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 […]
Eight years ago, when I first started at BU, we had no chapel service. And the required convocation program that we had, was (and still is), housed in Student Affairs. The short of the history is that once upon a time BU had a required chapel service — and open enrollment (attracting a good percentage […]
“Is your ministry geared more toward Christians or non-Christians?” If I drank a Red Bull every time I was asked this question, I’d be more sleepless than a first-semester freshman during orientation. The question exposes the prevailing assumption among many Christians that believers and non-believers are fundamentally different and have different needs. But 14 years […]
How does this fit with your own sense of calling? What about this do you struggle with?
Why do you lead? What does leadership mean to you?
I confess, I just ordered a Monsters University t-shirt.
As a College Minister, I was especially excited when I heard Pixar and Disney was releasing a sequel (or prequel more like) to Monster’s, Inc. As I predicted, the movie really resonated with me.
I thought about writing a review of Monsters University, but after reading the excellent review on…
How often to you use this word? Do you feel the freedom to use it — to tell people no, to turn down a request?
My guess is the answer to that question is “no.” Or at least, not very often.
We feel called by God — to serve others. To be available. To make a difference.
“No,” just feels so unhelpful — even unChristian.
But is it?
I’m a collector, of sorts. I collect compasses. It’s not a very big collection. I only have about six of them. And though some of them look pretty nice, none of them are expensive. But I do like compasses. I have a couple setting on my desk at the office. I have one on my desk at home. I have others sitting at various spots throughout the house.
A compass is different than a clock or a calendar. Clocks and calendars are about time. A compass is all about direction. It is not about where you are at this moment in time, but about the direction in which you are heading. It helps to answer the questions, “Am I going in the direction I want to be going? Will this path get me to the place you want to be?”
As I walk into a familiar local deli, I am greeted by a hostess who smiles and says, “Staff Meeting for one?” I smile and nod to acknowledge that it is, in fact, Monday morning and time for my weekly staff meeting…with myself.
Over coffee and a danish, I call the meeting to order, seeing that all are present, and I begin the process of getting on the same page with myself for the week. For the next hour, I will spend time in prayer and Scripture reading, then look over my week and begin to chart out the happenings of the next seven days.
This meeting is critical to the overall outcome of my week. The days of going into the week blind, only addressing the issues as they come, are over. If I am going to lead others, I must first lead myself.
How big is the “front porch” of your ministry?
It’s another way of asking if your ministry creates space for students to belong — before they believe.
If the house, in this metaphor, represents the “inside” of your ministry — the place where believers go to be fed and nurtured spiritually — then the front porch represents an important place of gathering that is both inviting and inclusive.
And although we’d all like to believe that our ministries do, in fact, offer this… How do you know for sure?
A College Student, A Homeless Man, And A Rabbi Walk Into A Coffee Shop.
That may sound like the opening line of a bad joke, but it actually describes an experiment I started last semester at the University of Delaware.
A couple volunteers and I were discussing the example we have in Jesus and his disciples, who were intentional about sharing their faith with friends “friendship evangelism” and with strangers “initiative evangelism”. When we scrolled through our phone contacts to count how many friends we actually had who weren’t Christians, we realized something had to change.