For College Ministers summer brings a bit of a change in schedule and pace for most. I believe it is a key time for investing in your growth and development as a College Minister and spiritual leader. Here are 10 suggestions for your summer.
- Pick out and order four books that you will read over the summer. (Perhaps, pick four areas such as leadership, discipleship, relationships, and a student book.)
- Pick out two people who do College Ministry…one very similar to you and one very different from you philosophically. Then, do an extended interview with them in person or by phone about what they think makes their ministry work, their priorities, etc.
- As you travel over the summer, stop at a college campus and walk through each religious center on campus. (See how it is decorated. See the bulletin boards and what’s on them (treasure trove of ideas). See any set ups for large group meetings.)
- Interview three alumni from your ministry…what did they gain that helped most; what did they need; what did they not get that they needed???
- Send a questionnaire to 10 students to be returned anonymously with questions about your leadership and the ministry as a whole. Pick five you know love you and the ministry. Pick five who are there, but not fans of you or the ministry as a whole. You might do two different colors of paper to know if a comment/suggestion is from a fan or “not-a-fan”. Be strong when you read them!
- Visit a Collegiate event done by another ministry. Go incognito, if possible.
- Have a lunch for other local College Ministers. Ask each to do a “5 minute Ted Talk” on a College Ministry issue.
- Brainstorm with three or four of your key leaders, “IF…IF we were to make one MAJOR change in our ministry, what would it be?” Then, decide if there is anything there that should be considered.
- Look at websites from 25 other College Ministries (church and campus) between now and August 1st.
- Plan and budget now to attend the National Collegiate Ministries Summit, April 29-May 1, 2015 in Nashville at Lifeway Christian Resources. It will be filled with Mega Seminars and Idea Labs, outstanding plenary speakers and maybe even the best part…500 people who do College Ministry that you can visit with, get encouraged by, and learn from. See you there!
–Arliss Dickerson served as Baptist Campus Minister at Arkansas State University for 32 years and currently serves as a leadership consultant for Collegiate Ministry through Lifeway.