Saturday, September 14, 2013


Cooperation between College Ministries is a touchy subject. I was leading a seminar at a national conference and a lady asked why there was not more cooperation between church and campus based college ministries. I paused before I answered and she said, "I have noticed there is always a pause when I ask that question". I thought of a friend who said, "It's tough to keep cooperating when you feel like you get stabbed in the back when you do".

Part of the answer is different people and ministries have different definitions of what cooperation is. For some, cooperation means not having an event at the exact same time as yours. My first definition of cooperation came in my first paid church job. I was the "Summer Youth Director" at my church after my freshman year in college. We were the "mega church" in the area because we had over 300 total attendance each Sunday. The pastor told me that I was to make it a priority to take our youth to the monthly area youth rallies. He said we could probably do something better on our own, but that for most of the small churches, that was one of the few or the only youth events they had. I was to not only take our youth, but I was to do what I could to make it better....not just for us, but for all those involved.

A complicating factor in cooperation is many College Ministers are judged on their attendance...not their cooperation. I believe that cooperation works best when we remember that no ministry is the perfect one for every student. I also believe that students benefit from involvement in both a church based ministry and a campus based ministry when their time allows.

A tough question to answer and live by is, "Am I doing what is best for students and my campus as a whole?"


  1. Do you feel it is easier for a campus ministry to cooperate with a church-based ministry or is it the opposite? What benefits are to be had by cooperation? From the post it seems almost as if you are against cooperation, though I know that is not the case.

  2. Great I'm all for cooperation and think it is a must. Thanks for helping me clarify that! One huge thing is I have seen students turned off to faith in general when they have seen competition between ministries. I don't know which side is easier or harder....but I think everyone benefits...particularly the students and the campus. I might say the campus is harder because they are cooperating with multiple churches who have different philosophies and goals. But, I haven't been on the church side.