Here is a general principle:
“When you launch a ministry, look for long-term indigenous leaders as part
of your critical mass.”
Most of us over the years have seen movements start with a great student
leader or leaders with good chemistry. But when those students graduate,
sometimes it is difficult to replicate that same vision in the next
generation of leadership. Many of us have been disappointed by the start
and restart cycle that we experience because our focus has been solely on
Having a faculty member, a staff with the university, a volunteer in the
community or an alum can help provide continuity from one year to the
next. Eric Dellaire, Student LINC consultant, says that the best
movements that he coaches have these kinds of volunteers with a stake in
the growth of the movement.
Lee Davis, former Volunteer Coordinator in the Greater NorthWest Region, made sure that meeting volunteers was a part of his campus visits. He called
it his “1/3, 1/3, 1/3 plan.” If he had a day on a campus, he would meet for
two hours with the student leaders, two hours with the faculty advisor and
other volunteers helping out, and two hours in the community raising
support for the ministry there. This took work and planning on his part.
But having the right critical mass ensured the long term growth and impact
of that movement.
So before you head out to that campus on your launching visit, why not
- See if you can track down any believing alumni from the campus.
- Ask Faculty Commons staff if they happen to know of any faculty there.
- Call some local churches to ask if they have any faculty or campus administration folks involved interested in seeing a ministry start.
You would be amazed at how just a few minutes decoding a campus on-line
and making a few phone calls could reveal some of what God has already
placed there for a successful launch. It could also help that movement
enjoy many years of impacting students for all eternity.