into my earlier series on Hospitality in College Ministry (see all the posts so far here). I’m focusing on quick ideas for serving our students through our structures. And the series continues…

As college ministers, we’re at least roughly familiar with the generalizations of the generation we serve. We’ve come to understand their musical appetites, the varieties of discipleship that seem to impact them most, and how – by and large – they respond to our various challenges.

Throughout this blog, I’ve been a major proponent of learning – and using – the sociological findings about the Millennial Generation (which happens to be the generation we’re serving right now, for the most part).

But what can get lost as we attend to the generalizations is the fact that each student corresponds to these generalizations to varying degrees. On any given issue – whether it’s how you teach, the way you do small groups, your music, your focus on (or lack of focus on) “traditions,” etc. – some of your actual students may be “outliers,” holding a view that doesn’t exactly fit the stereotypes.

And that brings us to the question that ends this post:

For each of your structures and themes, how do you serve those outliers while also serving the majority? Have you considered it?

Our answers will be different. But it’s the act of considering this, of praying and pondering, that proves (or disproves) our hospitality.

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