What does a newcomer need to get started with campus ministry?

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As a newcomer to the world of campus ministry, both personally and as an organization, the sheer scope of campus ministry can be overwhelming. Our ministry, Campus Edge Fellowship, works with graduate students and faculty of Michigan State University. Where does one begin? The University is home to some 10,000+ graduate students, many of whom are convinced that there is nothing more important than studying for their comprehensive exams. When you add the faculty component, all of whom are busy with research, books, and their personal lives at home, the task of reaching out seems a daunting one. I would love to hear your thoughts, stories, and advice from your early days involved in campus ministry. What was your first month like? Where did you begin? Please keep Campus Edge Fellowship in your prayers as we move forward into the upcoming school year. I am excited to see where God will lead us and trust that He who has led us to this point will be faithful in the future. Blessings, Kory Plockmeyer Campus Pastor Campus Edge Fellowship msucampusedge@gmail.com

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Welcome on board, Kory! You are the newest member of our Campus Ministry team and the first to post here. I'm going to try shake a few of the experienced campus ministers out of their vacation hammocks to respond, but here are a few of my thoughts.

An open, and seemingly empty calendar at the start can be a scary thing. The best advice I received when starting campus ministry was not to try and fill it up with tasks, but rather to keep open for connecting with people. Campus ministry is all about relationships, so I would recommend taking the time to meet students, faculty and staff and to start networking. Don't overlook people at River Terrace or in your local Classis who may be able to help you connect to those on campus or with an interest in campus ministry. Another thing that a number of campus ministers have found helpful in building partnerships is to join an activity or cause on campus, such as an anti-poverty campaign. This has the advantage of introducing you to a wider network as well as providing the opportunity to offer God's grace and live redemptively in that setting. So for me, the line from E.M. Forster's "Howards End" pretty much sums up the first few months of campus ministry - "Only connect."

Peace,
Mark

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