Friday, May 31, 2013

Looking for a Baptist Collegiate Ministry Job?

There are some openings for Baptist Collegiate Ministers in some different settings as well as larger and smaller ministries. If you would like me to pass your resume on, please send me your resume and I will forward it to those filling those positions. Email it to me at

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Supervising Assistants, Interns, and Associates in College Ministry

I am convinced that one of the poorest things we do in Christian ministry is supervision. There are most often one of two extremes....the CEO who micromanages and no supervision at all....with the latter being the most prevalent.

In being the overall director of an intern type program some years ago, I was amazed to hear one of the Campus Ministers of a one year intern say, "I tell them they are a professional, just go and do what you know needs doing.". My response to that is most of them didn't have a clue what all needed doing and what they did showed it.

If someone is an Intern or new to ministry, one of your jobs is to help them grow in their skills and understanding of ministry. You should know more than they do....and if you don' are at least supposed to be in charge and give direction and focus. So, how do you supervise?

1. Have weekly staff meetings...that's ok if it is just the two of you. Divide up responsibilities; Evaluate past events; encourage them and help them talk out and learn from experiences, if they are real inexperienced.

2. Early on it is important to give some very specific direction and give helpful feedback. Some family members recently shared that there was frustration that their new Youth Minister did not go down front during the invitstion and help the pastor with those making decisions, the former Youth Minister had. I asked if anyone had ever told him to do that...they said, "Shouldn't he know to do that?". Wonder how many things new workers have not been told that people are frustrated that they are not doing?

Again, early feedback...affirmation and correction are very important! That is when it is most needed and when it is best received.

3. One of the most helpful things I ever did was to ask my Assistants to make up a to-do sheet at the beginning of each semester. They had a general job description, but this was to be a list of specific tasks they planned to do such as....Eat in the U Cafeteria every Tuesday....Lead one freshmen guys Bible study group, etc, etc. Then, I would look at the list and often would add one or two things and then We would both agree to it. We would revisit it about a month into the semester for needed adjustments OR a needed reminder what was on the list. Then, we would talk about it and evaluate at the end of the semester. Then, we would do a new one for the new semester.

Accountability matters. Experience teaches you more little things to do and how to do them than big things. You can share, teach and model these things as you go along....rather than them learning them the hard way or over the long haul.

A while back a church I am familiar with fired their Minister of Music for concerns that had been mounting over the past couple of years. At his year end meeting with the pastor, just a Few months before, the pastor had told him he was doing a great job. His supervisor failed him with lack of helpful honesty. He had no knowledge of the fact he had to I prove in some areas and what those areas were.

A good supervisor is lovingly honest!

I had one staff member who said he did not want to learn from my experience, but rather from making all their own mistakes. This staff member did not do well....I learned a lot about hiring out of that...but, that's another blog.

If you are not supervising and helping those under you grow and be more effective, you are not doing your job!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Collegiate Disciple Program

Collegiate Disciple is a plan to enlist high school seniors to commit to honor Christ during their college years. There are three commitments:

-Stay or become involved in a local church.
-Become involved in the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at the college they are attending.
-Reach out in the name of Christ to their fellow students.

The local BCM Director will mentor these Collegiate Disciples or connect them with a mentor.

When a student signs up to be a Collegiate Disciple, four things will happen:
1. An email will be sent to the incoming freshmen who has signed up.
2. An email will be sent to the student's parents.
3. An email will be sent to the student's Youth/Student Minister.
4. An email will be sent to the BCM Director of the college they will be attending.

For more information or to sign up, go to

This program is being developed by Steve Masters, BCM Director at Louisiana State University and Transitions Coordinator for the Lifeway Collegiate Ministry office directed by Mark Whitt.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Lesson from Alabama BCM Directors!

I was privileged to be with the Alabama Baptist Collegiate Ministers for part of their annual workshop outside of Talladega. During the worship period each day, two directors would share a story of something that had happened in their ministry to pray about.

I was moved by the story of change in students' story in particular touched me. A young woman who had tried it all decided to try faith...she went on a Spring Break Mission trip....But, said because of her past she was not worthy to do anything further....but she did and God is using her. Another shared the story of a woman who has just graduated going overseas to help orphans be adopted instead of taking prestigious offers.

The lesson: Tell the stories of God's movement in students' lives. NOTHING communicates like the story of one changed and or used life....nothing! Make sure those who support your ministry hear at least one or two of your stories. OR, get one of your students to write out their story in their own words and you share that, with their permission.

Stories communicate better than just facts and figures....share the stories!

Monday, May 20, 2013

The BEST Thing You Can Do in International Ministry

God has brought the world to the college campuses of America. We can not only share Christ with students from all the countries of the world, we can share with the future business and political leaders of the world. In some ways ministry with Internationals on US campuses is more wise than going abroad. When we go to another country either as long term missionaries or for a short term mission trip, we very seldom ever get to share with the economic and political leaders of that country. When you befriend and share with an International student, odds are very good you are developing a relationship with a future leader in that country. His or her influence will be wide!

What is the single best way to minister to and share Christ with International students.....Get them adopted by an Americsn family out of one of your churches.

I recently had the privilege to see a Vietnamese student baptized in my church because he was adopted by an Americsn family that had he and his wife in their home for meals and friendship. A College Minister on another campus shared with me today that he had an appointment with an International student who had just come to Christ because of an American host family. He told the College Minister that he wished every International could have a host family as he did and they probably would come to Christ too.

Many years ago career missionary friends told of the country where they had lived. There was a movement to close the country to Christian missionaries. The Vice President of the country intervened on behalf of the missionaries and the country stayed open. The Vice President had studied in the US and had been befriended by Christians. Although he never publicly received Christ, his experience of love and friendship by Christians kept an entire country open to the Gospel.

One thing you can do is connect International students with Christian families. God will use it, perhaps in ways you will never know!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Plan a Summer Contact Night!

If you are able to get some names of students coming to your school this fall, how can you make the best use of that list? Have an Outreach Night....years ago, we started one we called "Fold, Lick, Staple Night". Originally, after eating pizza or grilled hamburgers, our upperclass students would assemble our mailout to go to new and returning students. Over time, it evolved to several different options. What are some things you could do on an Outreach Night?

1. Everyone use their cell phone to call friends and tell them about the first event of the fall. Or, send text messages.

2. Divide up your list and have students write personal handwritten cards to incoming students.

3. Each student take so many names and make Facebook contact with each of them and send a personal message about your ministry.

4. Have each student write a personal thank you to a financial supporter and share some way the ministry has blessed them personally.

6. Oh yeah! Fold, address and sort a giant mail out.

7. Some churches have their members at a Wednesday night church supper write cards to incoming students inviting them to their church.

8. You can add your own idea here. What can a group do in one night that might take you a week or more to do.....and it is from another student.

Friday, May 17, 2013

7 Big Mistakes College Ministers Make

1. Not realizing a great school year is built in the summer and therefore not having a plan for the summer.

2. Changing what you do every year or never changing or tweaking what you do.

3. Giving students responsibility without accountability.

4. Thinking you can or should build a ministry by yourself.

5. Expecting something from students that you don't model.

6. Not starting where students are or not respecting where they are even if you don't agree.

7. Not having a specialized Freshmen ministry or at least a specialized freshmen season.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Campus Based College Ministers Should Be Fired if They Don't.......

Campus based College Ministers should be fired if they don' with alumni. That's probably too strong of a statement, but it conveys how important I think this is.

Why is it that important that you work with alums?

First, you still have spiritual influence in their lives. You should not walk away from that. Through the years one of my frustrations has been Youth Ministers who did not seem to feel any responsibility in a youth's life after they graduated. Some could not even tell me where their youth group members were going to college. Yet, some times as College Ministers we don't realize how God can continue to use us in the lives of our alums at key times. They may need to talk to you about their marriage. Some may need to call when there is a crisis in their church. You get the idea.

Second, alums can be a powerful voice for the value of Collegiate Ministry in their local church and within their denomination. Today in the time of cuts due to finances, former students who have been active in your ministry can speak to how God uses College Ministry. Do your alums know the value and power of their speaking up? Keep them informed about recent developments related to your ministry and College Ministry in general.

Third, alums can be a consistent source of financial support of your ministry. As funding is cut to many ministries, your alums can make a difference. Through the years we have asked our former students to consider giving $25 a year. Many would say through the years, "I would give you some money, but I can't give enough to help". Lots of $25 gifts add up....and some will give more than $25 a year.

But, there is a difference in being involved with your alums and just asking them for money. Alum newsletters need to be mostly news about alums...not just a letter asking for money. God used you in their life when in school and he still can. It's never too late to start working with alums!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

John Maxwell from Chic-Fil-A Leadercast

Some highlights from John Maxwell at Leadercast:

An educator takes something simple and makes it complicated.
A communicator takes something complicated and makes it simple.

It's not easy to be simple, but it's effective.
-It's easy to be simplistic, but it's not easy to be simple....don't confuse them!

4 Things in Being a Simple Leader:

1. Add value to people every day. Put people first; it increases your influence with them.

2. Subtract your leadership land mines. (Such as trying to make everybody happy)

3. Multiply your strengths by developing them.
-It's the things you do well that optimize you.
-You have influence in the areas of your strengths.

4. Divide your weaknesses by delegating them.
-Most who work with you already know your weaknesses...but you need to recognize them.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Leadership Thoughts from David Allen, Leadercast

David Allen is the author of Getting Things Done. Some of his good thoughts:

You are not your work, but your work will run you, if you let it.

You can only feel good about what you are NOT doing when you KNOW what you are not doing.

It's not time you's room.

Don't be driven by latest and loudest.

If you don't give something appropriate attention, it will take more attention.

Ask 3 questions:

Andy Stanley on Leadership at Leadercast

Here are some highlights from Andy Stanley at Chick-Fil-A Leadercast in Atlanta.

The theme was "Simply Lead".

Ask three questions:
1. What are we doing?
2. Why are we doing it?
3. Where do I fit in?

What is the ONE thing that needs to be done? That brings clarity.
-The mist in your mind will eventually become a fog in your organization.

What is your UNIQUE contribution....if it gets done well, almost nothing else matters.

Do a one sentence job description for yourself and those you supervise.

Growth creates complexity which requires simplicity.

He also mentioned just as an aside that he speaks about 35 times a year on Sunday. I found that opposed to many pastors who speak every Sunday but one or two.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Leadership Thoughts from Coach K

I had the privilege of attending the Chic Fil A Leadershipcast in Atlanta. Over the next few days, I want to share just a few highlights from some of the speakers. These thoughts are from Coach K, the hugely successful coach at Duke.

Create a culture of success.
-Everybody is important.
-Empower everyone.
-Nobody is too important to do any job.

Rule #1. When we talk to each other, we look at their eyes.
-Always tell the truth.
-Tell it; expect it.
-Truth leads to trust.
-Trust is paramount.

Rules don't lead! Standards are ways to do things right all the time.

Do I own the standards I am holding others to?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Heroes of College Ministry Highlighted by Mike (Hair) Kelley

When Mike Kelley of Widener University was named 2013 College Minister of the Year, it highlighted some of the genuine heroes of College Ministry....those that raise their own salaries to minister to the college campuses of America. Mike (Hair) Kelley is one of those who has gone where God has called but a salary was not provided.

One who works with many of these folks estimates that as many as one hundred (100) College Ministers in Baptist Collegiate Ministries are raising their own salaries. Some nationally strategic campuses are served by those who each year raise their salary and live very sacrificially with minimal or no insurance for health issues.

The nominees for College Minister of the Year represented the great variety of those serving in College Ministry. Mike Kelley was selected by our panel strictly on the merit of who he is and his ministry at Widener..but..he shines a spotlight on all those doing College Ministry with no salary provided by any church, agency or convention.
They are the heroes of College Ministry!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mike Kelley, Widener University - 2013 College Minister of the Year

Mike serves at Widener University in Chester, PA. He began there as a volunteer/intern and transitioned to Mission Service Corps. He was nominated by his pastor, Chuck Kieffer and selected from College Ministers throughout the country who were nominated. Mike is one of those special folks that raises his own salary. There are zero Baptist students at Widener and yet he has established Discipleship groups that have spread into the dorms. A highlight has been his establishment of a Thanksgiving Dinner for Chinese and Muslim students. In additions he teaches at the church. Congratulations to Mike Kelley, 2013 College Minister of the Year!

Planning Your Summer

For some the students are gone....for others, it is just a few days away. Now is the time to plan your summer. You may say, that is the exact opposite of what I want to do....I want to chill some....that's the point. Plan so you can chill AND do what you have to do to be ready in August. Remember; good falls are made in the summer!

Here are some things to do or consider:

1. Schedule now your vacation time....use all of it....don't think you will just play it by ear.

2. If your school has Summer Orientations for new freshmen, can you plug into it formally or informally? If you are a Church Collwge Minister, can you partner with the BCM on it in some way? If the school won't let you formally, is there some place you should be standing at each Orientation with your tee shirt or name tag on?

3. If you have a Center or designated church space area, what needs to be cleaned, painted or thrown away? Get someone with fresh eyes to look at it. Paint a new accent wall. Dump out the drawers and closets. When I visit some church and campus areas, I am shocked at how nasty they look. One College Minister told me that was the janitor's problem. Silly me, I didn't realize God had called that janitor to be responsible for the College Ministry there!

4. Books....what books should you read this summer..,for your preparation for speaking this fall? Make a list. Order!

5. Start a folder for materials, ideas, topics for possible fall talks. Put into it all summer.

6. If you are a church College Minister, do some training with your adult volunteers....not too late to do an appreciation event for them either!

7. Go visit another ministry you can learn from....going is better than calling or talking to them at a conference. At their place you will see things you would never think to ask about.

8. If you are amcampus based College Minister, mark off a few days to drive around and visit with area church pastors that support or connect to your ministry. Or visit with youth ministers who have studentsmwho come to your campus. Don't ask the pastor for anything...just visit with and encourage them and answer any questions they might have about your ministry. Lots of people go see them to ask for things.

9. Schedule some extra time with your children. After my girls were gone, I thought I had been a good dad, but not a great one! Be a great one!

10. If you are campus based, put some extra time into growing your relationship with whatever school officials that you most relate to or need to. One BCM Director I know does a steak cookout for the Recruiting office.

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Terrible Personal Confession!

I know I may be sent to a treatment center....but I love staff meetings!

Recently, I was with a group of church College Ministers and a common frustration expressed was all the different weekly staff meetings they have to attend....general staff meeting....Education staff meeting, etc. And that takes up a lot of time they would like to spend in their ministry.

At that meeting and then a few days later, two staff members shared their frustration about their staff meeting infrequently and not taking time to pray together. So, the staff meeting conundrum: how to do staff meeting that is helpful. Here are some suggestions:

1. Have a set weekly time to start and end....and...start and end on time. Avoid having unnecessary meetings or meetings to talk about meetings.

2. Meet somewhere private so as to not be interrupted.

3. The leader should have an agenda....share it at the beginning and ask if anything else needs to be added.

4. Laugh during the meeting.

5. Ask/allow staffers to share something in the ministry this past week that has been encouraging.

6. Give the opportunity for folks to share any major frustrations.

7. Evaluate any major events just completed.

8. What is coming up? How do each of us need to be on the same page about it and what is my responsibility?
-Staff are to be a team...not Lone Rangers!

9. One thing we did at the close of most staff meetings I would ask, "How have I been a jerk lately?". Sometimes it brought a laugh...other times it helped us talk out some mis-understanding.

10. Take prayer requests and pray....more than one person pray....pray!

Bonus: Every once in awhile bring treats to staff meeting...never a bad move!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

More Wise Sayings in Collegiate Ministry

11. When you stop training student leaders, you have begun the end of your ministry.

12. Finding and investing in student leaders will multiply your ministry (sent in by Jonathan).

13. Relationships determine students coming to your ministry and leaving your ministry.

14. The people most likely to contribute to your ministry are those who have previously contributed.

15. When a student walks into your large group meeting space, they register a conscious or unconscious feeling or reaction which affects their response to the event.

16. What you ask for from donors affects what you get (too much or too little).

17. Tweaking is better than than bombing your ministry each year.

18. Tailor your ministry to your campus....every campus is unique.

19. You are the face of your ministry; you attract what you are.

20. A specialized freshman ministry is the single most effective way to grow your ministry.