Here’s a quick notion as your campus gets going (or is close to it):
Beware your reaction to opinions.
We’re all humans, so the opinions of others – even those we’re shepherding – can affect us. And honestly, they should. Of course we should care about what our students respond to, what they prefer, and how they engage best.
But we always have to be careful not to let opinions sway us too much or too quickly. Here are a few opinions to watch out for:
- The singular opinions. (Just because a student happened to say something, it doesn’t mean five other students feel the same way. But sometimes it’s tempting to believe it does.)
- The hastily-formed opinions. (No one has an immediate read on whether your new Large Group Meeting format is wise or that big event you tried for the first time is worth doing again. So take immediate opinions with a grain of salt.)
- Opinions coming from students who aren’t “with you” anyway. (This is a dangerous group in any college ministry – those who hang out but aren’t plugged in well, who might come to fun events or worship but won’t do small groups or serve… or vice versa! While you should consider everyone’s opinions, it’s far less important for you to “poll” this crowd. You’re not going to win them anyway.)