Let me start by saying that COLLEGE MINISTRY IS AWESOME! I love my job and wouldn’t trade it in for anything. It is fun, challenging, and rewarding but also very strategic for carrying out our vision and what God has called us to. What we are doing on campus is so much bigger than our one ministry or our campus or our city.. even our country. So. Much. Bigger.
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” – Isaiah 49:6
When I’m on campus I see the nations, the families, the generations that will be impacted through the student I am discipling or the Bible study guys I am leading. And that is how I view success. To view it in any other way of “How many students are at Nav Night tonight” or “Do we have enough guys coming to Men’s Retreat”is far too small. Now, there is some value to numbers because people count and we pray the ministry grows. But the big picture is so much more massive than weekly Nav Night or Bible study numbers if those students don’t have a foundation to walk with Jesus for the next 25 years. So with that said, what exactly do we do on campus? What does evangelism and discipleship look like in any given week or semester? Let me explain.
LARGE GROUP WORSHIP NIGHT – FRONT DOOR
One night each week we gather students together to have fun, meet their peers, worship God, and hear from some kind of speaker. The topics range from spiritual disciples to someone expositing a passage of scripture students are on in their Bible studies that week to a staff person sharing what God is teaching them lately. These are really informal and lots of students bring friends. We consider this the “front door” of our ministry where students who don’t know who we are can get plugged into a small group or hear about other fun events we are doing. This is a HIGHLIGHT of my week and I love being around students hungry to worship Jesus together.
SMALL GROUP BIBLE STUDIES – KITCHEN
Each week we have men’s and women’s Bible studies that meet all over campus. We highly encourage students to get plugged into one as this is where they often meet some of their best friends and also really learn how to read/study the Bible. We train and equip upperclassmen leaders to take the responsibility of recruiting and leading these throughout the year with a friend. I was able to lead one for two years at CSU with a student and it was the most impactful part of my 2 years there. This is one of the best things our ministries typically have to offer and it is so neat hearing stories of students who get into a Bible study their freshmen year and grow like crazy!
One of my favorite parts about my job is getting to meet with students one on one during the week. Often times these are staff meeting with student leaders or Bible study leader meeting with students in their Bible study. I try to meet with 4 or 5 guys each week, at least one of them being a freshmen, and a few more every other week.
One reason I like this so much is because it is more personal and where I feel like I really get to know guys. These times are very focused on training and equipping to Know Christ and Make Him Know. That starts with them understand the free grace of the gospel, living out their new identity, and maturing as they read their Bibles and pray and share their faith.
The other component of that is as they are being equipped to grown themselves, they are processing and being challenged to help someone else do the same things! This is a big shift and can take a while but when guys I’ve met with realize that the “harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few”, amazing things start to happen!
Hands down this is my favorite part of my job and each week I look forward to helping guys grow spiritually and learning from them myself.
Click on the pictures below to see some strategic events we do that serve our larger goal of raising laborers and disciple-makers who will be sent to all kinds of places after graduation. Also, you can find out more about the summer opportunities we have for students.
THE BIG IDEA
In all of these things we hope to develop habits (reading and studying the Bible, pryaer, sharing the Gospel message winsomely and tactfully, memorizing scripture, being salt and light among the lost, fellowshipping with other believers) that stem from principles and convictions (Bible/prayer are essential, non-believers need the gospel) amidst this unique context in such a way that these habits/principles would transcend to all seasons of life.
Check out the resources on the “tools” page of the blog to see some materials we use to equip students. Feel free to use any of them yourself!