Monday, December 20, 2010

The Secret Formula to College Ministry Success

Many different questions are asked of those who are experiencing some degree of success in college ministry.  These questions involve lots of different points and concerns, but most can be summed up in the question one asked, "What is the secret formula to college ministry success?"  One very successful church college minister (he had big crowds in a non-Bible belt church) said it was the number of adult volunteers that he had.  That was HIS success formula....but is that the success formula for everyone?

Let me share what I think "The Secret Formula" is:
   Your Strengths/Gifts + Your campus/church situation + Hard work + Consistency

That's it!  One Texas campus minister put it in western jargon when he said, "you got to ride the horse that brought you."  Simply put, it means you got to be you where you are.  All of us have specific skills, spiritual gifts (that are God's road map to his will for our lives) and life experiences that we bring to our ministry.  That must be factored into what the situation is wherever you are.  It is BOTH the pluses and minuses of your setting.  No ministry can be completely transplanted from one setting to another.  No two campus situations are must be tweaked and adjusted to fit the unique aspects of your situation.

Even the most casual observer can see there are many different ways to do college ministry that are working.  But, I believe they all fit this formula.  Your "horse" is you. What do YOU do well?  How does that fit your setting?  Some years ago a friend who had a large ministry began to experience a downturn in his ministry.  There was a new ministry on campus and they were "the hot new deal".  They did some things very differently than he had done.  My friend decided to switch and adopt many of their approaches and left much that had been successful in the past.  Was the progress, expanding the box, or did he unwisely leave the horse that brought him?  After 2 or 3 years of trying the new approach of the other ministry, he left it to go on to something else.

Nothing substitutes for hard work. And consistency is continuing to be who you are and putting one year on top of another one.  Students know what to expect; your supporters know what to expect.  There are tweaks, but there is always consistency.  I honestly believe Strengths/Gifts+Your campus/church situation+Hard work+Consistency is the SECRET formula to college ministry success!!
Arliss Dickerson

1 comment:

  1. "The secret to "secret ingredient soup" is.............. there is NO secret ingredient", quoting Jack Black as the character Po in Kung Fu Panada