Chuck Bomar —  April 16, 2009 — Leave a comment

I wonder what people could do in your college ministry if you’d just give them an opportunity. I couldn’t embed this video, but you have to watch it. I got chills watching it and yes, my eyes welled up a bit. Here’s to a little wholesome inspiration…Click here.

taxday_heroToday, in leu of tax day, Simply Youth Ministry is offering 15% (today only) on orders of $99 or more. You can use the promo code: TAXDAY to get the discount. Anyway, thought you might want to take advantage of it – especially if you are thinking of getting some resources any way.

picture-4Well, in case you didn’t know Mtv just launched a new show called, “college life.” In the very beginning of the show it started by telling us as the viewers what our role was: to watch 4 freshman “make sense of college.” The tagline for the show is, “This is not reality. This is real.” The show is filmed by freshman students at the University of Wisconsin. The students film their own lives as they enter into college. If you want to know what it’s really like, get insights into life at college, what it’s like for a freshman leaving and trying to figure out college life – this is certainly the show to watch. On CollegeLeader we have articles pertaining to some of these issues as well – click here for those.

The premiere of “college life” introduced us to 4 freshman, two guys and two girls, and walked us through their first 3 weeks of college. Here’s a bit about each cast member:

Jordan: mixed race family with his mom being jamaican and dad being canadian. He comes from a religiously conservative upbringing. All his friends are white, but as he says, “it’s all I’ve ever known, so it doesn’t bother me.”

Andrea: She’s a proclaiming conservative Christian and is very proud of her virginity. People tell her that college is going to change her, but she feels confident she has the proper accountability.

Alex: She’s from a very small town in Texas. She received an academic scholarship and says she just wants to learn as much as she can. She hinks it’s cool to be at college and is looking forward to meeting people.

Kevin: From St. Paul Minnesota. College to him is keeping his “grades up for his mom.” He’s looking forward to the “collegiate” lifestyle of partying.

It’s interesting to watch even the first 3 weeks of their lives, relational drama, and their intellectual gymnastics.
picture-6Immediately after talking about her accountability at school, Andrea walks up to a random guy she sees and gives him her phone number. In the first 3 weeks she also met another guy who came over to her dorm room to watch a movie with her. It will be interesting to see what happens with her. She’s also involved in a complex relationship with an ex-boyfriend from high school. He loves her, but she just wants to meet new people. This not only gives some great insight into some of the immaturity that can take place in college-age relationships, but also about the exploration that’s pursued with other people. I’ve said many times that this is a key part in identity formulation. We’ll talk more about that in another blog.

picture-5Alex, the academic girl. She hopes to double major in journalism and international studies in order to one day incorporate her love of writing, intrigue with people, and desire to travel, into a journalistic occupation following college. In the show we gain some insights into her mind as she is bombarded by a guy who likes her. At a party he is claiming her as his boyfriend because he doesn’t like the fact that she’s talking to different guys. As for her she just wants to meet new people. She ends up totally emotional, frustrated, and makes a statement that she’s “worthless” and will never be able to find a guy who truly loves her. Confusing, but real emotions felt by many college freshman.

picture-7Kevin is the typical “collegiate” that I’ve written about in past articles. His dorm room turns into party central, with about 15 people playing drinking games. He gets busted with alcohol, gets written up and told that if he’s caught again he’ll be expelled from the school – no questions asked. Exactly two hours later his room is packed with people again, drinking. He struggles with school and receives a 33% on his first math exam. He realizes it’s his fault because he never payed attention in high school. His rationale is to now skip political science class to study for math. But all this is really secondary to him…he’s more interested in sleeping all day so he can party and hang out at night.

picture-8Jordan isn’t into the collegiate life much and isn’t even interested in the big football game against Ohio State. In fact, during the game when everyone else is excited and filled with school spirit he goes shopping with some female friends. It will be interesting to see his college life and what parts of college he is attracted to. My hunch is he’s going to go through some internal confusion!
There is much more that happened, but no doubt that this is the most insightful show to date for those working in college ministry, by a long shot. I will issue a brief review every Tuesday from now on. But, if you want to gain insight into the complexities of the college-age stage of life, have lost touch with the people you’re trying to minister to, don’t understand the pressures students feel after leaving home, don’t quite grasp the pursuits of college-age people, or don’t have a clue about the lack of relational boundaries between guys and girls in the college-age stage of life…watch the show!

Oh, for those of you like me who are in college ministry in a non-college town, it still applies!


Chuck Bomar —  April 13, 2009 — 1 Comment

buy-a-ticket-plant-a-tree1I recently got an email from someone working with Disney asking me to post about their new upcoming film “earth.” It’s in partnership with Discovery and will be in theaters soon.

I’m not sure why they asked me, but I watched the trailer and it looks interesting. Of course I love the Discovery channel and love watching shows about creation, so this might seem a bit more interesting to me than you. Regardless, it could be worth seeing if you’re a movie goer. Probably better to see this than some other things out there…

There is a great deal of discussion today in college ministry about the lack of direction college-age people have, even after graduating with a college degree. I’ve said for almost 10 years now that high school graduates in no way view their graduation as a right of passage into adulthood. Quite the opposite in fact. Instead I’ve said that graduating high school is simply the beginning of an intentional and conscious thought process toward what they will “do with their life” from a vocational perspective. And, we know today, even after graduating college, many still don’t know the answer to that question.

Some might think this is a recent development. I however would suggest that our understanding is more behind the times than we’d like to admit. Sure, more people are now in college than ever before, making this more noticeable in society. In 1950 less than 10% of 18-24 year olds attended degree granting institutions (including high school 18 yr olds). In 2004 this number was 65%, not including 18 year old high school students.

Nevertheless the mindset of college grads is often the same as it was 40 years ago. The movie, “The Graduate” hit the cinema’s in 1967 and articulates insights into the life of a college grad. Granted, in 1967 a college degree was more likely to catapult you into a career much more so than it is today. But the lack of direction after graduating may not have been as foreign as we might think in those days either.

The Graduate articulates the lack of direction that so often happens after college and then gives some insights into the emotional pursuits that occur during this time – often because of that lack of direction and focus. In the drama of a love connection, The Graduate taps into the sense of longing for something deeper in life. In another blog I may articulate how we in college ministry can help keep people focused and more importantly what we need to guide focus toward. For now though, watch this trailer…

picture-3Our CollegeLeader Atlanta Regional is set and ready to go! We have partnered with reThink for this event and will be hosted by them at the Orange Conference. I am doing a pre-conference seminar at this conference, so we decided to partner up and combine them. This regional event will be held on April 29th. The conference begins the evening of the 29th and goes through the evening of May 1st. I recommend you checking out the conference. It’s unique and has a strategy for church-based ministry that is holistic and insightful. By partnering with reThink on this event, we’re able to give you a few extras!

  1. A free downloadable copy of my book, “College Ministry 101: a guide to working with 18-25 year olds.” This isn’t going to be out until July, so this is not only a sneak peak, but a free copy. I’m very excited to get it in the hands of people…and for free. Zondervan is extremely gracious to do this!
  2. About 45 more minutes of seminar time. This will allow us to dive even deeper into the trenches of ministry. I’m looking forward to having a bit more time, less constraints. We have some extra time because we’re operating under their schedule.
  3. A $95 discount on Orange conference registration. Look, if you’ve been tossing around the idea of whether or not to go…toss no more. By registering for the Regional event you will get the discount for the entire conference. I love partnerships like this.

In addition, I now have Tuesday the 28th free. So, we’re planning on having a lunch for college ministry leaders from the HOTlanta area (whether or not you come to the regional). We’re looking to gather at NorthPoints Buckhead campus and go from there. I’ll update you on that as we get closer. Would love for anyone to join us.

Anyway, for a full description of seminars and registration info for this Atlanta regional event, click here!

picture-2Newsweek has on their cover, “The Decline and Fall of Christian America” – in the shape of the cross. Interesting graphics, and title. This article (read that here) and podcast (listen here) articulates that only 62% of Americans claim that America is in fact a “Christian Nation.” This is steadily declining and has even more so the last 5 years. The podcast also brings up the issue of justice work from people of faith and whether or not it’s authentic to their beliefs. It also walks through how American culture is becoming more and more secular and what this may/may not mean for Christian believers. Lastly, and this may or many not interest you, but it discusses the influence Christian believers have on politics and in particular the Republican party – on this note and another interesting point was apparently less than 20% of Catholics today claim to be Republican (interesting in that this is declining more and more). Anyway, worth the read, or 8 minute listen to the podcast.

I’ll issue some thoughts on this possibly later this week. But would love to hear some of your thoughts/comments about it first…