The last couple of days, I’ve looked at ways we can spend a little time mid-semester upgrading the ways we involve our overseers and supporters in our college ministry work. Whether this means a church pastor, a group of funding-minded friends, a board of directors, a church’s congregation, or any other boss or financial supporter, we have awesome chances here.
Here are some other ideas for stepping it up in this area:
Get to know what they care about. Yesterday’s ideas mentioned sharing your story in ways that appeal to them. But how much time have you spent figuring out what they care about? Whether it’s sitting down with your boss over lunch or sending a survey to your supporters, there are ways to find out what their own spiritual and ministry passions are. Knowing what they care about allows you to share what’s most important to them… NOT just what’s most important to you.
Share long-range plans, too. I imagine it’s tempting for some of us simply to share our recent successes (numbers at events, “spiritual conversations,” powerful student testimonies, etc.) or our immediately-upcoming activities. But you should probably be sharing your long-range hopes. Whether it’s planning for next semester, next year, or a few years from now, these are the sorts of things foreign missionaries look toward – and talk about. We should too. (And if you don’t have such plans, there might be something wrong with your mission. So this is good accountability for that, too.)
Force yourself to communicate. I think C.S. Lewis wrote somewhere that unless we’re able to boil down what we’re thinking into cohesive, understandable writing, we haven’t thought it through well enough ourselves. Communicating our recent successes and our future goals not only shares the story, it forces us to spend a little more time thinking it through. You’ll be surprised how communicating it – on paper or in a short video or podcast – might even bring to mind additional meaning, encouragement, or realizations for you.
Other means. Speaking of video, consider using videos. If you’re only writing letters or a blog, hopefully that’s because that’s the very best method to tell your story to every one of your supporters or overseers. Otherwise, think about other ways to communicate your successes, concerns, vision, and updates. Video clip? Podcast? Audio message? Newsletter with links to “enhanced content” (like a message you gave, or video of an event)?
Be brilliant. Honestly, if this part of our ministry is getting short shrift while you spend all your brilliance (and time) on communicating to your students, I think we’re missing something. Yes, impacting students is our biggest goal. But this is part of what we get to do: Share God’s amazing work with others, and include others in our efforts, our successes, and our struggles.