Do you value living a missional life? Does your ministry have a mission strategy? Is it known by those you serve?
As Campus Ministry leaders, missions start with us. Most of us will have students coming back from the field this fall to our campuses. The burning question is: what are we modeling to them if we, as leaders, aren’t engaged in missions ourselves?
We can certainly use those that have served to help us mobilize students for missions. And we should do that, but we should also be talking, encouraging, and engaging in missions ourselves. Missions is a HUGE part of being a disciple. And it should be an overflow of discipleship. I often tell students that I wouldn’t ask them to do something that I wouldn’t do. I am fairly certain that we all have said something along these lines. However, do we follow our own advice in regard to missions? Are we willing to drop everything and go? When was the last time you went somewhere? In your state? In the US? Internationally? When was the last time you allowed yourself to be inconvenienced for the sake of the gospel in your day-to-day life? When you chose to view interruption as a ministry instead of an annoyance?
As Campus Ministry leaders we are modeling to students what it looks like to live a life on mission. We are attempting to provide a long range perspective: how they live today will shape how they will live tomorrow. All of our students are growing and learning what it means to be a disciple; If missions is not in their discipleship process, they are missing THE key element of the Great Commission.
We need to help students see the uniqueness of missions among all the other choices that are vying for their attention. Serving at camps, internships, and even church staff undoubtedly provide great opportunities, but there is a different level of growth and trust that develops when serving outside your comfort zone. We all know that if a student gives up any part of their summer they will be changed, which in turn will affect your ministry. They are coming back more in love with Jesus and eager to see their campus as a mission field.
There are a few things we can do to help mobilize students.
- We must be active in missions ourselves. So, dust off that passport and go with students. Be willing to put your own boots on the ground.
- Utilize past students who have served in a variety of ways. That could be a promotional video/testimony of what the Lord taught them. Encourage them to tell their story with at least five other students and, in turn, challenge those students to go and serve.
- Have a mobilization conference. Make a big deal about how missions is a big part of the discipleship process.
- Utilize our resources at IMB and NAMB and even in your own state to help you with mobilizing students.
- Help students understand and see the whole picture of missions. Encourage them to be ready to say ‘yes’ for anything the Lord calls them to. Often students struggle to commit early, viewing it as a loss of their summer or feeling “FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out). This goes back to trusting in Him and them seeing the value of GOING as part of their discipleship process.
- Let your students lead! The more they take ownership of their current place of ministry, the easier it will extend outward. Students that are leading become your best mobilizers. What is one thing you are currently doing in missions that a student could do?
- Create a mission strategy, communicate it, and make it visible.
As you go, wherever your feet are, whoever you are locking eyes with make disciples…. baptize…. teach. Matthew 28:18-20
Keith Wade is the Campus Minister of the University of North Georgia. You can follow him on Instagram @keithwade and the ministry @ungbcm.