taking the long view with multi-semester strategy

One of yesterday’s points discussed multi-semester strategies. So here’s a post from the past about this important aspect of collegiate ministry.

One talk I’ve done for college ministers is called “The Good, the Bad, and the Crazy,” with practical tips (and hazards to avoid) for building strong college ministries in wise ways. One section of that message involves encouraging “purposes and plans.” Part of this is looking beyond the coming semester (or quarter), developing multi-semester strategies.

Wherever your campus ministry is – from just starting to well-established – you should have several specific purposes in mind for the ministry and your students – things you believe your students should become, as well as things your ministry as a whole should achieve.

And chances are, some of these purposes will require more than one semester to achieve.

If that’s the case, if some purposes aren’t simply about getting from A to B but require going from A to B to C to D… then shouldn’t we be strategizing how to get there step by step? So what multi-semester strategies do you have in place?

For instance, let’s say you wanted one-on-one disciplemaking to become part of the DNA of your college ministry. This probably wouldn’t be achieved in one semester, requiring several “steps” to get there.

First, discipling a few students yourself would be a big start. You’d make sure to mention that every once in awhile to the ministry as a whole, and otherwise help students begin to hear about this idea.

Soon enough, it would be vital to teach about disciplemaking in a ministry-wide way. (Any part of your “DNA” that isn’t backed up by proclaimed truth is encouraging legalism!) Finding and presenting testimonies of effective disciplemaking could help. Perhaps a retreat or attending a conference focused on this topic will get students considering this. Later, helping people find disciplers / disciplees will keep the ball rolling. At some point, your student leaders might be required to try to find someone to disciple. And so on.

No, you can’t foresee how each semester will go. So any “multi-semester strategy” is really just a basic blueprint. But the point is that not every goal can be achieved in one semester, so it’s important to strategize those steps.

The pic illustrating “the long view” above comes from Henderson State University, one of 2 HSUs I’ve explored.

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