Which Ministry Position is Hardest to Fill Well?

Tim Spivey asked an interesting question on his blog this past week: “which ministry position is the hardest to fill well” nowadays (notice he specified ‘well‘)?

His conclusion: a campus/young adult ministry position.

I agree with him, and my reasoning is simple: there are very few qualified applicants out there nowadays. If you’d like to know why I believe that is, read this post.

What do you think?


In other news, I’m taking a group of students and friends to Great America tomorrow. Several guests are coming with us – should be fun!

I’m also preaching on the importance of obedience from 1 Samuel 15 (as opposed to partial obedience) this Sunday at The Lake Merced Church in San Francisco. If you’re nearby, join us! Worship starts at 10:45am.

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7 thoughts on “Which Ministry Position is Hardest to Fill Well?

  1. JamesBrett says:

    i’m not sure which position i think is the hardest to fill well, but i would certainly put the state university campus minister towards the top of that list (if not at the top). i think one of the reasons it’s so difficult to fill that position well is that we have a culture of choosing ministers who have graduated with ministry or bible degrees from one of our church of Christ universities. generally speaking, these students don’t know a great deal about state university campus ministries because they’ve never seen one.

    in my time at lipscomb, i was the only student in the bible program who had been an active part of a state university campus ministry and who was interested in becoming a campus minister. i’m guessing it’s at least similar to that across the board.

    many (if not most) of the state university campus ministers i know came from (at some point) within state universities themselves. many of them were required to complete a master’s degree from one of our “approved” schools before they were seen as potential ministers. i’m not necessarily arguing that this is a bad thing, just suggesting it greatly lowers the “pool” from which to select a campus minister.

  2. WesWoodell says:

    Thanks for the comment, James. Good insight – our Christian colleges most definitely do not know how to teach campus ministry … yet!

  3. Jim Woodell says:

    I don’t think our Christian Colleges are aware of the need or the potential for good that “secular” campuses hold for growing the kingdom of God. Because of this there is not a focused curriculum, as there is on Youth Ministry or Biblical languages, at the Christian schools. A first step in accomplishing this is to get the message out. Youth Ministry did not come forth until the middle 60’s. It took about 20 years to get this focus in college curriculums. Likely it will take ten years or so to swing the penddilum toward Campus Ministry also.

  4. Tim Curtis says:

    Wes- Really liked the 4/15 post as well as this one. It seems to me that we–Churches of Christ in general, not just campus ministry–have experience the proverbial pendulum swing. Evangelism was a lot easier when we thought we were the only ones going to heaven. I’m glad we are less judgmental of others, but in a recent sermon, I stated that I am afraid we have reversed the words of Jesus from Mt. 7:13-14. Seems that the dominant perspective among us is that most people are saved. I don’t know that we very often entertain the possibility that the people we encounter may very well be separated from God.

  5. Tim Curtis says:

    Want to add something else. I was involved in campus ministry in the 70s as a student at the Univ. of KY, then later as a campus minister in the 80s and a preacher at a campus congregation in Tallahassee in the 90s.

    There was a fire for reaching lost people that was cultivated by the Crossroads folks in the 70s, but died out when the division arose with the then Boston Movement. That fire was cultivated again in the 80s, especially through the influence and example of those who were doing a better job of reaching lost people.

    Looking back, one of the differences I see in those 2 decades was that in the 80s, there was more love and less judgment among ministries. With the Boston/ICOC folks of that time, if you didn’t do it their way and to their level of satisfaction, your candle was obviously out. I think of people like Buddy Bell at the Univ. of AL, who was good at encouraging people through example and prophetic preaching, but didn’t look down upon those ministries that weren’t there yet.

    I get the impression that CMU is very passionate about the priority of evangelism, but is also open and inclusive. I want to encourage you to continue in that approach. Keep reminding people, in love, that evangelism is a responsibility and privilege, not just a gift.

    From my perspective, a revival is desperately needed in campus ministry. It’s not about technique or where you went to school near as much as it is about having a burning desire to see the love of God go throughout the world.

    Keep being that prophetic voice!

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