Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Should Campus Ministries Participate in Homecoming Elections, Etc?"

Should campus ministries participate in campus activities such as running Homecoming Court nominees, etc? For several years, my answer was a quick no...absolutely no! That's not what we are here to do.

After some years of our leaders asking that we submit a nominee for the Homecomomg Court, I said, OK, but if we do, let's support them and work for it. They nominated one of our outstanding young women and began to work on her behalf. After a vote of the student body on a campus of 12,000 at that time, she was selected as one of the Homecoming Maids. She was the first representative of a religious group to be selected. I thought, ok end of story. The next week a woman from the Student Affairs office called to ask us to have a table at a pre-orientation session for outstanding scholars. We had never been invited before. She said," I did not realize until the Homecoming elections how large your campus ministry was.". It was the first of many doors that opened to us as a result of that. We continued to run candidates and often, but not always, had them selected. We were invited to have displays at recruiting events where the Greeks had only been invited before.

A very "non-spiritual activity" opened the door for greater ministry on the campus. It helped with alumni support as they would come to Homecoming and hear our representative announced at half time of the game.

A third benefit I believe was that students felt they did not have to join other organizations on campus to participate in fun Campus events like Homecoming. I realized that many solid Christian students were drawn away from their faith because of their desire to be active on campus.....they had done it in high school and wanted that to be part of their college career.

A negative result was that for some it damaged our relationship to Greek organizations because they now felt we were treading in their territory. Plus, we got many other invitations to participate in lots of other events that we had to make choices about and usually said no.

Should Campus Ministries participate in Homecoming elections, etc? I think it is a campus to campus decision, but one that should be considered...not automatically ignored. It might. E more spiritual than you think!

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