Campus Ministry: Part I
In the summer of 2004 I had the opportunity to have a one on one lunch with student ministry guru Mark Oestreicher. He's a real easy guy to talk to, not pretentious. I confessed my lack of student ministry experience and then proceeded to ask him what his first act would be if he was to become a pastor in a portable student ministry. He responded quickly with "Campus, I would be on campus. Lunch, activities, football games, you name it I would be there". At the time I had been on campus occasionally, usually for the student led club or for a football or basketball game. But something hit me with his response. I was reminded that the campus is the students mission field and I needed to be visible and available there. Students are on campus at least 35 hours a week and all of their social connections trickle from here. The campus is the realm of influence for each student. I decided at this point that because our church actually met on the campus of one of our high schools I would move forward with MarkO's advice. The next 2 weeks I will share with you the steps I took to become visible and available on local school campuses:
1. Investigate your school district - the particular district I live and minister in is huge. I did a little investigating to find out if I needed to do anything special in order to go on a local campus. They told me only if I was to do some one on one counseling would I need to get the background check and district credentials. They pointed me to the local school administration with whom I made an appointment with immediately.
2. Meet the local school administration - I met with one of the assistant principals at the particular school where I wanted to be visible and available. He was very warm and receptive and got me the proper volunteer and visitor credentials. From this point it was cake. he introduced me to all of the other administration and told them I would be hanging out during lunches each week.
3. Get dirty - I have befriended the head of maintenance and told him I would like to help out his team in between lunches by picking up trash. He gladly received my offer and in doing so I am considered an ally with the working staff. Serving with these group of people has been a tremendous blessing and a good testimony.
Check back next Tuesday for the continuation on Campus Ministry.