Remember College

CollegeI spent some time this past weekend with the Lake Merced Church of Christ in San Francisco, and was greatly blessed by the experience. San Francisco is one of the Spivey’s favorite cities, but like all cities (though perhaps even a bit more than most) it really needs transformation. I’m thankful that God has placed a church in that particular location, but I came home particularly thankful for Wes Woodell and his passion for campus ministry.

Having left campus ministry a little over 10 years ago, walking the campus of San Francisco State and thinking about the spiritual potential of those college students was a good reminder to me of how important campus ministry is—and how “under the radar” it continues to be out there. Most people could name dozens of preachers, but not a single campus minister other than their own. Campus ministry may be the least recognized and most under-resourced field of ministry out there.

That’s a shame. It’s true that it can be expensive, that it graduates people every year and that college students can be a bit “collegy” from time to time. However, it’s also true that college students brim with Kingdom potential and add tons of fun and energy wherever they are. We make a huge mistake ignoring faith formation during that pivotal season of life, for many of tomorrow's leaders, innovators, and moms and dads are walking our campuses. Most importantly…God loves them.

If your church is near a college campus (and most are), reach that campus. Love those students. God does.

If you want to see just a couple of samples of what can be done and what is being done, check out Campus Crosswalk and Campus Ministry United. Pray for our campuses.

Then, if you can…do something to reach them.

Question: Why don't churches pay more attention to campus ministry? Is it money, a perceived "lack of return on investment, collegestudentphobia, or something else?

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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2 thoughts on “Remember College

  1. I think, enjoyment is not definited gauge. If you think you’re satisfied, it really is accurate, you are happy guy. Private pleasure is not determined by others. When you like, insipid and serenity of less-stressed contemplative lives also are joy. This is my own, personal view and I think as long as we now have a good feeling, therefore our life should be a lot better than before.

  2. Unfortunately, most of the time it is a lack of return on investment. Most churches leadership is run by business minded people. This is not altogether a bad thing, but we need a more diverse group of thought. College students don’t have money. And their parents who have the money live far away, and are not going to give that church any money (unlike parents of high school students). Thus Youth Ministry is a booming moneymaker. If a church invests in a good youth ministy parents will bring their kids and invest money right back into it. If this is not true, then why such a massive budget difference in what is spent on high school seniors and college freshmen at churches? It’s just a few months age difference… Until we can stop running our churches like businesses I’m afraid we will not see many thriving campus ministries. Also, it’s rarely a matter of “can you invest in the campus near you,” but rather if you are willing to sacrifice.