College ministries have a variety of approaches to ministry – from giant rally to small huddle, from theology-forward seriousness to outreach-focused excitement. And many ministries have all those elements at different times.
But one thing I’ve noticed is that – in bigger college ministries especially – it’s easy for some of the more “obviously spiritual”* activities and emphases to drown out the explicit connection of God to “everyday details.”*
*Two caveats: By “obviously spiritual,” I mean everything your students are most likely to categorize as “religious” or “spiritual,” from evangelism to theology discussions to Bible study to service projects. As you’ll see, I reject that these are the only spiritual activities, but hopefully my point is clear. Secondly, by “everyday details,” I don’t mean to imply that theology isn’t absolutely crucial or even somehow “less applicable” in the daily activities of life. Again, hopefully I’ll be clearly indicating that it is – that all of life is a spiritual (and therefore theological) pursuit.
I wonder if your students really see you, your staff, and other leaders as truly concerned with the very things they’re texting with their friends about right now: the awful test they just took, the internships they’re considering this summer, getting along with a boyfriend, trying to work their way through school, and so on. Are they approaching the people leading them for wisdom on these things? Or even just a listening ear?
Connected to that – and likely influenced by that – is their understanding of God’s involvement with those things. Do they see their spiritual lives as inseparable from the tasks and to-do lists of life, from their vital and casual relationships, from their present in a classroom and their future in a workplace? Or are those only things to be generically prayed about on occasion – possibly only in “Prayer Request time” – and then handled like anyone else would handle them? And is the only wisdom they’re seeking from friends, because they see you guys (and God) as involved only in that “obviously spiritual” stuff I was talking about?