Monday, January 13, 2014

The Dirty Secrets of College Ministries

The dirty secret is a lot of the facilities used by College Ministries.....dirty being the key word!

As a College Minister who has been blessed to serve and utilize three different campus centers, I believe in them and know the huge benefits. I've been in lots of Centers and been through some church college ministry areas that were embarrassingly dirty. Or, things looked good on the surface...till you opened a door or two.

One church College Minister who had an area filled with junk and broken down furniture said it wasn't his was the janitor's. I would disagree because the janitor is not responsible for the Ministry.

The care and use of a facility says a lot about our ministry. It also tells our donors and supporters how well we use what they give to us. Why should they give us anything if we obviously don't take care of and use wisely what we already have?

Some campus based Collegiate Ministers that have campus facilities have "Live-In Student Caretakers" and they say that is part of the problem....Live-In Caretakers who....don' I think this is often the result of three issues.

1. Communication of Expectations....Student Caretakers need a clear list of duties. Just expecting them to see what needs doing and to do it will not work. Have a clear list of duties and when those duties are to be performed. Sometimes, it is necessary to show them what it should look like. Yes, I mopped and waxed a floor today. Tomorrow, we will work together.

2. Training in how to do the duties...."Everybody knows how to clean". Ever been in any student dorm rooms or apartments? Then, you know everyone doesn't know how to clean. We do a "Clean-Up Day" prior to the start of the semester....2 purposes: cleaning AND showing Caretakers how to clean as it needs to be done.

3. Accountability. Students with cleaning responsibilities need to be told when they aren't doing what they need to do. When we do not hold students accountable to responsibility, we fail them. We are teaching responsibility and ignoring lack of responsibility is not teaching anything good.

If you have a facility or an area in a church thatmis yours to use.....don't let it be your dirty little secret.

1 comment:

  1. You practice what you preach. As a "caretaker" at the Henderson State University BSU one summer I remember being on the receiving end of your clear instruction when we failed to clean our areas. It was a good learning experience and one that benefited me in my work as an educator. Thank you for being willing to have a difficult conversation with me when I wasn't fulfilling my responsibilities. - Jim