Should college ministers champion the value of college ministry in the greater Church?
Many of those in our field have to be champions, or at least they must share the stories and opportunity available in their particular mission field, as they raise up support and supporters. With that practice, at least implicitly, comes proclamation of the notion that college ministry matters.
Other college ministers have alternative funding means, so perhaps they’re less “ready” to urge fellow Christians to consider these particular mission fields (or quads) and notice that they are white unto harvest.
But even that first group – the ones who advertise their work on a regular basis – might not assume their job involves arguing for the valuing of college ministry or the spread of college ministry or the support of college ministry outside their own efforts.
So in general, most college ministers might not nudge pastor friends in other cities with, “When are you going to start reaching students?” or push within their denominations for dramatic advancement. They may not look around their town or state and urge Christians to care deeply about their campuses, even if the forms college ministry takes will be different than the form a college minister has given his or her life to. That college minister’s tweets or blogs or newsletters or church reports may still focus more on the awesomeness of God’s work here, in the land they’ve been called to, than God’s work everywhere.
And honestly, I’m not sure that all college ministers are called to this broader cause.
But some college ministers must be. They must allow for a holy discontent – concerning the valuing of collegiate ministry in the U.S. – that turns them to stir the pot, kick the hornet’s nest, squeak as a wheel, or otherwise raise a bit of a ruckus.
Because college ministry matters. And while God is doing so many amazing things, all over the country – (I say this sentence so often!) – the field of college ministry as a whole is quite underdeveloped. Many campuses and many students are far too unreached. And until this work among the “campus tribes” is acclaimed (for all the reasons it should be; do I really need to list them?), development will be slow to come.
(During the NCAA Tournament season, I’ll offer some perspectives that might help. But you know your circles better than I.)
Champions may come from outside the realm of college ministers. But plenty came come from inside.
Is this, perhaps, your call? In some small way? In some big way?