It's been so encouraging to see people get involved in the Starting a College Ministry ebook project. I'm working on Chapter 2--Designing a Ministry Structure.
It can be so easy to merely rearrange the pieces of other people's ministries to form your own structure (I like the way ministry x does co-ed bible studies, but the way ministry y does their weekly meeting, etc), which we all do in some capacity.
However the long-term health of your ministry will be directly related to the design and refinement of your structure.
A major challenge when initially designing the structure is that it feels so disconnected from your current reality, which is usually low numbers and students that lack leadership ability. It can be extremely tempting to design a structure that seeks to RETAIN students rather than DEVELOP them.
This could look like:
Have you been part of designing a ministry structure? What have you learned or experienced that makes for a good one?
photo courtesy of dunechaser
A woman took this picture literally seconds after being approached by two women from Campus Crusade (thanks @destinoeric for the link).
The caption of the tweet that accompanied this image read: "Those girls from Campus Crusade tried their mightiest to convert me."
What an unprecedented opportunity to extend an evangelistic conversation beyond the first meeting!
I do a poor job myself of "listening" to the twitter stream for evangelistic opportunities but I would love to try an intentional Twitter outreach with a few other people that would entail:
simple enough? want to join me? leave a comment and we'll get it going!
please re-tweet this as well!
photo courtesy of @facetiae
At my recent ministry director conference we discussed a variety of college ministry issues: effectiveness in evangelism, discipleship, leading a team, and more. (this is a picture of me and two of our regional directors at the retreat).
A common theme emerged for all of these issues in terms of what keeps us from becoming more effective: TIME.
This may not come as a surprise to you since everyone could use more time.
I did want to share some links that I have found that relate to time management; if you have some links to productivity/life hack stuff please share the links in the comments.
If we all saved even 10 minutes a week imagine the time we would save every year that could be invested into significant areas of college ministry such as evangelism, discipleship, and leadership.
One of the hottest topics for discussion was promotion for our Winter Conference.
The disconnect many leaders experienced in promoting for the conference was the gap between what was being "sold" (program) versus what most students valued (relationships--current ones with friends from their campus & past ones with those whom they have gone on a summer missions trip with).
I'm not advocating either program or experience in promoting for a ministry event but raising the observation that often times those leading see the program as much more valuable than those attending because they have invested time, energy and resources into setting the program up.
I've been to MANY conference in my ministry career and to be honest 95% of what I valued/remembered was what the conference/program facilitated--not necessarily the program in and of itself.
As you think about your largest ministry event what percentage of the promotion is program vs experience?
I'm sitting in LAX waiting to go to my destination.
There's a lot of people all waiting to go different places.
My guess is that you are waiting in some form for something. Is it worth the wait?
You still have time to change the destination. If the destination is too safe, known, or comfortable it's probably not the right one.
Campus Crusade has placed a high priority on evangelistic EXPOSURES because there used to be a linear relationship between exposures and decisions for Christ. Post-modernity/Gen-Y/Gen-Me/Millenials have disrupted that linear relationship.
Evangelism pre-2000 (I'm approximating here) assumed evangelistic engagement came along with exposure.
Yet on the ground today I can spend thousands of dollars and time generating un-engaging exposures (read campus newspaper and flyers). My evangelistic statistics could look amazing yet show little fruit.
The new evangelistic landscape will be engagement. At some point the exposure bubble will finally burst and a whole new set of tools, presentations, and success criteria will emerge. There have been glimpses of this trend already: Soularium developed by CCC and The Four Cirlces by Intervarsity. Both uniquely emphasize engagement over exposure.
I brainstormed three other elements of evangelistic engagement:
1. Listening instead of shouting
2. Bite-sized chunks of the Gospel over the whole enchilada.
3. Mixed media tools and presentations--start offline and online, end offline or online
What do you see as you look out into the evangelistic landscape in your context?
here's a video of the four cirlces in action:
photo courtesy of pressthebuttononthetop
Here are the top 100 in:
These lists are a great place to start subscribing and reading blogs more regularly.
If you think of reading blogs like you think of reading email then you will never enjoy it.
I suggest thinking of them as healthy snacks--you do not have to eat them, or even eat all of them, but whatever you eat will make you healthier.
If you are still daunted by the RSS world here's a video that explains it:
Many of my readers are CCC staff; for those who are not familiar with Campus Crusade we host summer projects annually both here in the U.S. and abroad.
I recently hosted a seminar on how to integrate social media into your summer project. Feel free to pass these slides along to any staff or download them yourself when you head off to your assignment.
These are the main thoughts running through my head as I consider it:
If you have started a ministry what sort of elements did you take into consideration when designing your structure? Was there a previous structure in place, or did you start from scratch? What was the biggest challenge in designing your structure?
Chapter one in its first iteration. Click here to read it.
Or if you would like to join the Google Wave and be part of the process, leave a comment and I will get you connected.
photo courtesy of swisscan