Does your church value college ministry? Communicating the need for college ministry can be difficult. Though we list it with other age based ministries in the church, college ministry often functions more as a mission of the church than a program. And helping your church see it as such can bring a greater understanding and sense of value to college ministry.
Here are some characteristics of mission ministry that apply to college ministry.
1. We strategize and specialize our mission ministries to meet the needs of those to whom we are ministering. Each college campus is different. College students on those campuses are different. There are international students to consider, commuter versus residential students, campus culture, student organizations, etc. Each of these things can be factors to consider that will help us reach students. Every ministry has a context. College ministry is no different.
2. Recipients of our missions ministries are not expected to attend our church every week. Too many churches base their investment in college ministry on student attendance. We want students to grow in their discipleship. We want them to learn to be faithful to the church, but this is part of the learning journey of the young adult years. College students often have busy, irregular schedules. In fact, most commuter students are also working a part time job. Many of those jobs are retail jobs that require students to work Sundays. Evaluating participation looks different for college students. Are they enaged in relationships within the church? Even if it is sporadic, are they attending when they can? Help students know that they are loved and cared for by the church regardless of their participation.
3. We participate in missions with a kingdom mindset, not expecting immediate gain for our church. It is true that most college students don't tithe. It is true that they are only in college for a few short years, but what if during those short years we invested in them for the long term? I have heard many adults say that their college church or their BSM made a huge impact on their lives. If we invest well in the students in our communities, they will become contributing, fruitful disciples and church members somewhere, maybe even in your church.
Need help with your church college ministry? Contact Ginger Bowman, College Church Specialist, Texas Baptist Collegiate Ministry at email@example.com.