Five Phases of a Campus Ministry
Have you ever watched a baby learn to walk? Do you remember watching Olympic track athletes on TV? Its amazing to think that at one time in his life, an Olympic sprinter could not even walk. He didnt just get up and set a new world record one day he had to add one building block to another. First, our athlete started crawling, then his first steps, then toddling, then walking, then running, then sprinting, then setting a new world record.
In the same way, God takes a campus ministry through steps or phases as it grows. Each phase builds on the previous one, and over time, through Gods grace, a vibrant ministry emerges.
The five phases of ministry are: Preparation, Gathering, Visibility, Leadership, and Expansion. Following are descriptions of the phases, and principles that should help you identify where you are and show you how to progress from there.
Your ministry is born and grows a lot in this phase, but sometimes its hard to see much of the impact. You are beginning your outreach and it is important to lay a good foundation. Foundations are funny they are very important but you rarely see them.
Here are some things you need to do as you establish your foundation:
Add people to your movement. Find students and leaders who can help you begin start by sharing the hopes you have with more Christians and see who responds.
Another important aspect of gathering involves telling non-Christians about your hope in God. Begin by telling individuals (create a list you pray for) and groups of students. The most likely place to start is with groups you are involved in band, sports teams, student government, etc. The training on peer group outreaches can help you prepare outreaches to groups of students you are involved in. As students respond to Christ through your outreach, begin to help them grow in their faith.
The emphasis here is on a greater public outreach and leadership foundation. After the initial groups of students has been exposed to your outreach, you will want to expand in two directions:
You will know you are in the Visibility phase when you see your ministry having a positive effect on a greater part of the school.
Because your outreach is growing, so is your leadership base. Students are actively sharing their faith, growing numbers are leading other students in Bible study and follow-up groups, and freshmen and sophomores are being trained to replace seniors in leadership as they graduate.
Your leadership team helps multiply their influence by helping others launch their ministries at other campuses. Your leadership core is not only providing leadership for your campus but is also helping others begin their outreach.
Remember, your ministry experience will not perfectly follow these phases. God is the one who causes the growth. No athletes career follows the same path, and not every athlete wins Olympic gold. But, one thing is for sure no athlete ever wins Olympic Gold without learning to walk first!
Five Phases of a Campus Ministry Diagram