The Matt Wertz concert I attended last night got me thinking again about where we campus ministers get our ideas. Clearly, I’m a big fan of college ministry collaboration; many of our ideas should originate from others in our field. (And a college minister who isn’t learning from others isn’t doing their best ministry.)

But there’s another source for ideas, and returning again and again to this “well” accomplishes something unique.

How often do we get our ideas for ministry events from the events taking place around us? Every week, probably, organizations on your campus are being fairly (or wildly) successful. They’re putting on concerts, throwing parties, undertaking big service projects, raising the visibility of an issue, recruiting new members, or otherwise engaging students – the very students you, too, interact with.

What’s working?

Your job isn’t necessarily to take their ideas and simply use them for your college ministry (though sometimes that may be appropriate). But it does make sense to start with those campus ideas – secular or otherwise – that seem to have value. Then maybe you’re deconstructing them and determining why they worked, or maybe you’re using my “Slider Method” and simply adjusting a method along the who, what, etc., axes.

The point is, we should be learning from the campus. There’s wisdom to be gleaned from that really innovative freshman dorm, the sorority girls who always seem to draw the best candidates, and that one club that – while small – is definitely making an impact.

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