One of the most brainstorm-producing, creativity-inducing, devil’s-advocate-playing, mind-freeing experiences you can have comes from doing the opposite of what we usually do.
Often when we seek to learn (about college ministry or any other field of ministry), we seek out those who are similar to us. Not the same, mind you – we of course want to learn from those who seem a little bit further down the road than we are. But we generally end up learning from those on the same road – similar methodology, similar style, similar theology, etc..
We don’t even make a conscious choice to do this, much of the time – the InterVarsity guy goes to conferences with other InterVarsity guys, the church-based college minister gets to know others in her branch of college ministry (and her denomination, too), and all the college ministers on a campus (and therefore within the same culture) bump into each other plenty.
There is plenty of value in learning from people who are, indeed, just a little bit further down the same road we’re taking.
But as my opening sentence states, while your step-by-step, grind-it-out growth will often happen this way, there are leaps you might miss if you only mingle with the similar.
This summer, what if you sought out quite different ministries to learn from? Take it from the guy who has learned from hundreds of college ministries – the ones that are different-from-you will radically enhance your outlook.