Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Mr. (Blank) doesn't do breakout sessions."

A few years back I was working with a group on a meeting for Collegiate Ministers. At one point in the program, we were having 6 Mega Seminars (large and longer) and we were trying to enlist top people to lead those. Since we were meeting in the city where a well known Baptist speaker lived and worked, his name was suggested. I sent him an email asking him to do it.

His Ministry Assistant called me and said, "He is extremely busy these days with some family issues and he is Interim pastor at a church and Mr (Blank) does not do breakout sessions.". I wasn't quite sure if she said the last part to let me know how lame my request was or to express her frustration in having to deliver the message.

At another point, I was helping organize a state wide meeting for students. There was also a football game in town that weekend involving one of the colleges involved in the meeting. A Church University Minister had publicized that he was coming to town to do a tailgate party for his students. He was well known to be an expert in one to one discipleship. I called and asked him to lead a seminar on personal discipleship. He said he thought he could and would call me back. He called back to say that he had asked around and none of his students were planning to attend our meeting, so he would not lead a seminar.

I read lots of articles on making the best use of your time and am all about efficiency. I must admit I flinch when I am called to lead the half time devotionals for 3 grade school Upward basketball games on a Saturday morning. After all, I'm real important. My time is valuable.

Most of us in ministry are asked to do too much. Many do more than they should. But, I think we have to continually ask the questions....Am I just about building my kingdom? Or, am I committed to doing my part in building God's kingdom?

Often, what we are willing to do and not do has answered that question.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Easy and Good Staff or Intern Meeting & Principles of Good Staff Meetings

1. What's happening now that you feel good about?

2. What's your biggest ministry frustration right now?

3. What's happening this week we all need to be aware of?

4. What job needs dividing up this week?

5. How can I pray for you?

7 Important Principles of Good and Encouraging staff/Intern meetings:

1. Always meet somewhere private.....not in the student center, etc where interruptions/diversions are easy.

2. Always meet weekly....set time.

3. Sometimes have snacks or treats

4. Always laugh about something.

5. Give time for discussion or input, but don't let it bog down into a frustrating sense of no progress or point to this discussion.

6. Always compliment where possible.

7. Always be the leader, but never the dictator.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Simple College Ministry Formula...GOATS!

A while back someone asked me for a simple formula for a strong and effective College Ministry. It is Goats.

G...Growth: Do discipleship one to one and effective small groups.

O...Outreach: Intentionally connect to those who don't come to you and don't know Christ.

A...A Rally Point: Group worship or teaching time that also builds a community that encourages and challenges.

T...Training: Train students to be leaders for your ministry, in our society and in the church in years to come.

S...Service: Provide opportunities for students to serve others and develop a servant spirit.

Goats...simply said....a lifetime calling worthy of your life....College Ministry...the High Calling!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

5 Things a Church Collegiate Ministry Must Do

1. Involve the whole church with the collegiate ministry.
-help them be aware and to connect with students. One College Minister did "5 minutes of training" in worship services prior to school starting.

2. Connect students to the church as a whole...not just the collegiate ministry.
-Non-student adults in your church can be a huge plus to the students' growth and development.
-Connecting students to the whole church increases the likelihood of their church connections after college.
-If you don't connect to the church as a whole, you are just another para-church ministry.

3. Provide opportunities for service.
-Students today want to make a difference. They can help in children's ministry, Youth, serve at senior adult events. Etc. The church will benefit; the students will grow.....and they have been trained for church serving for the years to come.

4. Make students visible in worship services.
-Have students do anything else others in the church scripture, pray, serve in the worship band.
-It encourages other students and it helps the church be aware of the college ministry....and students have gifts to offer.

5. Find, enlist and train a variety of age adults to serve in your College Ministry as sponsors, teachers, cooks,
-Don't succumb to the temptation that all College Ministry volunteers should be pretty young couples.
-Studies have shown that students want to be mentored and learn from older adults....besides everybody loves their grandmother....and she is a great cook.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Walking the Campus Paths

Friday night I was in another state leading a collegiate training event for a church's Sunday School teachers. Before we started a man came up to me and said, "You don't recognize me do you?". He said, "I was a student at Arkansas State in the late 90's and away from the Lord. I had been to the BCM a couple of times. On a Wednesday morning about 7:30, I saw you out on campus putting up Lunch signs. You stopped and came over to talk to me and it made a huge impression on me.".

I don't remember that Wednesday morning encounter....he does and even points to it as a time of pointing him to the Lord. Two beliefs of mine that reinforces:

First, I believe we ought to be out on campus every day if possible and just walk some of the most traveled student paths. This happened right at a crosswalk by the Library on campus. That's why I went to the cafeteria once or twice a week....I believe God might use the "Bump Conversations" more that who I sat with. A "Bump" is when you just meet a student that you might never have the chance to have a spiritual conversation with, but you bump into them and you can pause for 30 seconds and say, "How you doing...good to see you!".

Second, this reminds me that we NEVER know all the ways God uses the little things we do and how it speaks into a student's life. Trust and believe that God is using you in more ways than you know.

Where do students walk by on your campus? Should you be standing there for 10 or 15 minutes a couple of times a week?