Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Growing Trend in College Ministry for 2015

I believe one significant change we will see continue to develop is a greater difference in how College Ministry is done in the east and north and how it is done in the deep south. This has always been true to some degree simply due to finances and facilities.

I had the priviledge in recent days to participate in a widespread twitter conversation/dialogue around the prediction that "By 2030 half of all traditional colleges will disappear". I don't Know who originally made that prediction. But, the widespread twitter discussion was, "What does that mean for College Ministry?". Most of those participating were the younger more tech savvy, entrepreneurial Campus Ministers that serve outside the Bible Belt. One idea advanced in the discussion was the idea of doing away with weekly large group meetings. This idea was endorsed by many in the conversation. The purpose of doing away with a weekly large group event was to send students to the campuses in a more missional way.

Later in the week, I visited the old fashion way (by phone) with a coordinator/supervisor of some of the larger College Ministries in the south. He was not at all on board with the idea of doing away with weekly large group meetings. First, he spoke to the need for developing community. Secondly, you don't do away with something that is working simply because a new idea has come along.

Who is right and who is wrong here? My contention would be neither. Both are speaking to their context. But it does point me to my belief that Campus Ministry outside the south is more and more going to look very different than those in the Bible Belt.

But, a danger I see here is each of these groups drawing into their own cocoons and not talking with, listening to and learning from each other. There is also the danger that if the more tech savvy College Ministers drive all of the philosophical conversations, outside forces can likely determine that what they are saying is "the only right way to do it". This might force change in areas where "old ideas" such as weekly large group meetings are still being super effective.

My takeaway?
1. We all need to talk to and listen to College Ministers who don't think just like we do. If you do College Ministry, you must speak to the overall conversation....not just serve on your campus.
2. Minister in YOUR context.
3. And oh yeah, if your supervisor says you will have a large group weekly better have a large group weekly event!

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