Jan 11, 2016

Lead

Will 2016 be the year of sharing in college ministry?


Tim Casteel issues a call to make 2016 the year of sharing in college ministry.

In 2014 I wrote, “In the last few years I’ve been discouraged to see not more online chatter in college ministry, but less.
We are all consumers wishing more people would share good resources with us.”

But I believe 2015 was a great step forward in collaboration in college ministry!

At Collegiate Collective, we hit our stride with weekly (free!) college ministry insight and resources. Campus Ministry Today re-launched with great (free!) articles and tools. Hundreds have participated in the #CruChats on Twitter. CruPressGreen continues to make their great content free. Not a bad year.

Let’s make 2016 even better! I believe this year could be a tipping point in collaboration among college ministries.

Let’s excel all the more, because, honestly, there are still just a very small percentage of college ministers sharing and interacting online (and in person across ministry lines). There are well over 5,000 college ministers in America. There are MAYBE a couple hundred of them that engage on twitter and the aforementioned sites. College ministry is still a land of silos – college ministers do not share information, tools, and strategies with other ministries.. Even within denominations and ministries, there are silos. I don’t think it’s intentional or malicious. I think it’s just a lack of priority.

Let’s change that. Let’s share everything – for free – so that everyone can get better at reaching college students with the gospel. If we really believe that college students are one of God’s primary vehicles to fulfill the Great Commission, we must work together.
What will it require? It will mean being intentional to invest a little time in sharing. We need more sharers.

“Are you comfortable with other leaders spending time creating something that you have already done?” – Brian Barela

Russ Martin brilliantly summed it up in this 2010 post that that has shaped my thinking AND my calendar:

“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 from which we can all benefit.

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?”

Let that sink in… Why aren’t we talking?

Let’s create a culture of sharing in college ministry.

Two 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: tweet out what you’re learning, what you’re focusing on, what obstacles you are encountering, helpful articles/books you’ve read recently.
    • 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 or Google drive links to talks you’ve given or articles you’ve found helpful. Comment on the sites and blogs of those who are producing and sharing. Join the conversation so that we can all learn from each other. Or send us your idea for an article here on Collegiate Collective!

I would love to hear what you think!

What keeps us from sharing more resources/ideas across college ministry?

What steps can we take to do better in this area?


about the author

Tim Casteel


Tim works in college ministry at a university in Arkansas.