10 Things That Make Students Want to Go into Full Time Ministry

May 28, 2015 — Leave a comment

The Top Sending CampusesThis is the part 4 in a series of posts summarizing key findings from researching 17 of Cru’s Top Sending Campuses in the nation.

See the Intro for a full list of all the campuses profiled (and links to each).

In talking to these 17 Top Sending Schools, I’d ask “What makes students want to go into full time ministry?”

Here are the:

10 Things That Make Students Want to Go into Full Time Ministry:

  • Somebody asked them to do it and convinced them they could do it
    • “A lot of students just lack confidence that they’d be any good at it”
    • “We’d love it if you’d join our team! Are you praying about staff/internship?” – Miami
    • “And a lot of the time, that’s all they need”
    • It is especially meaningful coming from the MTL (Missional Team Leader)
      • “As an MTL, you have a lot of persuasion.”
      • “When the boss says, “I’d love to work with you”, it means a lot”
      • “There’s something very honoring about being asked by the guy/girl in charge”
  • They see other students do it and grow tremendously
      • “Having a place where they know they will grow. Ministry is bi-directional – God impacts us while he uses us.”
      • “When they see their friends do it, and it makes them think they can do it”
      • “They’ve seen interns grow tremendously over the past few years (and it’s attractive)”


  • Doing ministry with friends
    • “Everyone was going – everyone came back changed from Summer Missions and STINT. It was big that we did it together as a big group. I’m going to go so we can experience change together and come back and impact the campus together. A lot of people went on STINT to East Asia that didn’t particularly have a heart for Asia, but they wanted to go with community and do it as a team.”


  • They respect and enjoy the staff team
    • “They want to do it next to people they like and respect”
    • “As a student, I knew the guys sitting in the circle and I wanted my life to be next to their lives”
    • “They know they’ll be loved well and cared for on our staff team”
  • They’ve been deeply impacted by staff
    • “Usually when they’re joining us, it’s been because they’ve been deeply impacted by someone on staff.”
    • “Most students join staff because of a relationship with a staff person – they’ve been really deeply, personally invested in. I think people do care about the mission, but I think they care about it because of their close connection with staff.”
  • In college they got to really experience being used by God to change others’ lives
    • “Generally, students who will labor for a lifetime have to be taking steps of faith and sharing their faith and making significant investments into the lives of others (not just leading a small little Bible study)”
    • They led someone to Christ in college, they discipled students
    • “They experienced that they really are God’s plan A to reach the world. They get to see God use them”
  • They went on Summer Mission
    • 75% or higher – the percentage of Interns, STINTers, and New staff who have previously participated in a Summer Mission (an educated guess by a few informed leaders in Cru)
  • They became a Christian in college
    • Students who came to Christ in college are much more likely to consider doing full time ministry when they graduate
    • Chalk it up to: “he who is forgiven much, loves much.”
  • They want to be a part of something big and exciting
    • “This mission is worthy of your life.”
    • “At the end of time when the great book of the history of the spread of the gospel of Christ is written, I think an entire chapter will be devoted to what God did among college students on our campus. Do you want to be a part of that?”
    • “You can be a part of the big story of God changing the world”
    • “Come help change the world”
  • Realizing internship isn’t just for people who want to go into vocational ministry
    • “If you want to live on mission for the rest of your life, an internship is the best training opportunity that I know of that you can be a part of.”
    • “It will equip you to make an impact for a lifetime no matter where you end up”
    • “A good question: How and when will I get the needed training to have an effective ministry for a lifetime? If you think you can be more effective (long-range) in secular work, consider taking a couple years in full time ministry to get the training needed.”


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