Given the nature of campus ministry, and the too oft experienced reality of town and gown, it is easy for a local congregations and classes to see campus ministry as a stand-alone ministry. In this view, it is something we may send students to, and expect to get back faithful young adults who take their place in our congregations upon graduating. As such, it is often viewed not as a partner, but a project.
Recently, while doing a campus ministry review, and sitting around the table with representatives from the local congregations and classis, I saw a different understanding emerge. In listening to the vision and work of the campus ministry on the downtown campus, those present became aware of how the work that was being done by the campus minister dovetailed with the vision of classis for the revitalization of the downtown core. With this awareness, I could see how the perception of the campus ministry was shifting from being a project they support, to a partner who they could work with to pursue the vision God had given them as a classis.
In thinking about supporting your local campus ministry, or perhaps in starting one, what are you thoughts on these two questions:
- How does a Campus Ministry fit in with the vision of your local classis and congregations?
- What partnerships might you explore that would lessen the distance between town and gown and work for the good of the city?
Why not sit down with your local campus minister and start this discussion? Or, if you are wondering about starting a campus ministry, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the conversation of what a partnership could look like.