Campus Ministry Matters

It can change that fast

This weekend I am still enveloped in the events of a particular sporting event that occurred this past week.  I like baseball, and have been able to come home and watch the last few innings of games during the world series, including the dramatic game six victory.  which was won in the 11th inning after the St. Louis Cardinals came back 3 times to win and send the game to a decisive game 7.  Now what does this mean all for campus ministry?

Well, in some ways it doesn’t mean anything.  But it really does remind me of the kind of pace and the ebb and flow of this field of ministry.  Some days it feels like everything is falling apart, like the whole community is hanging by a thread.  And the next moment, there are students who are taking leadership, showing off their amazing talents, and generally growing as a part of the community.  Sometimes mid-terms take the momentum right out the ministry and then you have a good conversation with students and you begin to remember why you are there.

All ministry is like this, but I believe campus ministry to be especially turbulent because of the “land” we are in.  We dwell in a land of constant business, of relentless pressure, and are constantly bombarded with transformative and transitional situations.  Everything challenges these students, from their classwork to their roommates to their career choices and dreams and ambitions.  For some, the pressure by parent figures also weighs heavily on the work they are attempting to accomplish, all while we as campus ministers are attempting to help them breath and realize the importance of melding their faith into their experiences.  And so, we mourn when things take them away and the voices of the leaders fall silent as they are overwhelmed with other tasks…but then, it changes.

Then all of the sudden, through the simplest of things like a common meal or a phone call, the silence is broken, the dream is awakened, and we realize the journey these students are on is constantly helping them to head deeper, even when it sounds like the journey is leading them away from the ministry.

So, as baseball comes to a close for the year,  I remember that in every journey, even our own, and especially college ministry, sometimes it feels like everything goes silent and the hope has faded…and then, just like God’s continual emergence and redemption, the hope returns…and the joy triumphs…

Or for the baseball fans who have hung on these words now even more famous: “We’ll see you tomorrow night”

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