I am of the strong opinion that church based and campus based College Ministries are or should be different. I see some church College Ministries that are doing some good things and reaching a significant number of students that are really doing a campus based ministry. Some campus based ministries try to replace church.
For me, the huge difference and a plus that Church based ministries have is a huge number of different age people! One of the great opportunities that these ministries have is to connect students to these adults of all different ages. These adults can mentor, teach, feed and love on students and it matters.
This past Sunday I had the opportunity to be involved in the "Student Adoption" event at our church. Families of all ages were paired with college students. We will have them in our homes, feed them, etc. I posted something on Facebook about the event and former students of mine through the years began to comment about what their church adopted family had meant to them. One commented how her "adopted mom" from 30 years ago was still a blessing and encouragement in her life. Wow!
Some years ago in our campus based ministry I began to think what a huge plus these kind of relationships were. I began to consider enlisting families out of our churches to serve as these adopting families. I backed away from that idea because there were lots of complications....and....the biggest complication for me was I realized that was a ministry that rightly belonged to the the church based College Ministries. They were not only more suited to do it, but it rightly was theirs to do. I didn't need to move into that area.
Whichever ministry you do, are you being what a campus based should be or are you being what a church based ministry should be? There are strong pluses to both. We need both.
But, even more importantly, are we doing all we can to encourage and connect college students to strong adult role models of all ages? Students have plenty of buddies. It is up to us to help meet a different need in their lives. One of the great things church College Ministries can do best is multi-age connections!