Pastor. What was once a highly esteemed position, given great respect and authority, has devolved into something that most people in our North American culture now struggle to trust. For the past 17 years I have spent all but six months on different college campuses — each with differing titles, but all with a […]
Doing the work that we do — mentoring students within a wide-variety of contexts — comes with a whole slew of challenges. Some of the challenges are related to our context and the things we have to manage or navigate in order to relate well with students. Some of the challenges are tied to […]
Vocation. For most of us who work with college students, we’ve long understood this word to describe a sense of calling in one’s life. We ourselves believe that God has called us to come alongside college students during a very formative season of life — and help them, in large part, to discern their own […]
Did you hear it? Just now… When you flipped the calendar from July to August… By my estimation approximately 78% of you — of us — just heard that boulder drop from the sky somewhere behind us. And we know it’s now rolling our way… It’s the start of a new academic year fast-approaching. And […]
It’s the dreaded college triangle. If you choose a social life and sleep, you sacrifice good grades. If you choose good grades and sleep, you give up the social life. If you choose a social life and good grades, then you won’t be getting sleep anytime soon.
The moment I thought I had the college triangle figured out, I began my life as a youth and college minister while still in school. At the age of 22, I was a senior in college, engaged to my high school sweet heart, and began serving as the new youth and college director. My college triangle now turned into a rectangle. So what do I choose now? Social life? Good grades? Sleep? Or ministry? What would be sacrificed because of my decision? These very real questions began to haunt my everyday life.
You can’t do it all. Right?!
If you’re reading this, than you’ve probably already figured this out for yourself — to some degree — because the majority of you (my faithful readers) work with college students and have gone through the process of vocational discernment in order to end up doing what you’re doing right now.
But this is not the case for the vast majority of students we serve.
They don’t know they can’t do it all.
In fact, most of them believe that they CAN do ANYTHING they want.
I recently ran across this quote while re-reading Parker Palmer’s, Let Your Life Speak:
We will become better teachers not by trying to fill the potholes in our souls but by knowing them so well that we can avoid falling into them. (Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak, p. 52)
As I read and re-read those words, something resonated deep within me, and I was able to see how these wise words apply for beyond the scope of teaching — to touch most of life really.
Given the work that we do with students, my first thought was to replace the word teachers in the aforementioned quote, with the word leaders (or pastors or equippers:
How big of an issue is cheating for your students?
Now let me rephrase that — how many of your students would say that cheating is a big deal?
In a culture that esteems success and achievement, while having little to say about character and integrity, some of the statistics featured in the infographic below may not be all that surprising.
And although this infographic focuses on the (relatively small) differences between cheating that occurs in online classes vs. on campus classrooms, without any regard for religious or moral underpinnings, we must believe that the students in our ministries fit all-to-comfortably within these statistics.
One of the themes that becomes very clear, very quickly, when reading Life by Keith Richards is that the Rolling Stones never set out to be an epic, culture changing rock n’ roll band. They were deeply influenced by the Chicago blues (Muddy Waters, etc), and that is, in many ways, how they still view themselves to this day: a Chicago blues band from London.
Not that they didn’t have ambition. They wanted to be a great band. But they had no idea what they were getting themselves into.
When students show up on campus as freshmen there are some who just want to party, and a few others who are there to get a degree and get on with it, but the majority of students come with significant dreams and aspirations.
Some great insight into the benefits of internships!
I remember a pastor once referred to seminary as “cemetery” because “that’s where promising pastors go to die.” Like most maxims, I’m sure there was a kernel of truth in that statement somewhere. But seminary isn’t just for pastors anymore. Nor is it only for people with plans to enter into full-time, paid ministry.
People from all walks of life with all different kinds of aspirations are increasingly entering into seminary as an opportunity to work out their “callings.” What about you? Could seminary be right for you? Making that determination is as simple as taking a breath.
During a recent visit to our campus, Steve Garber engaged students in a series of dialogues designed to get them thinking about the needs of the world and how God might want to use them — in some way — to make a difference. But one of the big issues he identified was that: Many […]