Over the last couple of years, I have been distressed to see some College Ministers not only touting their view of how to do College Ministry, but seemingly putting down other views.
In the the last four years it has been my privilege to be on different campuses and to be in meetings with a wide variety of church and campus based College Ministers. A strong conclusion I have come to is, there is more than one way to do it right and well! That doesn't mean I don't still have my view of the best way to do it. But, I have always maintained that philosophy must always be partly tied to individual gifts and the campus or church situation.
Some tout their method or philosophy as being correct, because they have big numbers. Yet, almost always these situations have large multiple staffs that are compared against ministries with one or two staff members. I have continually been amazed to see that in campus based ministries and collegiate churches when you divide the number of staff into the large number, it usually comes out to about 50 students each.
After a large event, someone asked me if we had the number of students I had hoped to have. My response was, "I have never had as many students as I hoped to have.". I have confessed before that I'm a numbers guy who counts. But, I do not believe that numbers ever tell the whole story. And, I believe we never know all the circumstances affecting someone's situation somewhere else.
I also know that in some places a campus based College Minister has certain restrictions placed on him or her so as to not in any way compete with local churches. Then, in some of those situations, the ones who benefit from those restrictions are critical of the campus based ministry.
I rejoice in some new and different things being done very successfully in some places to reach college students for Christ. We need to learn all we can from these situations. But, that does not mean we need to duplicate that everywhere. And, it certainly does not mean we need to do away with very strong and established ministries to try the new thing.
When we throw bricks at each other, it is hard to learn from each other. When we try something new and it works,
let's talk about it and tout it. But, let's be careful to not put down those who are doing it a different way.
If we use derogatory terms to describe another ministry, we are wrong. We can say, "I would do it differently."
Sometimes, we tend to assume that our local perspective is true universally and that may not be the case. I also have seen ministries that I strongly disagreed with some of their philosophy and actions, but I also knew they blessed some students lives. God used them.....even though they didn't do it just like I would. And, everybody knows, Jesus likes my ministry more.