Jun 04, 2018


Put In More Than You Take Out – Part 2

John Strappazon continues to share wisdom on how you can put in more than you take out when leading students in your college ministry.

Check out Part 1 here!

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3 (ESV)

All of us are heartened by the promise that “…those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV) It’s the promise of this renewed strength that keeps us pressing on when we’re fatigued.

The Lord’s desire, as the great shepherd, is to restore the souls of his people while they’re in the battle. This supernatural refreshing, reenergizing, and recharging can only be done by him, but we, as leaders can team-up with Him in this process. We can lend a hand by adopting the philosophy of investing more in our leaders than we’re withdrawing from them.

While not an exact science, implementing this philosophy will pay tremendous dividends in the liveliness and longevity of your leaders. Here are a few ideas that worked well for me and seemed to invigorate my leaders and fight the fatigue factor.

1. Head of the line privileges.
If they commit to this ministry only your family will be ahead of them. When they need you, they go to the head of the line.

2. Clear Expectations

  • Ministry agreements. Provide one or two-year leadership ministry covenants that are renewable at the end of the period designated. This affords the possibility of a valid way out for them as well as a legitimate way for you to replace them as needed.
  • Job descriptions. Well-defined expectations will cut down on potential misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and broken relationships.

3. Activity Valuations.
All events aren’t and shouldn’t be of the same importance. Decide which are most critical and which are, while important, not as essential. Give your leaders the option of opting in or out on the second group. Giving them this freedom will produce two vital things. It will win their hearts and they will want to be there when they are most needed.

4. Dream Sessions.
This is a time where you:

  • Share your thoughts on the state of the ministry as well as your desires for it.
  • Give them a preview of what’s coming and why.
  • Hear their dreams and dream with them.

5. Face to face times.
Personal time with you provided for each leader or leader couple outside of doing ministry together. This is an informal time that could be accomplished over a meal or coffee with the purpose is to getting to know them. Do this once a semester, if possible.

6. Purposeful Recharging.
College ministry ebbs and flows. There are times when it’s crazy busy and times when it isn’t. Consider giving them a break or allowing them to slow down during the summer to rest and replenish mentally and physically.

7. Being a FedEx Man or Woman. People love to see a FedEx man or woman coming to their place because he or she always delivers the goods. Be prepared. Deliver the goods. Never waste your leaders time by “shooting from the hip”.

While none of these need be costly financially, they will be expensive for you personally. They will cost you extra time and extra effort, but they’re more than worth it. It won’t happen overnight, but if you stay with it you will begin to multiply yourself in ministry and fulfill the mandate in Ephesians 4:12, “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up of the body of Christ.”  And as a bonus, the ministry will move in their minds from being “yours” to becoming “ours.”

about the author

John Strappazon

John is a writer, speaker, teacher, trainer, and consultant. He has served in college ministry in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.