Posted by: naccm | April 14, 2010

2020Summit – Description and Preview by Tim Hawkins

This past fall, after listening to some conversations about campus ministry, and realizing we have a wealth of veteran campus ministry experience in the ACM, I had an idea, “What if we could honor the guys and gals who have been serving campus ministry in the ACM with a cheap New England weekend get-away?”

Let me share briefly 3 reasons why it is a good idea to honor these folks:

  1. They are pioneers.  I envy and respect pioneers…people who break new ground, take the risks and name new territory.
  2. They are underappreciated.  For the most part…campus ministers aren’t “taken care of” by a congregation, they don’t “get a Christmas bonus” or aren’t given “cruises for 20 years of service”.  If we are blessed…we get a letter saying, “thank you for your role in my life…”  We live to see these letters that display God’s grace.
  3. They have sacrificed.  I can’t tell you how many campus ministers I know and have known that have to miss paycheck and catch up on back pay because there just wasn’t even money coming in to cover salary.  Campus ministries do more with fewer resources than any other form of ministry (pardon the superlative, I’m a little biased!).

As I shared this idea with a few people, it became clear that there was more to this opportunity than just honoring, but a chance to collaborate.  Conversations were already happening about things like:

  • Staff transition
  • Retirement
  • Theological Training
  • Mission
  • Teaching
  • Next Generation Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Ecclesial Identity

Given the scope of the conversation, the New England weekend get-away gave way to a more centralized gathering.  After a few initial conversations, John Wasem, Director of the Emmanuel Institutes at Emmanuel School of Religion offered to help underwrite a gathering of our veterans and emerging leaders to think strategically about the past, present and future of God’s work on the college campuses.  John made some contacts with Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, and within a few days and this led to the emergence of what is now called the 2020Summit – a two day gathering to think forward about ACM campus ministry in the next 10 years.

This is being held in two formats:

Veteran Leaders – Because this began as a desire to honor those laboring in campus ministry for 20+ years, this is the core of the gathering.  Everyone serving in an ACM or independent Christian church campus ministry with 20 or more years of experience has been invited to participate.  We have 28 people who fit this description, 15 will be in attendance.

Emerging Leaders – Bob Russell, former Senior Minister at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, hosts a retreat for emerging church leaders.  In fact, there is a waiting list to attend this retreat.  The Emmanuel Institutes is underwriting this part of our summit, a chance for some of our future leaders to spend a day with Bob Russell and a half-day with our veteran leaders.  For us, this has meant not just “newbies”, but some folks new to campus ministry or who are newer to the ACM scene.


I am sorry to say, that this leaves out a large core group of ACM campus staff…those of us with less than 20 years and no longer a “newbie” to the ACM.

However, I hope the idea of a forward thinking, collaborative summit can become a more regular part of our future, whether tied to the front or end of the CMR or a separate two-day event and will include everyone…include those of us who fall in this middle ground!


This past weekend I was talking with the Outreach Pastor at one of our large churches.  I had not heard his story before, but he was telling me how much a particular ACM campus minister had meant to him, and how much that campus ministry had changed his life.  This guy has developed an outreach support team and other ministries at this church this is having an ongoing impact in our world.  The campus minister is one of our 30+ year guys on the field.

This quick summit is a way for us to capture some of these stories, to celebrate what God has done and continues to do through campus ministry, and pray toward the future…toward the next generation of leaders and campus pioneers.



  1. Wonderful idea. I look forward to talking with some of these folks and perhaps doing an article for one of our publications. Good job!

  2. Great stuff Tim! I wish I could be at this. If it happens again next year maybe I’ll get another invite!

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