checkpoint: did you equip others or just DIY?

A few weeks into the semester is a great time to examine whether your level of equipping and delegation was top-notch, terrible, or somewhere in between.

I’m writing this assuming you’re the top college minister – or at least on staff – at a college ministry. Maybe your role is different, and you can definitely read accordingly! And the question is this: Did you end up doing a lot of things during the first weeks of school that students (theoretically) could have been equipped for? And what have you set up for the rest of the semester?

This includes even vital activities like discipling students. This might be controversial, but in my missionary/church-planting model of college ministry, I’d argue that most college ministers shouldn’t be filling the majority of their week with one-on-one discipleship of individual students, with a very potential caveat of discipling your student leaders. (But even then, if that’s filling a large percentage of your time, you’d want to add an additional discipleship layer ASAP.)

Yes, disciple-making is a huge win. No argument from me. But directed disciple-making, strategic disciple-making, effective disciple-making – those come when someone wise is spending time in the harvest fields doing more than the actual harvesting. They’re prayerfully thinking about new fields, for one, but also about making sure the harvesters are as effective as possible.

(This is dumbing down the role of the college minister, although plenty would fit into those two categories – considering opportunities and maintaining effectiveness.)

The same could be said for lots of roles that college ministers often tend to assume: Recruiting freshmen. Social media. Leading small groups. Developing messages, even, although I recognize many feel this needs to be their main focus (and other college ministers regularly speak only a handful of times a year, which would surprise the other group).

It’s actually really valuable when college ministers participate in all these areas on occasion, reminding themselves of all that’s learned “on the front lines.” But college ministers who are filling their time in delegate-able areas need a plan to move some of that to students – for the students’ sakes, as well as the ministry’s. The strategic ministry work, from exegeting your context to discipling top leaders to assessing the effectiveness of everything you can – these can and should take a larger share than I fear they often do. But you have the chance to equip others for the rest, leaving yourself room to do what only you can do.

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