Mobilizing college students – helping them go deeper in their involvement – doesn’t always mean urging them to do new things. Sometimes the best mobilizing we can do is teaching our students to stick. A deeper commitment equals deeper involvement, right?
For college ministers, this is of course our common complaint – students jump from ministry to ministry, or they dip in and out of various elements of our ministries.
A couple of thoughts in this arena:
1. How clearly have we really taught our students about this? Have you clearly taught them that it’s better to “go a mile deep and an inch wide” – and taught them why that’s true? If we never teach them commitment but then expect it, we’re being obnoxious at best and legalistic at worst. Teach ’em why they should persist with small groups, why they should serve others in an ongoing way, why it’s better to go all-in with ONE ministry (even if it’s not yours) than to hop from ministry to ministry.
2. In a subject that’s near and dear to my heart – serving others – we may even breed the abrupt-engagement model. How often do we promote one-time service projects, instead of long-term service relationships? There’s a lot to be said for big events and one-time projects – as on-ramps. But they shouldn’t be seen as the pinnacle for students who have been involved for awhile.