excerpt #3: it is easy to assume

April 16, 2009 at 2:07 am (Uncategorized)

A couple of excerpts from Reaching the Campus Tribes, Chapter 3:

Many books could be written (and should be written) about the histories, accomplishments, and advances of Evangelical college ministry in America. Some large national ministries have been impactful for decades. The same is true for many individual college ministries, from the best-known at Christian colleges, secular campuses, and in churches, to the hundreds of ministries less well-known but still powerfully changing students’ lives. I look forward to telling (and hearing) more stories of what God has already done in college ministry, because they are wonderful stories that glorify Him and encourage the Body of Christ.

But as I discussed in the first chapter, I’m writing this particular book to present a better way to think about college ministry. My year of research gave ample opportunity to see that American Christians are in desperate need of a new vision for reaching these people. If we don’t change, we will continue to lose our influence with each successive generation.

When Christians wonder about the state of college ministry, it is easy to assume this area is being handled just fine. But we can always pick-and-choose examples in this regard. We may be most familiar with the largest national ministries, with ministries at a specific college, with the strongest ministries in our denomination, or with the most effective college ministries in our region. And with that basic information and nothing to indicate otherwise, it’s easy to assume that all is well…

Parents and youth pastors may assume their high school graduates will find active, effective college ministries when they go to school. They may also assume that those students will find student-friendly churches that welcome them with open arms.

Church leaders may assume that college campuses near their church have solid spiritual opportunities for students, removing any need to get involved as a church.

And when students attend Christian colleges, everyone may assume they will emerge four years later in better spiritual shape than when they entered.

All too often, these assumptions turn out to be untrue.

As I traveled the nation, I discovered three major problems limiting our effectiveness in reaching students…

the book will be released on Monday – for free – at www.reachingthecampustribes.com.

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