I’m a little cheesed right now about something, and the issue is this: there are some campus ministries out there that I believe in, that I’ve had some association with, but I wonder this, honestly: do these ministries really exist to serve the church? Or is the church, in their practice, really just an adjunct, a nice-but-unnecessary component of the “thing” that they are doing?

Here’s why I’m a little cheesed: I’ve sent three separate emails to “leaders” of two different ministries operating on the campus of Kennesaw State University, a fairly good-sized school not far from Red Oak. Basically, in each email, I’ve said, “hey, we need someone to lead worship; any chance you have any students there willing/capable/interested?” Further, I’ve offered to buy lunch, or to get together, with each just to connect, to see how we might work together in other ways, etc.

So far, my grand total of returned emails is zero. Zilch. Nada. Not one of these “leaders” could be bothered to do so much as return my email, even if it was to say, “hey, you know, I’m kinda busy right now.” One of these campus ministries is a large, nationally-known one that I’ve spoken for on occasion (free of charge, of course, but gladly!). You’d think, wouldn’t you, that if a campus ministry organization was really serious about the church, I’d have at least gotten a response email in return.

You’d think…

5 responses »

  1. Yeah. And they don’t even know you like the rest of us do.

    We ignore your emails as a matter of principle.

  2. Don says:

    It would seem that many of these para church campus ministries are as you say, in the practice of utilizing the church as a nice, but unnecessary component of the thing they do. Our pastor previously headed up the college ministry at another church here in town and had a similar experience. A representative of one of these prominent campus ministries contacted him in order to garner “support” from the church. My pastor agreed to meet with the guy hoping they could team up and possibly benefit each other. Not long after this meeting my pastor begin receiving messages on his voice mail from the campus ministry rep asking when they could expect the check. My pastor tried several times to contact the guy to try and organize some activities together, but could never seem to get a response. It seems the only “support” they were really interested in was financial. Beyond that they really didn’t appear to have a need for the local church at all.

  3. Byron says:

    I should say something I didn’t in my article, and that is that in PA, we had a great campus ministry guy in our church, several in fact, and they didn’t have that attitude. That said, it isn’t apples to apples; they were in my church, and so naturally would have been more supportive of its ministry. I do hope that they are that way with every church that they come into contact with, but all I know is that I’m underwhelmed by the connection between campus ministries and church that I’ve seen here…

  4. Byron says:

    Hey, I’m happy to report that today, I DID finally get a return email from one of the campus ministry guys. That’s a start!

  5. Graham says:

    In my experience, university Christian Unions etc. have emphasised that they are not churches, and can only complement what churches do, not substitute. CUs tend, here at least, to have a panel of reference/board of reference/oversight committee, whatever you want to call it, drawn from the leadership of local evangelical churches.

    This is a good strategy, methinks, as when it works properly it ensures that a campus ministry will have some element of accountability to the local Body of Christ.

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