After posting yesterday about the need to excite students about collegiate ministry callings, I thought I’d repost a long-ago note about connecting students to other campuses right now. With edits, of course…
I remember a collegiate mission trip I got to help plan while I was a college minister in West Texas; we took about 100 students from Abilene to Boston. Obviously, Boston is one of the most “collegiate” cities in the U.S., so any visit there (even a vacation) might include Harvard and other famous campuses.
But I appreciated the fact that our planning team decided to take an extra step to connect students with those Boston-area campuses. While there, we not only encouraged our students to visit various schools, we participated in prayer walking and other campus ministry experiences. And not just at Harvard or MIT, but also at less-known (but still amazing) places like Northeastern U.
And so our Abilene students left the world of their various Christian colleges (all three of the big schools in Abilene are Christian schools!) and encountered fellow college students in very different settings.
Campus visits and connections to other campus ministry activities can be a fantastic way to…
- increase students’ awareness of the needs on their own campus
- catalyze their creativity for reaching their classmates
- spur them to the missional approach they should be living out day-to-day
- and open their eyes to the awesome adventure of college ministry as a vocation
This can be as simple as ducking into a campus on the way to the ski slopes or a conference – for lunch and a little prayer walking, “spiritual exegesis,” or a quick tour with / discussion with a campus minister. Or campus participation could make up a piece of your plans during a mission trip or retreat… or perhaps even the focus of the trip! Even a quick weekend road trip could bring you to a “foreign” campus tribe, offering an eye-opening and heart-stirring teachable moment.
And even if you won’t be around, you can encourage students to check out a campus (and even connect with a college ministry) when they take their own trips this summer, work an internship in an unfamiliar city, or go back home.