4 years ago I started blogging with this:
“Inspired by others who have taken the time to share their thoughts/learnings/resources I thought I would stop mooching and start contributing to the conversation.”
It’s time to beat the drum again.
What if you spent 10% of your time online collaborating with others on how to get better at college ministry? Few people set on reaching university students view spending intentional time online to learn and share with others as a worthwhile cost/benefit.
I suggest every person who desires to see millions of students bringing the gospel to every corner of every campus should tithe of their time online to share tips, resources, ideas, struggles and stories. The mission can’t be executed by creating trade secrets, hoarding knowledge, or protecting resources.
The platforms exist, but a mindset of collaboration doesn’t. By spending five minutes to upload the presentation from your last small group leader training you could save someone hours. Tweeting the articles you’re reading helps identify valuable insights we can all benefit from.
Do you think the eternal rewards of investing 10% of your online time could be worth it and make the other 90% of time more effective? There’s probably someone who knows a lot more about reaching students than you. There’s probably someone who could really benefit from what you know about reaching students. If we’re all on the same team, for the same mission, for the same King, then why aren’t we talking?
“If we’re all on the same team, for the same mission, for the same King, then why aren’t we talking?”
Let that sink in. Why aren’t we talking?
In the last few years I’ve been discouraged to see not more online chatter in college ministry but less, especially within my organization – Cru. There have been a few bright spots in college ministry sharing – I’m looking at you Arliss Dickerson and Paul Worcester – but we could do so much better.
We are all consumers wishing more people would share good resources with us.
We need more sharers.
Our Cru movement at the University of Arkansas has been the recipient of incredible sharing.
Nothing we do on our campus is original. Our ministry has benefitted tremendously from importing (and adapting to our setting) the best practices of campuses across the U.S. In the past few years we’ve implemented ideas from Cru movements at:
University of Arizona – Chico State – Ohio University – Penn State – NC State – Portland Metro – Ontario, Canada – University of Oklahoma – Texas Tech – Montana State – University of Florida – St. Louis Metro – Cal Poly SLO – Miami, Ohio – Michigan State – Northwestern
For years it was a one-way street – receiving great ideas but not reciprocating.
For me it came down to cost/benefit in regard to time. I didn’t do much about idea sharing because I wasn’t sure the time invested would be worth the pay off: if I start blogging, not many people would see it or be helped by it (i.e – it will take me 4 hours to write a post and 4 people will read it).”
Like all good investments, a minimal investment can have multiplying effects. It costs me some time to share on Twitter and my blog but I can save literally hundreds of hours for a multitude of staff to get on campus and spend time with students (instead of re-writing a talk someone has already given).
Let’s create a culture of sharing in college ministry.
2 steps to start sharing:
- Start tweeting.Twitter seems to be the best pipeline for information sharing and distribution.
- Set aside time every week to get on Twitter and not just consume but share.
- Actively seek out twitter conversations with other college ministers.
- Using the #collegemin hashtag is a helpful place to start.
- Post your Twitter username in the comments so I and other college ministers can connect with you (here’s mine: @timcasteel)
- Share what you’ve found helpful. Start a Tumblr or a blog. Share dropbox links to talks you’ve given or articles you’ve found helpful. Comment on the blogs of those who are producing and sharing. Join the conversation so that we can all learn from each other.
Would love to hear what you think-
College Ministers, what steps can we take to share more?