There are certain things in the ministry that the veterans have gone through, but the younger ones will barely hear about if they only focus on the good.

The 16th batch of the School of Campus Ministry started last Monday, which marks the beginning of an exciting season of equipping and learning for all our incoming campus missionaries. The 16th batch of the School of Campus Ministry started last Monday, which marks the beginning of an exciting season of equipping and learning for all our incoming campus missionaries.

One of the requirements of the school is to have mentoring sessions with “seasoned” campus missionaries to learn from their experiences in the ministry. This will help the students understand what it means to be called for campus ministry.

While observing the sessions, I could see the students share the same look I had towards those who have gone ahead of me while I was in the school. It was then that I remembered a couple of thoughts I had when as a student, such as:

“Wow, they have big ministries.”

“They preach really well. People are moved.”

“They are well-known, and that’s why people follow them.”

So topics like these were all I asked about during my time with these great leaders.

Watching these students also took me back to the time when I felt small because I was not where these leaders were, the time I felt discouraged because our youth service attendance was small, and the time I felt down because I lost people who used to serve with me. This all took place in my younger years in the ministry, and happened because I only focused on the good things in the ministry when I would talk to my mentors.

This is why I want all incoming campus missionaries and all who are considering going into full time ministry to not look at us like that. Because there are certain things in the ministry that the veterans have gone through, but the younger ones will barely hear about if they only focus on the good.

Ministry is not that as simple as many people think it is. There will be times when you’ll be frustrated, times when you will compare yourself to others, and times you will be tested to your limits.

But I believe that what will sustain us during these times is our ability to go back to our mission and values as a movement. Not the numbers. Not the reports. But in our call to be a Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered, and socially responsible campus ministry, not just where you are, but in every nation.

I hope that during your mentoring sessions, you will focus more on these three aspects:

1. Christ-centered

Ask them about their relationship with Jesus, and how they do their quiet time in the midst of the tasks given to them. Ministry will always be an overflow of our relationship with God, so get to know how intimate they are with God, and what they do to get even more intimate with Him. Ask them how God reveals things to them personally, as with the direction of the whole campus ministry.

You can also ask them about their salvation stories; their challenges, frustration and heartbreaks in doing ministry, and how the gospel of Jesus helped them overcome that. This will give you much relief and comfort as you realize that these are people too who don’t have special ministry powers, all they needed was Jesus Christ to fulfill this calling.

2. Spirit-empowered

Ask about stories of how they encountered God through discipleship. Let them tell you about stories of individual students, and how they encountered Jesus through the move of the Holy Spirit.

Ask about hearing from God in everything we do in the ministry. Yes, we talk about strategies; but it is important to hear from God first before we even draw up a plan. That way, you are assured that the ministry you are in is being run by God Himself, and not our capabilities.  Relying on our skills will simply lead us to frustration.

Numbers and results would always bring pressure, but relying on the power of the Holy Spirit as we do campus ministry will make us have a full grasp of the calling that we have as campus missionaries.

3. Socially Responsible

This is where being Spirit-empowered is very crucial. As a campus missionary, we need to think of the needs of the campus, knowing its spiritual condition, and how you can minister to that particular campus.

So ask about how they hear from God on the things they need to do in order to reach a campus. Ask about how God makes them relevant with what the students are going through. Being socially responsible is not just about being events-based, and trying to get a lot of people, but about really making an impact as you meet the students’ specific needs. Ask them about how they figured out a certain culture that would make or break the ministry.

I think the real question for all of us is, “In the ministry and in your walk with God, how many people have encountered Jesus through you?”

We are not just there to do seminars; we are there to make a lasting impact in the lives of these students. And as you get on the boat of doing campus ministry, I hope that these things will remind all of us of what we really value. Forget about the numbers that may look great on reports. I think the real question for all of us is, “In the ministry and in your walk with God, how many people have encountered Jesus through you?”

This would take the pressure off of campus missionaries, both old and new. Because at the end of the day, a student’s encounter with God is not our responsibility, but still God’s.

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