Every college minister is different, but one thing that should remain fairly constant is a love for our campus. I don’t mean only loving the people on our campus, but I mean having a fondness for the community as a whole, just as an international missionary must love Addis Ababa, Mumbai, or Werdau, Germany – whichever “inheritance” God has provided as their particular mission field.
Some of us have never reached that point. Others of us did reach that point – a long time ago – but have forgotten what a cool, exciting, lovely place our campus is.
But the truth is, our impact depends on us loving our campuses… whether they feel to us like Canaans or Babylons.
Here are some ideas for coming to love your campus (perhaps all over again):
1. “Visit” your campus like a potential student. When’s the last time you jumped into an official campus tour? Or read through the promo materials on the web site? Those things are designed to woo and educate students. So they might just help us, too – as they woo us AND as they teach us about this place we call home.
2. Pray for your campus like an administrator. I’m sure you pray for students, but how often do you pray for the good of your campus as a whole?
3. Experience your campus like a present student. What if you spent a week “being a student” in every way possible? Eat in the cafeteria, sit in on some classes, work (or nap) in the student center and library, play Ultimate Frisbee in the middle of campus. Jesus’ advice about our heart following our treasure wasn’t only a spiritual statement but a psychological one, too: The places we invest our time and resources will become the places we love.
4. See some other campuses. My wife and I are about to take our first post-honeymoon vacation… and among many other things, we’ll visit a few campuses up in the Northeast. When’s the last time you visited a campus besides yours? There’s something about seeing other mission fields that can remind us of why we love our own.