always easier to gather around a topic

Yesterday’s post got me thinking…

If you sense a need to grow unity – or simply grow relationship – among college ministers in your area, starting around a common goal is the easier approach. While inviting an individual college minister to lunch is a great way to build that relationship, if you’re thinking about gathering multiple ministers, I’d give the meeting a theme.

If an event’s on the horizon that everyone can rally around, that’s certainly a viable option. (You’re just not allowed to get your feelings hurt simply because some ministers don’t feel they or their campus ministry has the bandwidth to participate.)

But another really great option (this is where yesterday’s post comes in) is to gather around a specific discussion topic. Obviously, you’d pick one that adds value to everyone, a broad or complex topic in which just about any college minister could share wisdom at one point and furiously take notes at another. At this time of year, “What have you noticed with your newcomers?” is a fantastic theme. But other great ideas include:

  • Small group structure/materials/process
  • Fundraising (for those involved in that)
  • Segments of the student body you’re reaching, or how to reach different segments
  • Structure/materials/process of other particular activities – like evangelism, discipleship, Big Events, etc.

When people gather, they generally want to receive some sort of value from the interaction. Yes, building relationship is valuable – but it doesn’t always feel that way at the beginning. But you’re far more likely to get people to build relationships in a context where they’re already sure they’re “getting something out of it.”

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