My heart rate is higher in August. I don’t even have a Fitbit HR but I know it’s true. The whole month, I’m on edge. To-do lists fill every white board in our office, post-its are everywhere, orders need to be placed, deadlines need to be met, leaders need to be trained, events need to be promoted, decisions need to be decided, broken things need to be fixed, and somebody needs go to Costco.
If you're in college ministry, you get it. It's like we have an internal Paul Revere yelling, "The students are coming, the students are coming!" And if we're not careful, that voice will make everything feel urgent and we will miss what the students need most from us.
So, as risky as it may be, I’d like to add to your plate of needs. Because there’s a call whispering in the chaos. A voice reminding us why and who… a voice not anxious or stressed, not worried or hurried, and we need to hear what He has to say.
3 MORE THINGS YOU NEED TO DO:
1. PRIORITIZE PRIVATE AND PUBLIC PRAYER
I’m sure your strategy is great. I'm sure your vision is HUGE. I'm sure your lights and fog and worship band are killer. I'm sure your preacher is funny and you're stoked about your teaching series. I'm sure your fliers and our fliers are going to draw the masses, guaranteed, right?
I don't know, but I do know we need supernatural help and nothing supernatural happens without prayer. Lots and lots and lots and lots of prayer.
So pray. Pray and plan and program, but pray. Really pray. Set specific goals and pray. Set aside nights where you gather and pray. Schedule time in your schedule to pray. Walk around your campus and pray, pass by students and pray, go lay hands on the freshmen dorms and pray, roam the student union building and pray. See the lostness and pray, and let the Holy Spirit break your heart for students. Lead from a broken heart, a robust prayer life, and a spirit softened to the mandatory/vital/must-have miracle work of God that only comes through prayer.
2. LISTEN TO OR READ THE BOOK OF ACTS
If you just read it, and don’t immediately start dismissing things as narrative not normative and well they didn’t “really” meet everyday, and they didn’t “really” sell everything and share everything… if you just read it, you hear over and over and over, "prayer" “power” “Jesus” “courage” “boldness” "prayer" “power” “Jesus” "proclamation" "boldness".
We need what they had. We have what they had. The message hasn't changed, the Spirit still empowers, Jesus still saves, the news is still good, God still reigns, and the church is still called to go and make disciples.
The book of Acts may not be normal, but it's possible. You and I need to be reminded of the power of God to save, and we need to be inspired by what our brothers and sisters went through to get the Gospel to us.
It's our turn to act. The same resources are still available; may we pray we can walk in the wisdom and power they did.
3. ASK YOURSELF, “WHY DID I GET INTO THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE?”
Something—at some point—moved you, motivated you, made you have to do this. We often tell people, "If you can do something other than ministry, and be content, go do it." For me and likely for you... our work is about obedience, a calling, a "this is what I was created for". You need to remember that, or better yet, you need to hear the Holy Spirit remind you of that.
Meetings, receipts, calendars, deadlines, decisions—though all important—can blur your reason, your why, your internal north. The stats are staggering. And we need them ever before us.
- There are 21 million college students in America (thousands of which are on your campus).
- Less than 3% (1 million) of them are being engaged with the Gospel.
- Eternity is real.
- Jesus is the only hope of salvation.
- You were created to use your gifts to bring God glory and bring people to Christ.
Why did you get into ministry in the first place? That answer holds everything.
If there is anything I left off the list, let me know. I'd be happy to add it to my already exhausting and exhilarating to-do list!