Thursday, December 29, 2011

An Over Simple Explanation of the Job Losses Among Baptist Collegiate Ministers

Since I posted the comment that, I find it ironic in this time of Baptist leaders lamenting the loss of the 20 something generation to the church that the most significant cuts in college ministry positions seems to be happening now, some have asked for an explanation.

At the Southern Baptist Convention summer before last there was a vote to re-direct $50 million dollars that went thru the North American Mission Board back to the different State Conventions and this money would be used primarily to plant new churches. The money that comes to the Arkansas Baptist Convention is a very small percentage of the over-all operating budget. But, for the non-deep south states the money that come from NAMB represents often the majority of that state convention's budget. In some of these states as they have received these cuts they have had to let people go and many of them have been college ministers.

There are also college ministers direct salaried by NAMB and many of their salaries are being terminated at the end of this month. These people serve in non-deep south states. There is the feeling among some Baptist leadership that it would be more effective to start a church on these campuses rather than have a traditional college ministry model (that means like BSU/BCM).

Some would prefer that we do church plants on southern campuses where there is an active BCM and local churches reaching out to students. Many in campus ministry positions (and me) feel that in many situations campus administrations will not be nearly as willing to work with a campus church as they are a traditional BCM like campus ministry.

The bottom line in all of this is some of our best and most effective campus ministers serving on large nationally strategic campuses no longer have a salary and with no stated plans to replace them with anything else.

One deep south BCM campus minister with a very large ministry has been told there will soon be a NAMB funded church start on his campus. Even if you favor the campus church plant approach over BCM type ministry, you would assume these campus church plants would first be placed on campuses where there is no active ministry at this time.

Any additional thoughts, clarification and disagreement is welcome.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Registration for National Collegiate Ministries summit

You can register at Click on Events and then click on Collegiate Summit.

Hotel registration is done individually. There are several hotels close by the Lifeway building. Hotels listed as close to Vanderbilt are not dar away such as Hampton, etc. The closest just across the street is the Holiday Inn Express which is already close to full.

National Collegiate Ministries Summit-May 2-4, Nashville

The program features Gabe Lyons, Jon Acuff, Pete Wilson and Eric Geiger speaking at the plenary sessions with worship led by Dove award winner, Michael Boggs.

Mega Seminars will feature ones like "Dialogical Apologetics"; "Mentoring" with Chuck Lawless; "First Year Out", Tim Clydesdale; "Staying Together When Everything is Coming Apart"; "Hot Topics in College Ministry" and several others.

Idea Labs will feature topics like "Reaching More Men"; "What We Should Learn From Other Campus Ministries"; "Growing a Culture that Engages Lost Students"; "Going Big:Taking Your Ministry to the Next Level"; "Church Ministry in a Traditional Setting"; " Understanding and Reaching This Generation" and lots more.

Affinity groups will help you connect and network with people in similar situations.

Early Bird registration cost is $120 (which covers 2 meals) until January 31 when the cost goes up. Cost for a spouse attending with a full registration is $35.

All sessions will be held at Lifeway in downtown Nashville. There are several hotels close by with a variety of costs available. Some scholarship info will be announced at the first of the year.

Be part of the collegiate ministry family gathering in Nashville.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Why Do Students Drop Out?

Anyone who has worked in college ministry has experienced the frustration of students starting to attend your ministry, then disappear. What happened?

9 Reasons Students Drop Out:

1. Survival needs have been met.
-Many come in the beginning looking for friends and somewhere to belong. They do not come out of a desire to be in a Chritian group or for worship and discipleship.

2. Do not become part of a group.
-no matter how strong their desire for Christian involvement, if they do not feel they have found personal friendships and connection, they likely will not stay.

3. Personality Clashes/Change of Friends
-just as relationships will hold them in a ministry, so will a clash in relationships run them out. They may also no longer feel close to the group they came with to the ministry.

4. Schedule becomes more complicated with work
-many students start out not working, but later add a job.

5. Feel they have done all the program has to offer
-some feel if they can do everything a ministry has to offer in one or two years, why stay?

6. Feel pulled between competing forces
-in some collegiate settings, a variety of churches or on campus ministries offer opportunities and students may drop one due to time or a feeling that they have been pushed to choose one over the other.

7. Differing Beliefs from Those Stated
-they may have become involved due to relationship or worship needs but come to perceive their beliefs and those expressed in the ministry are not compatible.

8. Strong Involvement Pattern Not Set
-some never quite get into a pattern or routine and simply disappear without meaning to. How students feel after dropping out goes a long way toward determining, if they ever come back. Were they missed or were they put down for not being there? Some never come back out of embarrassment.

9. Moral Failure
-Sometimes a student makes a choice so totally opposite their beliefs that their sense of guilt or failure drives them away from their Christian community.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

More Things to Do @ the End of The Semester

11. Write a personal thank you note to each church/pastor or indivdual that financially supported your ministry this year....or write a year end thank you to each Sunday School class that provided food, etc. Share a highlight of the semester.

12. Or, send a picture Christmas card with a picture of your large group, a program shot, etc to all your stakeholders.

13. Take some home-made goodies or some great candy to the offices on campus that have helped you during the year.

14. Send a picture Christmas card of your large group to all students who attended this semester and if possible write a brief personal greeting on each.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What to Do @ the End of a Semester

1. Take your spouse out to eat to make up a little for all the dinners you were late for or missed.

2. Look at a list or picture of those who attended your welcome week events and make a list of those who did not come back or disappeared along the way.

3. Write a note or Christmas card to these students that they will receive at home...warm and encouraging...not where were you, you dirty dog!

4. Find 2 or 3 books to read before spring semester starts ( ok, one or two may be ones you "read in").

5. Take a day alone somewhere to think, pray, de-compress.

6. Have a "Pizza talk-back session" with 4 or 5 freshmen about why they got involved, why they stayed connected and why some friends did not.

7. Have a "Pizza talk- back session" with 4 or 5 upperclassmen about what worked, what didn't and why. 2Principles to remember: students think and talk better with pizza in their mouth and you need to ask questions and shut up and listen....don't explain why and your pizza, listen and make notes!

8. Read your Bible a little more.

9. Work out out topics/outlines for your talks for next semester.

10. Take your spouse out to eat!