Posted by: naccm | July 28, 2010

Now What? Campus Ministry & the Local Church by Tim Hawkins

The final post in a series on campus ministry & the local church.

I’ve avoided a particular issue during this series.  But, the most common ongoing problem I hear repeated in our disconnection with the local church is usually formed in a lament from students:

I just haven’t found anything like [insert ministry name here].”

During the first four postings in this series I tried to provide more of a foundation for why participation with the local church is part of our spiritual formation.

When our students leave campus ministry, it is not an uncommon situation for them to struggle with integrating into a community of faith because we have not prepared them to do so.  We end up, unintentionally, producing an extended spiritual adolescence, a dependence upon their spiritual home, upon us.

Part of our hopes and dreams as parents is that our kids will be well prepared to go on without us…that we prepare them well to move away from home and be successful, well adjusted adults.

Here are a three ideas that might help us prepare students for, “life after [insert ministry name here].

  1. A New Senior Strategy – Rather than viewing seniors as leaders, maybe we create a specific “re-entry” plan for seniors.  Schedule “field trips” to some local churches, take a strengths/spiritual gift inventory and talk about ways they can get involved, encourage them to take the spring semester to invest in a local church and meet each week to talk about wins, challenges and growth.
  2. Identify Churches or Church Plants – Whether students are staying the community or leaving, help them look ahead at churches where they will be living next.  As campus ministers we can help them navigate the theological questions (in fact, this might give us a great chance to talk theology), and we also have sense of where our students might best fit.  We expect this from youth ministers, we should be very intentional about this as well.  Even more likely, is that our students could be a great resource for church plants around the country.  Why not adopt a city or two and challenge students to think about moving there to be a part of launching a new church in a city.
  3. Follow-Up – I know once August hits our minds gravitate to the new students and we are overwhelmed with connecting with new students and getting things running for the fall semester through October.  But, could we commit 1 hr. a week to following up with this past years alumni and seeing where they are landing so we are not sending out spiritual orphans?

If our students are struggling with re-integration, part of the responsibility falls on us to better prepare them to take that next step.

We don’t want them to be the 30 yr. old living in mom and dad’s basement.

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Responses

  1. I facebook like this post very much.


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