Monday, October 13, 2014

Learning From Those Ministries NOT Like Yours

One of my glaring weaknesses is that I tend to think I am right...ALL the time. There are lots of problems associated with this weakness; one is that you never learn from those who are different than you or your ministry.

In doing College Ministry, it is so easy to fall into this trap. Obviously, each of us do things we think are best, but do we really have all the good ideas.....all the best methods? The obvious answer is NO!

Do you disagree with the theology or methodology of a growing ministry on your campus or in your area? But, what should you learn from them? What do they do best? How do they do it? Don't let a genuine disagreement about theology keep you from learning from their methodology! That is dumb pride.

One well worn definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result". Thinking inside the same boxes results in recycling the same thoughts. To learn from the ministry of others who don't share your theology is not a cop-out. Even if you disagree with their methods, they may give you an idea that would benefit your ministry.

Some Things to Think About in Learning From Those with Whom You Disagree:

1. Can I visit one of their large group meetings? I've driven two hours to go to another ministry's large group meeting. My handsome young Assistant was able to fade into the crowd....I'm old and scruffy looking, so they came back to the back row to find out who I was. Here was my creative answer, "I heard you guys do a good job and I just came to see what I can learn".

2. Do they have written materials I could read?

3. Could I call one of their leaders and offer to buy lunch and ask why they do some of what they do?

4. What's one thing they do totally different to us.....why?

6. Do they reach a different type student than we do and if so, why?

Now, I am not talking about stealing their best idea and duplicating it. I've had the experience of seeing someone's Freshmen mailout looking just like ours and advertising a freshmen event just like ours. You don't steal someone's signature event. In the fairness sense of the word, it has their "copyright". Look at principles. You may discover they have strengths or gifts you or your ministry do not have.

Alright now: What ministry drives you crazy? How and what should you learn from them?

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