Thursday, March 24, 2016

How Does a College Minister Act His or Her Age?

"There is a time for everything and a season for every activity." Ecclesiastes 3:1

In my previous Blog I briefly described the Four Seasons of a College Minister. Basic to this whole idea is that there are strengths and weaknesses to every age....lean into the strengths and address the weaknesses.

Some Basic Premises:

1. Your age and experience will and should determine how you do your ministry.

2. You cannot and should not do it the same your whole career.

3. There is no best season.

4. You must be honest about what season you are.....your students realize it.

5. College Ministry is not just for the young. Students need the light of experience outside their own.

Each season has specific tasks to that season. A part of leaning honestly into each season is being aware of and intentional to the inherent tasks of that season.



1. Look at different ministries to see the different philosophies and how and why they work....or don't work.

2. Discover by trial, error and honest evaluation what your particular strengths and gifts are.

3. Listen to and learn from experienced colleagues. Have a teachable spirit.

4. Find a mentor to teach, develop and nurture you in your growth.


1. Begin to develop a network of colleagues in College Ministry for learning and support. Too many College Ministers leave because they feel alone.

2. Draw on your developing experience and philosophy to see how to take your ministry to the next level. It can now become more than a ministry built around students who like you or are drawn to your personality.

3. Find a ministry you can settle into long term that fits your gifts and strengths.

4. Develop a healthy balance of family and or personal life that will allow you to stay for a whole career.


1. Work at staying tuned to students viewpoint and perspective. Your age causes you to think differently than they do.

2. Build and develop the ministry support base by using some of the capital developed from your tenure,
experience and peer relationships (pastors/staff, university administrators, alums, etc).

3. Begin to mentor and invest in younger College Ministers. Share your wisdom.

4. Develop a ministry that is larger than your personal ministry. Draw on all your opportunities. Teach and train others more.


1. Strengthen the structure of the ministry with your experience and insight.

2. Avoid bitterness and anger about church, your network, or denominational politics that poisons your spirit and ministry.

3. Build the financial support base of the ministry that will outlast you. Some are in position to build a new or enlarged ministry center that will be a blessing for years to come. Provide for your successors!

4. Use your wisdom, experience, and earned respect to be a spokesperson for College Ministry. Be active statewide and nationally. Be a benefit to College Ministry as a whole.

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