causes and becauses

In a recent chat with a college minister looking to expand his ministry’s outreach, I once again offered a suggestion: that we college ministers can’t forget to disciple in the biblical reasons, even when the action seems “obvious” or students are already passionate about it.

Service, social justice, missions, etc., make up the “passion du jour” for students right now. But we’re not the Kiwanis Club and we’re not one of their fraternities; we’re Christian ministries who serve out of an overflow of our walks with Jesus and an understanding of His truth… right? So is that evident and explicit in our week-to-week operations?

As I’ve written before,

without connecting our ministry’s emphases to spiritual truth, we create legalists. …

The same goes with anything we promote – and especially those things we hope to make “pillars” or the “DNA” of our college ministries. If we want a theme to spread throughout the ministry and its students, then we surely have to teach its biblical foundations in a ministry-wide, comprehensive way. This probably means from the stage of the Large Group Meeting, or throughout your small groups. And it probably means more than once. And it probably means somewhat repeatedly.

If we don’t, then we’re not teaching godly grounds for good works. And that produces a form of legalism, right?

So maybe this is a chance to evaluate this school year, or maybe (like my college minister friend), you’re looking ahead to how you’ll develop the ministry. If the latter is the case, I urge you to match the things you push with the truths you pronounce, lest we be guilty of promoting causes without biblical BEcauses.


  1. Good word. Even though we have success missions trips, we just reevaluated why we are going. We talked about making disciples and preparing students to do that rather than just going to make an impact for a week.

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