cooperation’s options

This week has brought a focus on cooperation in college ministry, and yesterday and today I’m unpacking one particular sentence from Reaching the Campus Tribes:

“Likewise, vital college ministry needs – such as strategy, creativity, collaboration, resources, and administration – may be more easily accomplished when ministries work together.”

See yesterday’s post for some thoughts on the first two items – cooperation when it comes to strategy and in creativity. Today, quick thoughts on the last three.

Collaboration: It’s not simply that we need to share ideas (as we might in strategy and creativity), but we can also share more concrete information. Who are some allies we’ve discovered on our campus? What ministry methods have worked well in the past? What methods or resources did you learn about from your organization’s annual campus minister’s conference?

Sharing info isn’t all collaboration might involve, either – it might mean working together on an upcoming effort, piecing together a resource for students, or any other joint effort. If you’re taking a pro-cooperation stance and you see cooperation as helpful, you’re likely to find plenty of moments to collaborate in your specific context.

Cooperation in Resources: These last two areas are perhaps even more outside-the-norm than the first three. First, there’s the option of cooperating in resources.

How much resource-duplication takes place between college ministries on a campus in a given year? Is it possible that things might be shared / traded? Sermon illustration videos, small group materials, equipment for events, a study library, signage for the Large Group Meeting, cost of bringing in a special speaker or band, travel (to visit our students during the summer, for instance), and on and on… I don’t know your context, but it seems like at some level, we who are invested in similar missions could share some resources.

Cooperation in Administration: This one’s really wild: What if you shared an administrative assistant with another college minister? If you don’t have the resources to hire someone on your own (or even if you do), this would be a place cooperation might work wonders.

I could see this area playing out in other ways, too: trading off weeks to make copies or do other office tasks, for instance. Working on fundraising efforts together (even if not to the same people)… or what if, indeed, you did make pitches to some potential supporters together? Meeting once a week simply to do the tasks you each hate the most, even if it’s just for accountability and motivation.

This last area – cooperation in administration – may require more creativity, but I feel like there have to be some ways the “nuts and bolts” of collegiate ministry might be shared among a group of ministers. Ideas?


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