And College Ministry

I’d been thinking about doing a college ministry blog for a while, but I coudn’t think of a name.  It wasn’t until like two weeks ago that I thought of it.  Some other ideas- “adventures in college ministry” or “Why I love college students but hate college ministry”.  The name I finally landed on, “And College Ministry”, is reflective of the fact that college/young adult ministry is often an add-on to a church leader’s job description.

“I’m associate pastor.  I share the preaching, some pastoral care and oversee small groups.  And I do college ministry.”

“I’m a youth pastor.  I work with junior high and high school students.  And I run our college ministry.”

Or sometimes it’s a lay person, “I work full-time and take care of my family.  And I’m in charge of the church’s ministry to college students.”

I imagine you get the point.  These “And College Ministry” job descriptions are popping up all over the place.  I’ve already explained my story of how I came into this ministry and how it fits into my job description.  In case you missed it, it’s in my only other post.  However I don’t want to be misunderstood here.  I’m not criticizing “the church” for this.  There are criticisms to be made of the western church; especially in regards to how we relate intergenerationally and how we deal with youth/young adult ministries.  But the idea that college ministry is the add-on ministry is not a criticism I’m making at this point.

Actually, I’m fairly excited about this.  Again this excitement comes in the context of the loneliness, confusion, pain and frustration that I’d mentioned in my first post, but I’m excited none the less.  For me, doing “And College Ministry” means were at least trying to address this generation.  Not all churches are.  Not all churches are able to.  Not are churches are willing to.  Not all churches realize they should.  But for those who are, I find encouragement for what’s ahead.

I really think that churches have to be of a certain size, correlating to available financial resources, to have a full-time pastor of college students/young adults.  My guess..and this really is a guess… is that the majority of churches would have to average about 1000 people in order to do this.  So, if most of us aren’t big and/or wealthy enough to dedicate all of our time to college ministry, we have the responsiblity of figuring out how to make it happen given our individual context and resources.  This is why And College Ministry is here; to speak to the majority of people and churches out there who are doing college ministry on the side.

One of my hopes is to connect with and unite the “And College Ministry” type people.  If this describes you or speaks to your circumstances at all, I pray that you find encouragement in your ministry.  Please don’t give up (I know you think about it).  I actually believe that the future of the western church is in some part contingent on our efforts, no matter how futile and discouraging they may seem in the short-term.

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2 thoughts on “And College Ministry

  1. You not only need a large church, but you need a large college population in your town.

    College ministry is not income generating. College students do “tithe” enough to be financially self-sufficient and no parent picks a church for the college ministry like they pick churches based on childrens and youth programs.

    I started as the “junior high guy” and was later asked to take on college and then some.

    • Thanks Kyle. I think that in most cases you’re right that we need to have a college, or at least a college age population in the area. My only question would be how many churches find themselves complete isolated from any/all young adult population? It would be interesting to hear other people weigh in on this.

      Curious- do you find that the college students in your church tithe?

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