Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On Returning to Campus Ministry....Not just writing and speaking about it!

I retired from being the Baptist Campus Minister at Arkansas State 2 and 1/2 years ago. At the end of July I was asked to go back briefly as my successor was resigning effective the end of August. Briefly has gone on till now and it has been a wonderful experience. I could not have loved or enjoyed it anymore!

I thought students might be unhappy with me, frustrated with the situation, drop out of the ministry, etc, etc. When I was asked almost immediately if I might go a little longer then first planned, I said, "Let's wait a few weeks to see how it is going.". After a few weeks, it was still going great. I was working three days a week after having worked 5, 6, 7 days a week previously. I told several people, "I should have gone part time years ago.". So, what happened?

First, the Student Leadership Team stepped up big time. I get that...and we had two super part time staffers and a strong President.

But, what was the difference with me that was a factor, that might benefit some of you?

1. I felt no pressure whatsoever! In the past, I had put a great deal of pressure on myself. It's amazing what you can do when you operate pressure free.

2. I haven't felt the need to defend anything....don't like something we are doing, that's fine. Think I do College Ministry the old fashioned way, that's fine.

3. I have spent a ton of time talking to and listening to students. I love it..they are fun, challenging and seem to want to know what I think.

4. I don't go to meetings I don't want to go to. Be careful here...I'm not urging this as a hard core philosophy.
But, I think I could have practiced this more previously.

5. I don't waste my time trying to straighten out anybody else's College Ministry. I see some dumb things and even some things that need straightening out....but, I just go talk to some more students.

6. I'm not as picky about how my student leaders do things. If it is working and they feel good about it, I try not to be the least negative. I think sometimes in the past I over-coached and it took some of their initiative away or made them afraid they might mess up.

7. I live in the moment and enjoy what's going on. I'm not thinking about next semester or next week.

8, Since I don't work ALL the time, I'm not dead tired when I go....maybe your should try resting a little more too.

Now, I plan to write and speak more on College Ministry....hope it helps some!

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