Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Good Falls Are Made in the Summer!

Good falls are made in the summer has long been a truth understood by those who do College Ministry well. The first thought that brings to mind is outreach to incoming Freshmen. But, there are other parts to that truth. There is repair/updating to facilities, reading/prep for fall speaking, etc. But, one part of working on a good fall is connecting with and or thanking those who have helped you......or could help or benefit your ministry.

A couple of years ago I spoke for a Collegiate Ministers event and I talked about the need for campus administrators to see on-campus College Ministers as peer professionals. I had talked about dressing like a professional for important meetings. The best compliment I got was when one of the young Campus Ministers at the end said, "I'm going to put on my kaki's and go meet the VP of Student Affairs".

My first few days as the new, very young, and very inexperienced Campus Minister at Henderson Stare University I experienced the value of how people could benefit your ministry. I had joined First Baptist Church on Sunday. A lady came through the receiving line, shook my hand and told me to come by her office that week. She worked in the President's Office. I dropped in a couple of days later expecting to chit chat with her for three or four minutes. She greeted me warmly, stood up, threw open the door next to her desk and told the President of the University, "Dr. Garrison, Arliss Dickerson is here". Wow! I had not expected that. Her name was Eilene Arnett and I have never forgotten her.

Lots of people sit on lots of doors it would benefit you and your ministry to walk through. Or, they have and do open doors for you all the time and you need to thank them. Here are some examples and ideas:

-One College Minister I know grills steaks for a lunch for the college recruitment office. They walk students by his campus center.

-Dick Bumpass, BSU Director at Arkansas State many years ago, had a rose garden behind the BSU Center and he took roses to different Administrative Assistants.

-Another College Minister took a week and just drove around his area visiting with pastors...asking for nothing but thanking those who needed thanking and meeting those he had not met. A good week well spent!

Who do you need to thank or meet?

-Is there a janitor that opens a room for you each week?

-Is there a Sunday School class that has fed your students?

-Are there people who fill out the records each week and do helpful stuff that no body sees or seems to appreciate?

There is a difference between using people for your own purposes and developing positive relationships that God can work through. One of the differences is expressing appreciation. Be an "Appreciator" not a "User".

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