This is the third entry in a series called “Partnering Possibilities,” looking at the role partnership can play in a college ministry.

Yesterday I wrote about the chance to use partnership as “delegation,” especially for new activities. Today’s thoughts run the risk of being redundant, but some of the ideas and questions taken from an old post fit quite well here – and take us further down the rabbit hole of partnership. If yesterday’s focus was finding help for bigger projects, today we’re diving into our ongoing efforts.

What would happen if we often made our plans based on partnership?

How often do you consider questions like these?

  • Before we launch a Bible study for that sorority, do we know of any other ministries with students in that club?
  • Instead of assuming nobody’s already reaching that dorm, have we tried to find out and maybe join them?
  • We’ve thought about advertising to that nearby community college – is there a church that might want to help with that outreach?
  • Are there any other secular clubs on campus that could partner with us for this campus-wide party?
  • Before choosing a new service project, have we considered the ones the campus is already getting behind?
  • Instead of having our five students with a passion for _____________ do that on their own, what if they joined forces with similar students from other ministries?

Believe me, I recognize there are sometimes great reasons NOT to partner. But I feel like we’re more often erring on the other side of things, on the side that needlessly recreates wheels and misses opportunities for a little extra unity. What if instead our “bent” was to consider partnership whenever possible?

One more note that’s helpful for avoiding misunderstandings here: I am by no means a naysayer when it comes to having multiple college ministries on a campus. I understand the role they serve, and I know there are real differences between groups. (I believe it is a misunderstanding of biblical unity to declare that multiple groups prove disunity.) But the fact that there often should be multiple college ministries on one campus doesn’t mean that the next activity can’t be done in unison – whether it’s starting a niche ministry or holding a Service Day downtown.