Nov 06, 2017
3 Reasons to Attend Collegiate Week 2018
Steve Masters shares his top three reasons for attending Collegiate Week 2018.
Collegiate leaders have a variety of ways we involve students in our ministries. As we begin the Fall Semester and continue ministry through the school year, nothing can replace the small group Bible Study and one on one discipleship. Additionally, connecting students with our weekly worship services is key. Another important way to involve students in our ministries is to have them attend a mission trip or conference. Students that do so are provided with opportunities to worship, pray, study God’s Word, serve God and connect with other believers.
One of the best conference opportunities I’ve found is LifeWay’s Collegiate Week. For the past fifteen years, this conference has provided a dynamic national gathering for both students and college ministers alike. Collegiate Week 2018 will take place August 5-9 at a brand new location – Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center in Davis, Oklahoma. This year will feature David Platt and Ben Stuart as keynote speakers.
Why should a collegiate minister consider attending this week or a similar national conference? Here’s my top three reasons:
1. To Build Relationships
Attending conferences provides opportunities for students to meet and connect with each other and with the collegiate ministry staff. This can then lead to further deepening of friendships and involvement in the collegiate ministry on a weekly basis. In the Summer of 2017, our ministry took ten incoming freshmen to Collegiate Week. By the end of the week, they were no longer visitors to our ministry. They were “regulars”. When the school year kicked off, they were of great help to us in reaching out to other freshmen. All of them are involved in our Freshmen Discipleship Groups this semester. Three upperclassmen guys I got to know at Collegiate Week are now participating in a weekly Men’s Discipleship Group I lead.
2. To Provide Opportunities for Leadership Development of our Participating Students
The worship leaders, speakers, and seminar leaders at Collegiate Week give valuable spiritual and leadership training for our students. Our students get to hear from leaders from across the United States. Throughout the week, students meet and connect with students from other church and campus based ministries. This is encouraging to them. They hear what God is doing on other campuses. They pick up ideas and ministry strategies. Students are also challenged to serve the Lord through mission’s experiences in the summer.
3. To Network and Grow as a Collegiate Leader
Over three hundred campus and church based collegiate ministers attended Collegiate Week in 2017. There are specific seminars and meetings for these collegiate ministers. I am provided with opportunities to see and spend time with old friends and to meet and get to know others I have never met. There are lots of good seminars offered for leaders. Attending Collegiate Week reminds me I am part of a large team of collegiate ministers. It is very encouraging to spend time with others of the same calling and passion to reach college students for Christ.
During my freshmen and sophomore years in college, I was involved in the Baptist Student Union, but not in any leadership capacity. In the summer of 1977, I attended Collegiate Week. During the week, I was challenged to be a spiritual leader. I joined our BSU Leadership Team that fall and am so glad I did. It helped me serve God, serve others, and use my spiritual gifts. I have seen many students that attend Collegiate Week have similar experiences.
We have found that attending Collegiate Week helps energize our students and staff for the school year. We will continue to attend. I encourage you to consider doing so. If Collegiate Week doesn’t work for your schedule, then find another great collegiate conference that can afford you these priceless benefits!