On Monday, I highlighted one of the ideas from my book – that missions requires cooperation. I quoted,
But cooperation is not merely essential; it can also be incredibly fruitful. By working together – wisely – ministries can often do more together than they can do separately. This may be particularly true in college ministry, when “critical mass” can bear particular importance in drawing college students, attracting support, and raising up qualified student leaders. Likewise, vital college ministry needs – such as strategy, creativity, collaboration, resources, and administration – may be more easily accomplished when ministries work together. Instead of duplicating activity, ministries can better complement and supplement each other’s work. (Reaching the Campus Tribes, p. 59)
There’s one sentence in there that would be easy to miss but has BIG implications: “Likewise, vital college ministry needs – such as strategy, creativity, collaboration, resources, and administration – may be more easily accomplished when ministries work together.”
That’s one sentence I would have loved to unpack, but I didn’t have room for it there. Each one of those possibilities for cooperation could take weeks or semesters to implement – but it could be highly worth it, if it fits your context.
Cooperation in Strategy: If plans succeed through the “wisdom of many counselors,” who among your college ministry peers are strategizing with you on occasion? This doesn’t have involve giving up autonomy; you can simply brainstorm together about how God might use you (and others) to best reach the campus. Plus, some ministers have personalities better attuned to long-range strategy and planning; you need them (or they need you).
Two heads are better than one, and while your overseers AND your students certainly have some wisdom to give, there is no one who understands your situation and your context quite like a fellow college minister on your campus.
Cooperation in Creativity: I mentioned brainstorming when it comes to a strategic plan, but the same is true for creativity. Of course multiple individuals might be able to brainstorm toward more creative (and effective) means than a solo college minister can.
When’s the last time you huddled with campus ministers to dream big… or even to ask for some random ideas for your next event, message series, etc.? What if you held monthly lunches only for the sake of creative idea-sharing and idea-pondering?
I’ll hit the other three areas tomorrow!