Friday, April 29, 2016

Williams Baptist College Seeking College Minister

Williams Baptist College located in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas is seeking a full time Campus Minister. Williams is a four year Liberal Arts college with an enrollment of 600 students. Responsibilities include creation and implementation of a comprehensive ministry program with the ability to work independently.

Requirements and expectations include:

-Strong interpersonal skills

-Computer skills

-Ability to supervise a team

-Demonstrated ability in personal evangelism and discipleship

-M.Div degree, three years relevant experience or some combination of experience and education

Resumes are currently being accepted and reviewed and will be until the position is filled. Additional information may be found at the Williams Baptist College website ( Resumes may be sent to

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What's THE Way to do College Ministry?

A College Ministry veteran called me recently to express his concern about the discussion in College Ministry circles about the best way to do it. Some even seem to be arguing their way is the only way. Obviously, this discussion is as old as the ministry itself. Usually what prompts the re-energizing of these discussions is someone has a remarkable degree of success somewhere and immediately others begin to copy it. So, is this the arrival of the perfect method?

Our discussion caused me to think about how to categorize the different methods that are used throughout the country and all with some shining examples of success and God's movement in their midst.


This model is tied to large events such as a weekly Worship event, Outreach Lunch Programs, and even specialized Freshmen Nights. Those who practice this style believe that a wide variety of students can be touched at one time. These large group events offer non-threatening environments for both immature Christians as well as non-believers. These large group events are not all they do, but they drive and affect everything else.


This model is based around the belief that discipleship best happens in the midst of a smaller, committed group that shares life and faith on a regular basis. The Campus Ministry leader pours into the small group leaders who in turn pour into their small group. In recent times, this method has been adopted by some who were doing Program Centered, but found they could not "compete" with some other ministries large group experience, band etc. Or, that they simply did not have enough students, proper space, etc to do a quality large group experience.


Obviously, there is no greater way to grow a new believer in Christ or to share the claims of Christ than in regular one to one meetings. Those who advocate this method believe that while touching fewer students it makes a great impact on those touched for lifelong discipleship. Some believe this is the best way to start a ministry on a campus.


This is the most traditional and long practiced style done by Collegiate Churches. Students are ministered to just as other groups in the church are. They all attend the same worship services and then break out into age group Bible study groups and for special events. After practicing other methods, some churches are returning to this style with the belief that it best prepares students for involvement and service after college in churches that are not college centered.


This is the church ministry that focuses around a separate large group event for students. This revolves around the
belief that more students can be reached and touched by aiming events especially at them with style, time and night. Proponents of this method indicate that it solves the issue of collegiates being exposed to church squabbles, etc. Many of the largest Church College Ministries practice this style.


A Campus Church Plant is the newest of the models practiced somewhat widely. It simply is built around the idea that we will start a church for college students on or near campus. It can be done time and style wise in a way that best accommodates students. The first use of this model came in areas where there were no churches either equipped or disposed to College Ministry. It is now being practiced in a variety of settings.

Obviously, there are hybrids where a ministry is trying to take and practice the strengths of more than one method. Yet, I would still maintain they fall into one of these categories. That style is their central driving force. So, which is THE BEST WAY? That is easy....the one I prefer and do best!

Seriously, it depends on each situation, their resources, size of staff, and the individual gifts and strengths of the ministry leader. But, I think being aware of the different styles helps us be more intentional about our style and why we are practicing it. When considering switching to another model, one of the questions to consider is how much budget and staff went into this model and is that the defining difference? Plus, I just think we cannot always explain or define why God moved in a big way in some situations.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Summer is a Different Animal in College Ministry

As the school year winds down, some of our thoughts and planning time has to turn to summer. There are really three different approaches to summer college ministry....keep on the same....a different schedule....and even for some it is...shut it down! A few even gear up as they have a large influx of Collegiates home for the summer who engage. But, that is a rarity.

I will quickly tell you that I believe the number one task of summer is...getting ready for the fall. Good falls are made in the summer. It is a time of connecting to incoming freshmen, scheduling speakers, developing promotional materials and for speakers, laying out your fall outline or direction.

I have tried lots of different summer approaches in campus based ministry. One year we did everything built around outdoor volleyball. Students (a large group)would show up early and play hard and then we would have Bible study. Obviously, we did it again the next summer with a dismal response. One summer we even provided a supper with the idea that this would be a plus to all the students who would come from work. Good idea...did it work....not so much. Summer is a different animal. My experience has been that week to week continuity is even more difficult in the summer.

So, here are some different ideas for summer:

1. Do a one time ministry project in a low income apartment complex.

2. Do a weekly Back-Yard-Bible Club in various locations.

3. Have a Beach Party with cold drinks in the middle of campus and meet lots of new people.

4. Weekly Event: Do an overview of a different book of the Bible...."Eight Books in Eight Weeks".

5. Fold, Lick, Staple Party: this is my all time favorite. Students help prepare mail outs for incoming students, write personal notes, call freshmen, etc. We would feed everyone pizza and then work for as much as 3 or 4 hours. I was amazed that students would often drive in from out of town to help.

6. Student Work Day for Your Meeting Area: what needs painting, cleaning up, or building?

7. Take International Students on a one day trip.

8. Enlist students to do a neighborhood survey one evening for a small church.

9. Do a different one of these each week.

10.Host an Alumni Picnic or as Virginia Tech BCM does....have an Alumni Work Weekend.

But, whatever you do, do what needs to be and can best be done to make the fall what you want and need it to be. Good falls are made in the summer!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Nothing to Lose Experiment

In last week's Blog (5 Things to do the Last Month of School) I suggested the last month of school is a great time to experiment. Try that thing you always thought might or might not work. Maybe you need to prove it won't work. Austin Wadlow, College Pastor at First Baptist, Denton, said he had always wanted to have their Overflow worship on campus at the University of North Texas. But, they were reluctant to do so due to parking issues and that they also work with Texas Women's University.

Austin said, "We kind of took a nothing to lose mentality with trying it out this week.". He said, "We PACKED out this brand new theatre on many new students came to Overflow that had never been before....and a ton of significant gospel convos took place as a result."

I do know they made some major preparations and worked at addressing some of their concerns such as parking issues. It is a good reminder for it to be a worthy experiment, you must take the steps to try to make it work. If you are going to try it...then get serious about your preparation and effort on it. Go for it hard!

He also said they figured out some kinks to work on before they try some new things next fall. That is part of the oh boy about experimenting with a new thing now before making a change for next year. You see the kinks and can address them. Or, you see that it will not work.

What about now the time to have a nothing to lose mentality about trying something? Warning: don't try something that will leave a major negative impression of your ministry....that will linger.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Five Things to do the Last Month of School

There are many things I love about the last month of school. The warmer, sunny days give me a new burst of energy and the campus population seems to double as students are out more. Students are less and less available as the reality of upcoming finals and paper deadlines approach. Plus, there are those students now reading Chapter One in some classes. I have confessed previously that I always have felt a sense of pressure of the responsibility of our ministry being all it should be. But, to me that pressure always seems to lift at this time....cause everyone is pointed toward "the sad singing and slow walking" as a friend of mine calls graduation.

As there are many different seasons to College Ministry, the last month is a season to itself. Let me share five things that I believe are key and unique to this season.


Now is the time to sit down with key leaders and seriously talk through what worked and what did not work....and why. Are there tweaks that need to be made (Not wholesale changes most of the time)?

I also believe it is a great time to get four or five freshmen together for cokes and, if you are a high dollar ministry, throw in some pizza. Students think better with free pizza in their mouth. Ask a few questions about your ministry and get their thoughts, why's, and what other freshmen think....generally and related to your ministry. Ask questions and listen; don't justify or explain. Shut up and listen. You might be surprised what you learn.


Is there that thing you have always wanted to try....a different meeting time or place....a different style main event? Try it one time now. I've shared previously several years ago I experimented with something different to prove it wouldn't work and it was a game changer plus. It became a staple of our ministry the next fall. Just break lose and try is the time.


If you are a campus based College Minister, what churches in your area will be holding special High School senior events. Can you get their list? Are there some that send large numbers of students to your campus....could you attend? Do they need a speaker? If you are a Church Based College Minister, how can you tie to your church's Senior event to help in their transition to your ministry? Remember, most studies now are saying 7 out of 10 disappear from church following high school graduation.


Now is a great time to write, call, or go in person to folks, churches etc. who somehow helped, blessed, gave to your ministry. There are very few times a thank you is ever wrong. A Summary of the Year letter might could go to all individual financial supporters.


Have one or more special Senior events that express thanks for what they have meant to your ministry and point them to the next phase of their lives. For many years we had seniors do testimonies at our last Lunch Program of the year. Some of it was funny memories, but some of it was a challenge to those coming after them. Plus, we always had a Senior Cookout at our house. The only program was a two minute speech by me. The three points were: 1. Now go do in a church what you have done here. 2. Much of what you have experienced was made possible by alums who give $25 a year. I hope you will too. 3. Stay as long as you want, but I will go to bed about eleven.


Monday, April 11, 2016

10 Short College Ministry Truths


The easiest students to invite and most likely to come to a College Ministry are those who have a relationship to someone already part of the ministry. Students also will drop out of a ministry due to relationship issues.....such as boyfriend/girlfriend break ups. A friend squabble can totally divide a ministry.


Campus Ministers tend to be people oriented and let administration slide. Good administration organizes, equips, and funds others to minister. Administration does not take away from a ministry; it multiplies it.


A small gift well used and obviously appreciated often leads to a larger gift or to more similar ones.


Administrators and Administrative Assistants literally hold the keys to the campus and can open or close doors for you. You don't have time to not have a positive relationship with those who operate the campus.


Allow others to fill your weak spots. Not everyone needs to graduate looking just like you.


When you share Christ with an International student, you might just be talking to a future Prime Minister, defense Minister or Secretary of State.


Be who and what you are trying to connect to your ministry. Late, unorganized College Ministers do not attract visionary, focused students.


Like it or not, this generation has been exposed to and become accustomed to high quality sound and visual experience. It matters.....just as long as you do not think it is the main or only thing that matters.


The majority of College Ministries are led and staffed by males. Look for ways for the women in your ministry to be exposed to a variety of Christian women role models.


The plan may adjust and change as they go. But, they have some place they are trying to go and they communicate that plan to students continually. Make a plan and communicate it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Is The Campus Church Plant Movement a Bust and is BCM Dying?

Asking "Is BCM/BSU dying?" or "Is the Campus Church Plant Movement a bust?" will get you beat up in a lot of rooms. I have not been beaten up lately, so I will take a quick swing at both.

"Is the Campus Church Plant Movement a bust?"

Within Southern Baptist circles, there are some who have advocated that planting churches on college campuses is the single best way to reach college students with the gospel and for church involvement. There are some notable successes that they point to. These cannot be disregarded...some with attendance of 400-500 or more. However, where the "bust" expressed by some has come from is that the notable successes mostly involve large staffs (10 to 25). Those who see it as bust say most any method will work with a large staff like that. But, the most common negative expressed has been this method is not for places where there is already a strong campus based ministry (BSU/BCM) and/or a church or multiple churches reaching out to students. Is this approach a bust! No. It has worked very well in some places where there was not much else ministry/witness wise working. One advocate of Campus Church Plants has indicated there are about one hundred (100) alive and well. It is one of many methods that work. Hooray for campus church plants that are making a difference.

"Is BCM/BSU dying?"

I think where this comes from is the fact of some financial cutbacks that have affected BCM. It is a simple fact that our churches and Conventions receive less money and this has caused some staff cutbacks within SBC life. The North Carolina Convention cut out their BCM ministries. Most outside observers say this was strictly finances. Some State Conventions have cut Associate positions due to decline in funding or increases in the cost of insurance. One College Ministry leader has said these cutbacks to BCM are "collateral damage". The North American Mission Board (NAMB) formerly paid the salaries of BCM Directors in some regions where Southern Baptists are not strong. They no longer do this in order to fund more church plants. So, where some years ago, there were BCM/BSU ministries on about a thousand (1,000) campuses nation wide, that number is now about eight hundred (800). The other side of this is these are some of the best days ever in many BCM ministries. Proponents of this view point to examples like the new Centers being built in Louisiana and Mississippi and the 552,000 students attending nation wide. The new Center at Mississippi State will seat 500 for worship. Have there been some cutbacks, yes. But, a significant number report their best days ever. Is BCM/BSU DYING....NO; but it has had to tighten it's belt and be leaner.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Three Necessary Relationships for College Ministry Pros

Relationships are the currency of our ministry. We all do them, if we are in the ministry. Yet, I think there are some necessary ones that are often neglected.....and they are a must.


We need to always be investing deeply in the lives of a few. Paul is my guy in the New Testament (other than Jesus) and to me one of the most significant things about Paul is that he always was investing in some guys that he would leave in charge when it was time for him to go somewhere else to preach. Timothy is the prime example. The book of Titus emphasizes mentoring. We can't spend all of our time with a few. But, we must seek out and intentionally invest in some who have great potential. This will benefit our ministry as these type students grow in their abilities. It also benefits their life and their Christian service in the years to come. As we have been in College a ministry for a while, I believe we must be willing to give time and encouragement to younger College Ministers....or those in difficult (sometimes new) situations. I would not have survived, if some had not done that for me.


No body gets a College Minister like another College Minister. I just think it is that unique and different from other ministry vocations. All of us need people we can bounce things off of, vent with, and just run new ideas by. There may not be anyone like that at your location. But, thanks to cell phones, that is not necessary. As I have previously shared, I have one College Ministry friend to say we talk regularly is an understatement. There are days when one of us has a hot issue, we talk two or three times. I even would say our being in different states is a plus in that we are exposed to different ideas and thoughts that enrich both of us.

I want to add a second category to Peer Relationships. We need friends apart from College Ministry. Our schedules are so different from many people that we can become isolated. My wife once confronted me with the statement, "You don't know how to talk to anyone your own age". I must confess I still struggle with that some. But, at that point, I began to do some things to connect me with peers outside the College Ministry world. That was good for me. It helped balance me a bit more and was good for my mental health.


Unless you know it still need to be learning, thinking and being challenged. Is there someone in your life that does that? The older and more experienced in ministry we get, the harder that is. It may have to be from books, podcasts, Blogs, whatever. One of the dangers of being "an old pro" is we are still saying and doing the same things we did ten years ago with no freshness. This has to be an on-going effort on our part. But, we are better for it.

Which one of these three is a need for you to be more intentional about practicing?