Posted by: Justin Wallace | July 22, 2010

Here’s what she has to say…Rachel Charley

I wanted to give the ladies in our profession a chance to voice their experience. So, I asked our (Impact Charlotte) new full-time female staff member (Kristen Craig) to jot down a few questions that she would ask a veteran female campus minister. This is Kristen’s first year as a full-time female staff member and the following posts is full of thoughts and advice from the ladies who have been reaching out to the University campus for years. Today we’ll hear from Rachel Charley, Campus Minister at Campus Student Fellowship at the University of Nebraska Kearney.

*Here’s what Gretchen Magruder had to say

# of Female Staff in Ministry

1 & then a part time International Student Minister

Brief Job Description

I work with a ministry team & while we all have our own special roles, we all speak into what happens in the ministry as a whole.  Most of my weeks are filled with discipleship meetings with the gals in my ministry, working with the student leaders & interns, working with the campus house residents & any prep that needs to be done before our Thursday night Bible study.

Why I do what I do

I believe the college campus is one of the easiest places for community life.  It caters to it, and if the church wants to make an impact, I believe that we need to get a handle on how to live like a true community.  For me, campus ministry is the perfect avenue to learn how to accomplish that & train them how to take that with them when they graduate.  Another thing that I love about campus ministry is that when college students finally “get it,” their opportunities to advance the kingdom become endless in their minds.  Their passion & energy is contagious.

Who do you disciple, what do you “do” in discipleship, and why?

It depends on the semester, but I usually disciple 10-12 girls & then try to meet with 1 girl each week that is not a normal meeting.  My meetings vary from 1 on 1, to a few groups of 2 with some meeting weekly & others every other week; they usually include 1 or 2 freshmen, approx 5 potential leaders that I’m intentional with in asking, & then I let the other “spots” be filled with various girls that are needing/seeking this type of relationship.  Try to have a direction set in your head of where you would like each girl to be headed so you can evaluate if you are headed anywhere.

As much as I would love a set plan, need to remember every person is different & so this means every discipleship time will have some of its own personality.  I have tried many different things, but the way I generally stick with is to talk about whatever we are reading in our own personal quiet times.  I prefer to get on the same reading plan if possible, so if someone is looking for a suggestion of what to read I usually start with whatever I’m reading.  But if that’s not able to happen, then we both communicate how far we would like to read.  This keeps us accountable with interacting with the text on our own & makes sure that I am growing on my own & not just preparing something for a meeting. We each must answer at some point in our meeting, “So, what are you reading.”  Then we just walk through it.  We get out our journals & start where we started reading.  I want them to interact with the text on their own; to ask questions, make observations & then we start at the beginning of what we each read & talk through it, seeing how far we get.   My goal is for them to learn how to study the scriptures on their own so hopefully it becomes more natural to discuss it in conversation.

How do you describe a successful ministry/ a successful year of ministry?

It’s been ingrained in me that if you want to know if it’s a good year of ministry, wait 5 years to see if your students are still serving & advancing the kingdom.  The line that keeps surfacing for me this year is, “A successful ministry is one that will keep running & moving forward, regardless if I am here or not.”  I think that my job is to be a part of creating an authentic community, to grow alongside the students & move their dependence on me to being dependent on Jesus Christ.  I don’t think this can be a formula, because everyone is a in different place in their journey, but if we are always moving in this direction I believe that 5 years down the road, you will say you had a successful year of ministry.

Starting in ministry… what is one thing you wish you would have known/ What is one piece of advice you would give to a beginning female staffer?

Pick a day/time for Sabbath & protect it!  This is advice that I was given & is the first thing that I ingrain into my interns.  I strongly believe that you need to have a time where you force yourself to rest & knowing the schedules of campus ministers, my suggestion isn’t picking a day during the weekend.  I suggest a whole day, but if that’s not possible, set apart at least a 5 hour chunk of time where you can immerse yourself in the word, spend some time praying, pick up another book & not feel guilty about you wanting to sit there for more than an hour. I believe that you must be intentional with this & the healthiness of you is what will fuel your ministry, so take responsibility for it!!

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Responses

  1. […] *Here’s what Gretchen Magruder had to say & Here’s what Rachel Charley had to say […]

  2. I can vouch for Rachel in saying that yes she does ingrane into your head to take a Sabbath. And I am forever grateful that she did. 🙂


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