I’m thinking about the “customer experience” within college ministry – how college ministers can help a ministry’s participants, from newcomers to core members, truly thrive.
One element that comes to mind is the opportunity – within the time of a student’s involvement – to discover and be deployed in at least one major area of strength.
College ministry – with its 3 or 4 “prime years” with a student (if we’re lucky) – still offers a big enough canvas to give this a shot. While many students won’t f fully grasp their strengths or “best and highest use” for several more years, collegiate ministry should start them on that journey. And, I’d argue, that “start” should do more than simply offer them a little bit of latitude to “try stuff” in their very last semesters on campus.
Instead, I’d hope that many campus ministries would take an aggressive approach in this area. I would hope that early on – by the middle of sophomore year at the latest – students well-involved in a college ministry might have begun identifying very specific bailiwicks and even start getting chances to serve/shine in those particular areas.
Of course, those two activities – discovery and deployment – can be a bit reciprocal. Students might get deployed in order to (better) discover, too. But my point here is that collegiate shepherds should help guide their sheep in these paths of realization, with the goal that very few graduate without knowing strengths – and, as much as possible, having implemented those strengths in key ways within the ministry, on campus, in a workplace, or in town.