The Five Challenges of the Campus Ministry
I started doing campus (college) ministry back in 2008, and was active for 3 years. Recently, I got to reflect on those years and the challenges I experienced. I have identified five:
1. The Challenge of Time. Usually, college students have demanding schedules, and their schedules even differ from one another. Furthermore, their schedules change every semester. In my school where I minister, there is a “University Break” once a week, which is intended for extra-curricular activities. I somehow consider it an advantage for the campus team. We use this time to hold Bible studies. But even with the Break, students attend organization meetings, events, and seminars, presenting another challenge.
2. The Challenge of Venue. Most colleges and universities in the country are Catholic institutions. This means that they are strict when it comes to religious activities, much more to those organized by evangelical groups. Consequently, reservation of rooms within the campus is difficult. With my campus ministry, we had to find a spot where we can have our activities. In my experience, we had to settle in a building lobby, and so inviting people was a challenge. Sometimes, we had to rent a place outside of school, but this means additional costs.
3. The Challenge of Commitment. The attendees, as well as the volunteers and leaders, and mostly students. Their ministry commitments will always be challenged and be competing with their academic pursuit. Their priorities are affected as well.
4. The Challenge of Leadership. With a challenge commitment, students are often uncertain of stepping up and taking up leadership roles and responsibilities.
5. The Challenge of Leadership Transition. College students normally finish school in 4-5 years. Thus, volunteers and leaders eventually go. So training a next batch of leaders must be done. However, this is quite difficult when students face challenged commitments and uncertainties of stepping up.
I believe there are other challenges faced by the campus ministry. But the five above are those I personally experienced in a few years of campus ministry. I hope this gives you an insight and understanding of the challenges faced by the campus ministry.
By the way, if you are from a campus ministry from another church, or from a para-church that reaches out to campuses, feel free to share your insights. You may give your comments and suggestions in the comment box below.
And here’s a picture of my campus team and its current leaders:
Photo by Leonard Cua