If you are wondering where my series on Vocation and Identity went, well, I will be picking that up again real shortly. As I’m looking back over the last few months it’s quite obvious that my blogging has taken a hit when it comes to the number of posts. I can blame it on busyness, but we are all very busy. But I think that what is really happening is that I’ve been processing a lot, transitioning into new things in my life and I’m also really wrestling with a lot of things which don’t leave much time for blogging. Nor do I feel like I’m in a place to put these things down into words. I have needed the space to just be….to contemplate and question, etc.
But one of the things that I have been thinking through a lot is what our college ministry is going to look like next year. It has become obvious to me and to others over the course of this year that the old model we have been operating under just doesn’t seem to be working anymore. What is that old model? I don’t want to get into super details, but I will say this. For a long time we have been relying on students coming to our group out of history, reputation, size, etc., etc., yet at the same time I think we have failed to reach out or take a missional perspective to campus ministry. I know missional is a buzzword, but I am using it in the sense of seeing the campus as a mission field and our students as missionaries, rather than putting on a good program and expecting that to draw a crowd….which it has done for a long time and we have been successful at it. We have expected people to come up to our program and they always have, but what about our perspective on outreach, etc.
So I have been wondering a lot recently about where we put our focus and emphasis this next year. We have been asking students to come to church on Sunday, to come to college group on Wednesday, to be a part of a small group, serve in the community and the church, etc, etc. It seems like we have been filling up their lives and schedules with a lot of busyness…with a lot of info. But I’m wondering instead what it is we really have been giving them.
Have we been giving them, or helping them find lives that they are passionate about? Or are we just asking them to give their time, sit in a pew so we can give them the right information, they can regurgitate it and then they are one of us?
Shane Claiborne in his challenging book The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical says this: “I was just another believer. I believed all the right stuff–that Jesus is the Son of God, died and rose again. I had become a ‘believer,’ but I had no idea what it means to be a follower. People had taught me what Christians believe, but no one had told me how Christians live.”
I’ve been wondering if I, if we, if the Church has been telling and showing people how Christians live? Have I been showing that to my college students? Does our ministry reflect a ministry that shows Christians not only what they believe, but how they should live?
This is what I’m pondering right now…and where do we go from here?
There are many reasons why I’m pondering these things, but Shane’s book has been a recent catalyst that has left my head spinning and I’m afraid I’ll never be the same. It’s radically shifting some of my views.