One of the biggest challenges in part-time campus ministry is defining what “part-time” means in a particular
context and then planning the tasks and relationships that will make the most impact. What are the important
elements to consider when doing part-time campus ministry?
- Spending time with students: One sure thing is that it is impossible to do collegiate ministry if
there is no time spent building relationships with students. Perhaps the first question to ask is
“When do I have time available to be on the campus when students are there?” Time with
students is imperative.
- Programmed as well as un-programmed time: As a part-timer you may have a noon meeting or
a Bible study on campus. These times are important. In addition, un-programmed time to meet
new students and interact with students you already know in an unstructured setting is also
crucial. Grabbing lunch or coffee on campus is a great way to do this.
- Taking care of business: Another part of your time as a part-timer is taking care of the tasks
(buying food, paying ministry bills, scheduling rooms, etc.) that must be done.
- Preparing to lead: Pay attention to your heart in relationship to God. Sometimes in the rush we
focus on the tasks and do not take the time to prepare for the Bible Study we are about to
lead. Make sure this gets considered as you plan your schedule.
- Be realistic: As you look at your weekly schedule and all the things that are possible, remember
that you are not doing this full-time. Make intentional decisions about what you will do and
what you will not do.
Listed below are some common expectations for part-time campus ministry.
- One scheduled group meeting per week. This may be a noon meeting, brown bag lunch, or a
group Bible study. In some situations, having this meeting at night may work best. The group
meeting needs to be a time of fellowship, an open door to new students, and an opportunity to
focus on why you gather. This focus may be a 10-minute devotional or Bible discussion time
that clearly points to Christ.
- One scheduled outreach activity per week on campus where the emphasis is meeting new
students. This might be a table on campus handing out Bibles, granola bars, bottled water, or
organizing any number of activities that give you the opportunity to meet new students.
- Leadership development is important but hard to define in terms of time. Enlisting students to
help with the above activities, giving them key responsibilities, and investing time in their
spiritual formation are important elements of leadership development. These leaders are the
key to growing the ministry. As they are nurtured and deployed on the campus, the work of the
part-timer is multiplied.