Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should I stay or should I go now?

Should I stay or should I go now?

If I stay there will be trouble

And if I go there will be double

So come on and let me know

Should I stay or should I go?

These lyrics, from the band ‘The Clash,’ sum up a very serious question that many of us in ministry often ask ourselves… or should be asking ourselves… especially when it comes to spring break.

Should I stay or should I go?

It’s spring break here… and we have 8 different teams scattered across the country… but I’m still on campus.

In a previous post I talked about how short-term mission trips are one of the most formative experiences we provide for students… and so it seems like it would only make sense that — as someone involved in college ministry — who has sensed God’s call to walk alongside college students during a very formative season of life — that I (we) would want to be on every short-term mission experience with students that I possibly can… because we know just how “fertile” the soil can be in those places.

Over the course of my 15 years of ministering with college students I have traveled with, and served alongside, them — and have thoroughly loved doing so!

Even after I was married, my wife was graciously willing to give me up for a few days, or weeks, to walk alongside students because we had both experienced for ourselves the power and transformation that can accompany such experiences. Yet, when I got married I made a vow to my wife that I would put her [and a few years later -- our family] under God, but above all else.

So how does this work?

Because we’ve all heard the stories, if not experienced first hand, the instances of ‘family’ being neglected in the name of “doing God’s work.”

So this [putting our family first] doesn’t seem to be a lived reality for all who are in ministry…

Yet for those of us who take seriously God’s call on our life to walk alongside college students, and take just as seriously our call and commitment to our marriage and family life, there can be a great tension… especially when it comes to longer hours, evening hours, weekend events or mission endeavors that can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks in duration.

How do we respond to this tension?

How do we honor God in these two areas of our life?

Should I stay or should I go?

I’ll share some thoughts on this tomorrow… but would love to hear what you think!

Take a moment to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

About the author: Guy Chmieleski
Guy is the Founder and President of Faith On Campus. He is also the University Minister at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. He is the author of Shaping Their Future: Mentoring Students Through Their Formative College Years and CAMPUS gODS: Exposing the Idols That Can Derail Your Present and Destroy Your Future.
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  • http://twitter.com/rahulusfbcm Rahul Agarwal

    Man, what a timely post. I literally just decided this morning to not go on our Spring break trip because I am in need of break/catch up time. I absolutely love going on these trips because like you said they are very formative. However, I’m also traveling more this semester and feel that this time will be best spent with my family. 

  • Laura

    Be with your family when you’re most needed there and when kids are of the age they want you around. Travel for work later? Tough choices, Guy – Balance is key. You’ll figure it out.

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  • Normal

    There is no god.