Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Six Tasks for a Successful College Ministry

1.  Develop a Healthy, loving Community - People are drawn to it and can be helped in their healing and growth by just being part of a healthy loving community based on Biblical truth.
2.  Enlarge Students' World View - Help them see a wider world than where they grew up and where they go to school.  Help them see faith is more than God helping them be happy!
3.  Train and Develop Leaders - If you want to help the church of tomorrow, reach the world today, touch your campus and even grow and maintain your own ministry, developing leaders is a must...not a nice option.
4.  Ride the Horse that brought you. - Use the gifts God has given you in the unique situation where you are.  You can't just copy someone else's ministry because they are not identical to you and their situation is not identical to yours.
5.  Develop a wide network of Partners. - People who love you, encourage you, share your vision, provide financial support.  Never ever think you can go it alone.  Or, you will go it alone away from the ministry!
6.  Work the Seasons of Your Ministry. - Different things need to be done at different times.  You can't do everything all the time...give priority to what is in season and then give the next season's priorities the time they deserve.

Is a College Minister a Teacher or a Preacher/Speaker?

Some would say this is a false question because you must and often do both.  Yet, I know many very effective college ministers that would not rate themselves highly as a speaker and don't see that as their strength.  I do think there is something in the way we view and define our role as to which one of those titles we choose.

Although I speak each week at our large group worship, I would catagorize myself as a teacher.  Part of what that means to me is that I am to be helping students learn to think and teaching them to be evaluative.  I understand that there are certain topics I need to talk about every year...cause they are basic and no one else is talking about them.  Jeff Iorge, President of Golden Gate Seminary who wrote the little book, IS GOD CALLING ME? said recently that he spoke to a group of 300 college students about calling and asked them to hold their hand up if they had heard a message from their pastor on calling...3 or 4 held their hand up.  I try to talk about "Calling" every year.

I think church based college ministers tend to see themselves more as preachers and campus based college ministers tend to see themselves more as teachers.  Partly, I think church based folks do that because "preaching" is central to church events.  The danger I think when we classify ourselves as "Preachers/Speakers" is that we may be thinking about what is something new, different, and exciting I can say that will grab attention.  And in doing that, we neglect to "teach" about some of the basics.

Which are you Teacher or Preacher/Speaker and why???