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 have seen movements start over the years with a great student leader or leaders with good chemistry. But when those students graduate, sometimes it’s difficult to replicate that same vision in the next generation of leadership. Many of us find that start/restart cycle frustrating.
Now we love it when students lead. But having a faculty member, someone in the administration, a volunteer in the community, or an alum can help provide continuity from one year to the next. Eric Dellaire, Student LINC consultant, says the best movements he coaches have volunteers connected in a significant way.
Lee Davis, former staff in the Greater NorthWest Region, made a habit of meeting volunteers as a part of his campus visits. He called it his “1/3, 1/3, 1/3” plan. He normally coached students from a distance, But 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
- Consider if there are any alumni from other movements somehow connected with the campus.
- Ask Faculty Commons staff if they are aware of any faculty there.
- Find out where students attend churches and call to see if they have any faculty or administration folks interested in seeing a ministry start.
If you didn’t see it, let me encourage you to read the article in the September/October Worldwide Challenge about Levi and Katie Boyenger, volunteers leading other volunteers leading campus ministries in Kansas. There is also a video about their efforts.
Imagine 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 there and wherever they go.