One helpful way to think about partnerships in college ministry is to see them as a form of delegation. Just as it’s important for us to consistently look for more activities we can push from staff’s plates onto the plates of student leaders, we can also ask ourselves:
Which of our goals is already being accomplished by someone else in our city or on our campus?
I feel like this is easiest to consider when we’re planning something new. So we’ll start there.
For instance, what if you’re trying to “beef up” the opportunities for outreach? Instead of you, your staff, or some student leaders creating brand-new service options, you could look for:
- Secular organizations on campus that are already serving (like fraternities or a Service Club), and serve with them
- The school itself, if they’re facilitating service
- Another college ministry that serves well and that you can come alongside
- A ministry in town that does a great job with volunteers, and send some their way
- A church in town that’s actively serving its community, and come alongside it
This is a hard mental switch to make – just like it’s hard for many of us (me included) to think about what we might delegate to other people. But if we believe partnership can be productive – something we’ll be talking about all week – then it’s worth considering.
Admittedly, “outreach” is one of the easiest areas to think about here. But it’s worth stretching ourselves to think about other activities:
- Mission trips
- Christmas banquet
- Various trainings for students
- Special seminars on-campus or in-town
- And even small groups or your Large Group Meeting could potentially come through partnership