If you are in the process of thinking through college ministry for your local church, serving in a college ministry in some capacity, or if you are working on launching a college ministry in your area, you have probably thought about what to base college ministry on. If you haven’t thought through what your priorities are in college ministry, shut down your computer right now and go do that.
A lot of conversations are had on the topic of reaching the next Generation. HUGE Conferences are put on, articles are written, creative minds work through long days on thinking through how to attract and reach college age students.
Can I offer a bit of advice?
1. Make the story of Jesus and the Gospel central. IF we believe that God still changes lives, IF we believe that Jesus is the only way to experience life and be made right, and IF we believe that the Bible contains the perfect and true word from the one true God…this has to be the foundation of college ministry. Any other foundation will never produce long-term and genuine life change. (By the way…I think life change should be one of your priorities in college ministry)
2. Don’t shy away from the hard truths and not so politically correct realities of the Bible. College students do care about what’s “true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.” Satan is throwing a party when college pastors just teach and talk about the things that make people feel comfortable, warm and fuzzy inside. But the truth is that they can find that stuff on Pinterest and Stumble Upon. Your goal shouldn’t be to become a Pinterest College Ministry.
3. Make much of God. A.W. Tozer said “We do the greatest service to the next generation of Christians by passing on to them undimmed and undiminished that noble concept of God which we received from our Hebrew and Christian fathers of generations past. This will prove of greater value to them than anything that art or science can devise.” (The Knowledge of the Holy). Here’s the deal…in your ministry, you’re either making much of God…or you’re making much of yourself. (And, contrary to popular belief, you’re not that great.)
The local church has their panties in a wad worrying about college students leaving the church. But I can tell you…college students aren’t leaving the church. They are just leaving your church. Try giving them timeless truths about a great God who loves them with an authentic love through His Grace and has a purpose in 2012 for their life. If you want to reach college students, just tell them about the God of Scripture…that will be enough.
How is your church reaching college age students?