new thoughts on service: options

One of the ways our church has helped people – thousands of them – find volunteer opportunities is by giving them options. This is standard, I’d assume, for most churches.

But maybe this is an area churches can teach us college ministers something.

How often do we offer students a true variety of service options? I’ve heard of ministries taking multiple mission trips over Spring Break, for instance, but that’s rare (and hard, unless you have a giant ministry).

But locally, it might be a bit easier to establish multiple service opportunities that will “fit” a good variety of students. No, we don’t want to turn students into narcissistic service-consumers; it’s okay to ask them to serve in areas that stretch them. But at the same time, can we really expect students to sustain a passion for, say, building wells in Africa, if God is growing in them a passion for mentoring kids? There’s a balance here.

Walking through some of the steps I’ve already discussed in this series – like letting service outlets rise to the surface and appointing students to champion those outlets – you might find your ministry’s capable of handling a variety of impact opportunities. If you offered six opportunities instead of two, might it raise the profile of service opportunities altogether? Might you draw more students into the mix of local (or international) missions?

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