Is There a Place for “Pastor” in our 21st Century North American Culture?

Posted Posted in Academics & Vocation, blog, The Campus Minister

  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 […]

9 Bible Studies to Motivate Your Outreach Team Now and All Year Long

Posted 5 CommentsPosted in Blogathons, Spiritual Formation

“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 […]

Set A Compass

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Leadership Development, Spiritual Formation, The Campus Minister

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?”

Staff Meeting For One

Posted 7 CommentsPosted in Leadership Development, The Campus Minister

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?

Posted Posted in Big Ideas & 'Best Of'

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?

MY NEW FAVORITE WAY TO FIND SEEKERS ON CAMPUS

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Big Ideas & 'Best Of'

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.