Well, now is the time where many campus ministries and Christian college’s are putting together their fall retreat plans. I’m speaking at one this fall for George Fox University and I always enjoy these times. There’s a freshness in the ministry, excitement in the students, and a ton of potential in the people just getting involved. Those just plugging in could be freshmen, or junior transfer students…and hopefully some new believers. But these are key times for ministries to set the course for the rest of the year.
Note to church-based leaders: we can learn from campus ministries in this area (among a bunch of others). Instead of doing a winter trip, think about the possibility of doing a fall retreat while there is still a freshness in your ministry. Or, maybe do both. But sometimes, certainly not all, waiting until after the first of the year before something like this can cause a lack of “momentum” in your ministry. Having something in the fall can really help bond those in your ministry in the beginning of the year, helping focus the ministry for the remainder.
Note to campus ministry leaders: consider inviting a church-based ministry (or four) to join your trip. This could have some impact on the focus of the weekend, but connecting with a church-based ministry that you are in unity with can really be beneficial. In fact, I believe it’s beneficial for everyone involved. But the top benefit I see is two different ministries coming together for one purpose – reaching a campus. When campus and church ministry come together it can be very powerful.
If you’re a campus ministry leader, have you included church-based ministries in your fall retreat? Was it beneficial? What were some hindrances to your trip by doing so, and are there tweaks you made to improve in future years?
If you’re a church-based leader, have you tried a fall retreat before? Do you have a relationship with a campus leader that you could approach with the idea of joining forces for a fall retreat?