I just got done chatting a bit with Kerry Cox – the campus minister for The Crossings Church who heads up A Cross Between - The Crossing’s campus ministry serving Lindenwood University. Kerry’s ministry serves as one of the training centers for Campus Ministry United. That is, when someone calls me telling me they’re interested in campus ministry and would like some training, Kerry is one of the next people I’ll send them to.
Kerry tells me that since January, A Cross Between’s ministry has resulted in 16 people giving their life to Christ and putting Him on in baptism. In addition to that, there are another 18 people currently being studied with who are considering the commitment themselves.
This is what its all about, folks.
Sadly, if current trends continue, over half of the exisiting Church of Christ campus ministries will reach one person or less this year. Over 30% won’t reach a single person at all! The reason for this: most current Church of Christ campus ministers never received adequate training before entering the field to run their own ministries.
I realize that’s going to sound elitist to some (especially current CoC campus ministers), and I want you to know that’s not my intention, nor is it my intention to belittle anyone personally or their past/present work.
The conclusion I shared with you is the result of careful, meticulous research.
If you’re interested in this topic, I encourage you to listen to the lesson I presented at 2008′s CMU workshop, and I also encourage you to listen to Dr. Flavil Yeakley’s presentation as well. Here are the links (note: for more like this visit CMU’s audio/video page:
- Wes Woodell – “2008 CMU Report: What Makes a Ministry Evangelistically Effective?” (53:47) (Characteristics PowerPoint; Characteristics Handouts)
- Dr. Flavil Yeakley – “Why Should Churches of Christ Care About Campus Ministry?” (57:43) (Yeakley PowerPoint; Q&A with Dr. Yeakley)
For each lesson, you’d benefit from downloading the powerpoint presentations and following along as you listen.
If someone wants to start an evangelistically effective campus ministry, they’ll best learn how to by working within an evangelistically effective campus ministry – not by going to a brotherhood Bible college (which will really help a person learn the Bible, but won’t really help them learn the nuances associated with certain types of ministries like campus work), and not by working within an evangelistically ineffective campus ministry.
Apples produce apples, oranges produce oranges, and training within evangelistically effective campus ministries produces evangelistically effective campus ministers.
Tomatoes don’t produce grapes, and bananas don’t produce squash, yet in studying this issue, the general attitude towards training new campus ministers has made me think a lot of people have never thought about this concept.
This ain’t rocket science, but it most certainly is important to point out.