What do we do after we’ve begun? This week, I’m discussing ways you can use early weeks of the semester to maximize your ministry’s impact. For the rationale, read the intro post; for the whole What You Do in Week Two series, click here.
release your expectations for next semester
The other day, I had a great phone consultation with a church college minister in Kansas. Among many other things, one of the things we discussed was the advantage of planning (most of) his college ministry work one semester at a time.
Often, for the sake of expediency (so we don’t have to think about it anymore) or surety (so we don’t have to worry about it anymore), we plan our campus ministry calendar a year in advance. It comes naturally, for sure, but I’m not sure it makes a lot of sense.
Our students don’t plan like that. Campus life doesn’t really function like that. We recognize our mission field is one of the fastest-changing, and our ministries change pretty rapidly, too. Some students rise up as obvious leaders; others prove to have stepped back a bit. Some find their passions and callings. Service opportunities arise, as do other needs. We have very little idea what our ministry situation will look like in January, nor do we know what new doors might open for effective ministry.
So if we’re shepherding (and not just “herding”), wouldn’t we want to respond to the needs of the moment, and the new things God decides to do over the next few months?
Obviously, some things need to get planned well ahead; this theory doesn’t discount that. But just as the Kansan college minister noted the other day, freeing yourself to focus on one semester could be really powerful. In fact, it could be one of the better “Week 2” decisions you make.