Last week’s “This-is-Missions Monday” post focused on how well the work of collegiate ministry prepares the larger Church for its future. College Ministry can be – should be – seen as “Research and Development” for the Church, and one day maybe it will be!
But there’s another facet of this truth that’s pretty encouraging for us who labor as college ministers: In many ways, serving as college ministers prepares us personally to be amazing assets to the Christian world. Not only is the work we’re doing important for the American Church, but we ourselves participate in an awesome training ground. Think about how our everyday labor as campus ministers trains us:
- small group ministry / disciplemaking. I don’t know if too many other fields can say that these kinds of environments are their “lifeblood,” but we sure can. And so as churches and others explore creating community and disciplemaking relationships, you have something to offer.
- missions mobilization. College ministers – many of us, at least – are mobilizing for missions year-round. As much fanfare as this pursuit (rightly) receives in the American Church, it’s worth noting that you’re helping people pursue missions on a regular basis.
- event planning. Every college minister has to be a little bit of an Event Planner, right? If a church or other ministry needs help putting something together, they’ve got plenty of experience to draw from – in the people serving at their local campus.
- service / social justice ministry. This was “cool” on campus well before it hit the mainstream. And it’s still a focus on campus often in a “bigger” way than it might be elsewhere.
- social media in ministry (& other “digital” impact). We have to be good at this because it’s where our audience lives. Whether it’s connecting with people on social media or using various media forms in our ministry activities, you’re gathering experience that the Christian world needs to learn from.
- missional ministry. College ministers – of various stripes – are all about reaching people “on their terms and on their turf” (my own handy-dandy, probably-incomplete synopsis of how people define “missional” these days). Much or most collegiate ministry is by its very nature “missional,” so we have a lot to offer those who are trying to make their particular work more missional.
- ministry to diverse audiences. Not every college ministry is particularly “diverse,” although I don’t just mean ethnically. In many campus ministries, attenders include Christians of various denominations, non-Christians, people of different socioeconomic statuses, people of different intelligence levels and career paths, people from different ethnicities, and other “diversities.” So we might have something to offer other Christians who want to draw diverse populations into successful community, right?
We have lots to offer the American Church, and I hope you have amazing opportunities to do that locally or beyond.