As you know, I spent this past week with 1,000+ people at the Acton University gathering in Grand Rapids. A conference about the intersection of faith, work, and economics, it was refreshing to hear a whole bunch of Christians talking about how our daily lives get lived “Christianly” – even (and especially) for those of us who don’t get paid to do “ministry work.”
The field of collegiate ministry doesn’t have a great history here, sometimes preferring to treat future ministers as “rock stars.” For the biggest ministry, shifting from this overemphasis meant developing their “100% Sent” plank. A history of overemphasis on vocational ministry also meant that a college ministry like CCO could carve out a very effective niche. (It was fun running into a CCO staffer at the conference, and I was surprised I didn’t find more.)
From what I saw at Acton, though, and with recent resources like Keller’s Every Good Endeavor and RightNow’s newly annual “Work as Worship” conference, I think this is a “next great focus” within Evangelicalism. I’m hopeful that’s true.
So how ready will you be? College ministers – of all people – should be leading the charge on this. I’m not sure, as a field, this is where we’ve excelled. But I do think there are dozens or hundreds of examples where college ministries have helped students learn that “vocation” really does mean “calling.” (Don’t you remember your junior high Latin?!)