Why Campus Ministry is Important

Yesterday, I heard from my friend Tom. Tom was a student in my first campus ministry, located at a medium sized university in central Nebraska. Tom and I met weekly for a couple of years. We shared ideas and challenges and frustrations. Tom and I discussed music and worship leading often, as Tom is a gifted guitar player and vocalist and led one of worship teams. We talked about Prayer Warriors and Quiet Times and other bizarrely capitalized phrases in Christian Spirituality.

Tom and I have gone on several mission trips together. Most recently, we spent a week in Mexico in May. Tom and I have a lot of fun together. One of the greatest things we have ever done was create a list of words we find terribly disgusting. Words like “mucus,” “bunion,” and “halitosis.”

After I left the ministry in central Nebraska, Tom went on and graduated and headed off to pursue a law degree. Yesterday, he emailed me, stating that he had just accepted a position as a staff attorney for the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. He will get to write Constitutional and criminal opinions for the Judge. He will be working one notch below the U. S. Supreme Court.

In his email, Tom told me that he would be “praying for wisdom” and that he was excited, but nervous for this new job. He said, “I think God has been preparing me for ‘such a time as this.'”

I’m proud of Tom. We desperately need Christians who engage the culture and society from the inside. As a campus minister, I am always hearing churches encouraging their young people to go to Bible college and become ministers or missionaries. And that’s fine.

But what if someone, like Tom, wants to be a lawyer? Why aren’t we telling them to go be a lawyer…and serve Christ in that field? Why aren’t we telling young people that being a Christian and a teacher is a noble calling? If you want to be a doctor, that’s great. But what kind of doctor do you want to be?

This is one reason (of several!) that I think campus ministries are essential. Not everyone is going to grow up and be a preacher. And so we need Christian communities on public university campuses who will walk alongside these students, like Tom, who want to go into another field and serve Christ.


3 thoughts on “Why Campus Ministry is Important

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. I get so annoyed with the “Bible college only” drivel that is so pervasive in our churches. That attitude makes me feel like I, with my public education, have no place in leadership positions in the church. And I’m sure others feel that way, too.

    Btw: “moist” is the word I hate most.

  2. Sara,

    Always nice to hear from you. Along with feeling like we have no place in the church…I wonder where along the line we have lost our sense of “missional” living.

    And no doubt others feel that way. I just have to ask a few of the college students here.

    “Moist” is a funny word. And pretty gross. What kills me about “moist” is that it is often used to describe something good. For example, “That piece of cake was delicious; it was so moist.”


  3. Brandon, your point is a good one! I just wrapped up a sermon series on the kingdom of heaven and in the final message regarding salvation I used audio from an interview of David Rae regarding his time as the president of Apple of Canada. He held his first business meeting explaining how the Ten Commandments aligned with Apple’s core values and explained that his priorities were: 1) God, 2) Family….and down the list was Apple.

    We are called to be light and salt in the workplace and it is so awesome to know that people like Tom are doing so and that people like you are encouraging them!

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