This may be a procedure your college ministry staff or leadership team has walked through before, but I’m guessing that many of us haven’t. Even if we have a foggy idea of what our goals are, we haven’t made them ultra-specific. I’d argue that’s a mistake.

The idea of “defining the win” seemed to be one of the biggest takeaways for the college ministry I consulted with a couple of weeks ago. They decided that’s where they’d start after I flew out of California. So in my follow-up notes to them, I wrote a little outline about this. Maybe it will provide some oomph to getting this figured out before January:

Defining the Win

A. This involves two things, and both are vital

  • Deciding what you’re trying to produce in students before they graduate
  • Defining what constitutes a “successful student disciple,” including how much needs to take place within your ministry

B. Regardless of what kind of college ministry you lead, the list of “non-negotiables” for students likely includes Church Involvement (but this must be defined), Community (but this must be defined), and Service / leadership opportunities

  • What else does it include (if anything)?
  • What does healthy and/or significant church involvement for your students look like? Just attendance? Involvement in the body? Involvement in a church college ministry?
  • What does healthy and/or significant community for your students look like? Accountability? Bible study? Does it need to be with peers, or could it be intergenerational (inside a church)?
  • If some of these things take place within other ministries (a local church, a campus-based ministry, etc.), is that okay? How important to you is it for students to have each of these things in your ministry?
  • You’ll also need to work through how to work with non-“collegiate” lifestage people, as well as how you’ll work with students from other campuses

These topics aren’t easy, but they have to be worked through. And then once they are, it’s really important we communicate those things to students. What do we feel “success” looks like for them?