As I earnestly seek ways to help college ministries continue to grow and thrive, Team Blogging is one method that has enormous potential. It’s perhaps the easiest way a college ministry network can train, innovate, and collaborate – as well as highlight (for donors or future workers) the work being done in your network!
Blogging is a powerful way to share theories, testimonies, Best Practices, and ideas with other college ministers. It’s also immediate; rather than waiting until the next conference, college ministers can hear now about the newest methods and trends. And blogging also allows for discussion – making good ideas even better.
In other words, blogging provides perpetual training for college ministers. And happily, a small (but growing!) number of college ministers have begun sharing their thoughts online.
But there are barriers to running an individual blog:
- Consistency: most college ministers can’t write regularly enough to keep their readers’ attention
- Blog maintenance
- Lack of college ministry expertise
- Attracting readers
- Keeping a interesting balance of topics and viewpoints
But team blogging overcomes those barriers. In a Team Blog, a different author writes each blog “post” (article) that appears.
As long as you have someone to put it all together, the result is a tailored training resource, for your network, from your network. Imagine your fellow college ministers reading great articles by leaders within your network, “guest posts” by other leaders, book and resource reviews, links to other helpful sites, announcements for your network, and more… with new content all the time, but with old content always available with a simple search.
And when members of your network know there will always be something new and relevant – often written by one of the best-respected in your network – they’ll be encouraged to keep coming back.
Need an example? One college ministry group has already been blogging this way for a couple of semesters. Their blog is at HeartOfCampusMinistry.com, and it’s a solid example of what can be done. (And yet I think we can improve upon their model!)
A Team Blog like this could be simply a repository of college ministry ideas… or it could be an online “hub” for the entire network. Whatever level of intensity a group chooses, I would be thrilled to see college ministry networks give this a try. It’s one of the best hopes for pushing your college ministry network forward – along with the entire field of college ministry.
In fact, I’d love to offer any tips and answer any questions I can. But there’s one other way I might be able to help, too…
the importance of an editor
If you’re interested in this method, here’s one tip: You’ll probably need a “Editor” for this training resource, someone dedicated to the task of finding people to write, considering themes and topics, scheduling blog posts, and doing some (basic) editing of the final drafts. Obviously, the leaders of the network would have the final say on anything and everything. But the Editor would do the work: setting things up, finding writers, and keeping things running.
In some cases, this may be a perfect job for someone already inside your organization. If so, then I encourage you to go for it!
But in many cases, I might make the perfect Editor for your group’s Team Blog. Your blog would be helped by my expertise in the field of College Ministry, my connections throughout our field, and the time and thought I can devote to constructing, scheduling, and maintaining. And you’d be helping me continue to research college ministry and help grow our field in the many ways I already do.
But whether you involve me or not, I encourage you to consider forming a Team Blog for your network! It’s a great chance for your group to get stronger and to participate more visibly in the growing field of College Ministry.