If you haven’t seen the Avengers movie yet, you should! The movie got me thinking about how vital teamwork in ministry is because lets face it, no matter how cool or relevant we are, or how big our campus meetings get, college ministry will not be sustainable without a team.
Who’s on our team is vital to the impact our ministry will have on the campus God’s called us to redeem. You may be a superhero in your own right but even superheroes are more powerful and victorious when they work together. You may be part of a staff that has 2 or more ministers on the ground full-time and that’s great! But, your team wouldn’t be complete without the superheroes of the next generation. Students!
As a campus missionary with Every Nation Ministries, sent to the college campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas, I can confidently say that without our student leaders, we wouldn’t have a ministry on that campus for long. All that to say this:
COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE FAR BETTER CAMPUS MISSIONARIES THAN WE WILL EVER BE!
It’s a simple fact. They can go more places, connect with more students and faculty, and infiltrate greater areas of campus life than we ever can! They live in the dorms, play on sports teams, participate in class discussions, life in the fraternity or sorority house, and serve as role models for their peers. They have the true pulse on campus and without them risk irrelevancy and a slow fade to non-existence on our campuses.
So how do we get the key Superheroes on our team?
First, identify them. Who are the students currently in leadership roles within your ministry or elsewhere on campus? Begin praying with them as a group for those in their sphere of influence who they want to see saved. Friends, teammates, roommates, family, pray for them all by name and see how powerful it is when God answers your prayers for a specific person. If you do this weekly, the group will grow and the praise reports will build your teams faith through the roof.
Encourage their socks off! Help them to see that they are in that sorority, on the football team, in student senate, the only Christian in their hall…FOR A REASON! That they are quite possibly the best chance their peers have of coming into a face-to-face encounter with Jesus and being saved!
Let go and trust God. This may seem a bit reckless but by letting go of a little control I mean allowing your students to be ministers. Whether that’s allowing them to lead small groups, head-up outreaches, preach on occasion, empower them to really own the ministry they’re a part of. With that, yes, there’s a possibility some will fail miserably. But I’d bet that’s how most of us learned how to do ministry ourselves. Besides, this isn’t the worst that could happen to our ministry. The worst thing is that it dies out when we transition out, that the ministry stops with you or me. Letting go of control is part of the deal if we intend to raise up the next generation of campus ministers to take our place someday. One of the most effective pastors I know, Steve Murrell, calls this concept “leading to leave.” Who’s the next leader of your ministry? What would happen if the Lord called you away tomorrow? For more on this, I suggest reading Steve’s book, Wiki Church.
The Avengers were heroic as individuals but they saved the world as a team. Identify your student superheroes, Pray with them regularly, check-in with them weekly; equip them to go boldly into their area of influence on their campus with the love of Jesus, and see your campus reconciled to the glory of God, one student at a time!