I regularly encourage new college ministry endeavors to thoroughly “scout out the land” before starting. It’s vital for a church, a national organization, or any individual to get to know their campus context before they begin. (It’s vital, but sadly it’s kinda rare.)

But whether we’ve done that or not, over time we do get to know our campuses. But what we may lose over time is the assumption that we still need to be learning our campuses.

Do you have built-in methods to keep “your ear to the ground”? There’s no way we as non-students can know our “campus tribe” in the ways an insider can. So are we asking them? Do we have a sort of “council” of students, whether formal or informal, who keep us up to date on campus fads, focuses, and opportunities? Do we read the campus newspaper regularly? Do we spend LOTS of time on campus? When you’re there, do (re)learn your campus like a student – sitting in the student center, sure, but also attending classes and big events, sitting in on sports and seminars, chatting with students who pass by your seat rather than only students who come by your building?

When you started, you knew there was a bunch you didn’t know. Don’t lose that assumption.