After posting yesterday on the importance of confirming you have a very clear “route” for students to progress in the campus ministry, I wanted to revisit an old post that explains the origins of my methodology.
(And just in case it isn’t clear, I do recognize that any student might find their way INTO your ministry in an other-than-expected way, and any student might travel THROUGH your ministry in various ways too. But it’s important to make the opportunities clear (to staff and students), as well as clarifying and advertising the most likely and expected route(s) to grow in involvement and commitment.)
Here’s that post from 2011, edited a bit:
As you may have noticed, this week I’ve been highlighting passages that I’ve found enormously impactful for my own understanding of college ministry – both as I’ve practiced it and as I’ve coached others in strengthening their own efforts.
Today I turn to the book Simple Church, a book I found phenomenally useful – even though (like Under the Unpredictable Plant that I discussed earlier this week) this one’s not actually written for college ministries and those who lead them. But it’s easily translatable for our field, as you’ll see with the passage below.
This part is near the front of a chapter on Movement – one of the aspects of college ministry I think receives far too little attention (although certainly some college ministries have grabbed hold of this really well!).
Simple church leaders have designed their simple process with movement in mind. The ministry process moves people to greater levels of commitment – with ever-increasing levels of discipleship. The simple process moves people through the process of spiritual transformation.
Congestion is gone.
Movement occurs naturally. People are not stuck in the same place. There is a plan for transformation. People are challenged to progress through the simple process. Change in the lives of people is expected.
According to our research, there is a significant relationship between the vitality of a local church and the movement of the church’s ministry process. Movement is the sequential steps in the process that causes people to move to greater areas of commitment.
Do you have a simple process that moves people?
…If you want your process to move people, your programming must be strategic and sequential. You must also intentionally move people, offer a clear next step, and provide a class for new members.
If your brain just hit the brakes at the thought of that last suggestion, that’s understandable; remember, this is a book written for churches, not college ministers. But the other mandates – strategy, sequence, intentional movement, and clear next steps – certainly apply.
(And you know what? I’m not so sure some sort of “Introduction” to our college ministries wouldn’t add to the levels of community and identity in our ministries, but that’s a post for another day.)