East Tennessee State University BCM Ministry Interview

May 26, 2020
Jonathan Chapman BCM Campus Minister, East Tennessee State University
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HOW DO YOU MEASURE MINISTRY HEALTH AND EFFECTIVENESS? 

I’d love to say that I don’t use metrics of any kind, but that would not be true. While I don’t believe numbers are everything, I also don’t believe they are nothing! So, I like to use metrics for things like events, mission trips, etc. This can help knowing if your ministry is healthy. If people are coming, then you have good community and they want what you have, and that to me is a very healthy ministry.  With that said, a ministry is effective when disciples are being made, the lost are being reached, and you are mobilizing students to serve at home and around the world.  Healthy and growing disciples are the true barometer to our ministry.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HELP CREATE AN EVANGELISTIC CULTURE? WHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES?

Creating an evangelistic culture requires constantly bringing it to mind. You have to constantly remind students of kingdom advancement, of how easy it is to share the gospel, etc. You also have to take the pressure off of them…I remind them that it is the Holy Spirit that does the work. I don’t want any of them thinking that they are the reason people are choosing Jesus. Definite obstacles are the culture and the campus.  The culture we just push back against and make sure we teach the right thing and that no matter what the culture says, scripture is king! The campus we fight against by creating a culture of serving and loving the campus so well that no matter what is said about us, the administration, professors, and students think our ministry is above reproach.

HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE A HEALTHY LEADERSHIP TEAM? WHAT ARE SIGNS OF HEALTH AND WHAT ARE SOME SYMPTOMS THAT INDICATE IT IS NOT HEALTHY?

A healthy leadership team is one that knows what to do, how to do it, and can replicate itself over and over and over again. I think one of the keys to this is to remind yourself that it takes time to develop a leadership team. Think of cooking a stew rather than grilling up a burger… It’s going to take more time to simmer into what you want it to be.  An unhealthy team is one that is bogged down by conflict, is not kingdom minded, is not evangelistic, and just wants a status quo little baby school club instead of a kingdom building, growing, discipling, campus impacting ministry!

WHAT DOES YOUR MINISTRY FOCUS ON OVER THE SUMMER? WHAT DO YOU FOCUS ON PERSONALLY TO MAXIMIZE YOUR SUMMER? 

Summers here at the school are sparse student wise. A lot of students are working, on mission trips, and move back home for the summer. I spend my summers praying, resting, dreaming, planning, support raising/public relations, getting my building back in order, preparing studies and talks, getting my calendar set, and working school orientations. Normally I do have a summer Bible study that runs for eight weeks during the summer as well, but this year I’ve had to put that off due to surgery and some renovations of our parking lot.  I also do a TON of weddings and premarital counseling during the summer as well.

HOW DO YOU RAISE UP AND RECRUIT STAFF? WHAT DO YOU DO TO TRAIN AND SEND STAFF?

Many of my staff come from former students who have really excelled in disciple making, administration, and other spiritual giftings.  If I have an associate (intern) position available and there is not a good former student fit, I will begin to ask around to other BCM’s around the state, around the region, and around the country. I think networking is a huge key in finding good staff. If you are looking for someone, be sure to reach out to other BCM’s. There may be a student willing to move, raise support, etc. for a solid campus ministry position.

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