Recently I was having a conversation with a friend who is on staff with another collegiate ministry. We were discussing what we do, how we do it, and why we do it. As we talked, he realized that he couldn’t articulate any pathway by which a student who is far from God might come to know Jesus in the collegiate ministry he leads. To be fair, they do see students come to know Jesus. He was concerned with how haphazard and unintentional the process was.
I had this same problem for most of my 8 years in collegiate ministry. 8. Years.
I have only just discovered a simpler model and more direct pathway that starts with engaging a student who is far from God, helps them move toward Jesus, grow as a disciple, experience healthy church, and be developed into a leader of a church or churches. Not all students will enter the pathway, or go the same distance while on it, but every student deserves the opportunity and invitation. The key is knowing how they start, what the milestones are, and how to move forward each step of the way.
My friend isn’t the only one with the pathway problem. Just as I had the same problem for YEARS, I’ll bet many other collegiate ministry leaders and church leaders alike have a have this same problem.
I wouldn’t suggest that every ministry and church needs to adopt the 4 Fields model as I have, but I would insist that you give careful consideration to your disciple making pathway. I wandered around in the dark for far too long, making disciples by accident or not at all. I don’t want you to wander around in the dark any longer, if that is indeed where you are right now.