One of the most lacking areas of discipleship within college ministry seems to be the proper role of the local church in people’s lives. Some thoughts on that:
First, this is for everybody. Those who are now students will need to be connected to a faith community for the rest of their lives. If we’re not discipling them about “churchmanship,” we’re not preparing them for post-graduation. If we’re not preparing them for life after graduation, then we’re failing as college ministers. So regardless of whether we’re church-based college ministers, we must disciple this.
This is for every student. It doesn’t matter if your students seem to be doing church well right now. Our job is to disciple them in such a way that they’ll continue being excellent for years to come… and in times where church isn’t exactly as “easy” as it might be in your context.
Discipleship doesn’t mean just urging behavior. One of the most legalistic things we can do is simply to tell students they should be in church without telling them why. If they don’t know that it’s obedience or have a solid grounding in ecclesiology, then they’re simply “doing” without a basis in truth.
You may have to figure this out along with them. Ecclesiology is a tricky thing, especially for college ministers. What should we expect now, and what should we encourage for after graduation? Have we been defining church well (read: biblically), or have we been defining church lazily?