There are many definitions of success inside and outside the Christian faith. Sometimes non-Christian standards are used to define success in Christian circles. It has seemed to me that "success in College Ministry" has been even more difficult to understand or define...both for those who do it and those looking in from the outside. The most common success measure in almost anything is a big crowd. I like big crowds and know lots of College Ministries that have them, but that can't be the goal or purpose or we serve a very fickle master....and not Jesus.
Al of us have in our head and heart our own definition of success whether we have admitted it out loud or not. That's one place we have to get honest with ourselves....what success formulas are driving me AND what success formulas are being used to evaluate my ministry. We possibly are operating on one and being judged or evaluated by different ones.
Here are some of the most mentioned definitions of success in College Ministry:
-Have at least 1% of the student body at your large group event (5,000 = 50/10,000=100, etc).
-Does your ministry look like the campus (variety of students, groups represented, athletes, Greeks, internationals, etc)?
-Do students serve and lead or do they just come to a large group event?
-Is the Gospel intentionally shared with non-believers?
-Am I utilizing my particular gifts/strengths to the max?
-Am I building on the unique needs and opportunities that my campus offers?
-Am I doing what the people who hired me, pay my salary, support the ministry expect of me?
Each of these has something to say to what and how we do and should not be ignored and I believe there is some truth in each of them.
My Two Top Definitions of Success in College Ministry:
2. When I leave this ministry, will it be stronger than I found it?
1. What do the students who come out of this ministry do after college in terms of Christian walk, service and church involvement?
Our personal definition of success is a key factor in what drives us. I would encourage you to clarify your own and....clean it up or change it, if necessary. It will help you as you plan, serve, and survive or thrive!