Matt Jensen on 'College' ministry

Mars Hill have recently put a full-time staff member on to reach out to 'U Dub' (Uni of Washington). I spoke with him on the Boot Camp and he laid out some of their approach. Here are some things:

  1. Work in close partnership with local churches. They provide the proclamation, community, mentoring of older people. College converts don't need to just spend all their time with other college age people. They need the opportunity to learn from those up ahead of them.
  2. Don't try to reach and gather every Christian on campus. Then you will spend your precious time with each 3-year group trying to please the already-churched.. Therefore don't spend lots of time advertising publically.
  3. Don't meet on campus, instead meet and gather in the social hubs, the 'third places'.
  4. Find the evangelists and train them. Send them out to do evangelism and train them in that work.
  5. What Mars Hill is doing is starting lots and lots of small groups (the 'missional teams') concept. They find that these teams are actually being active evangelistically because of the strong proclamation at the church and because of clear gospel-centred team training.
  6. One focus was to make sure that they have a servant-hearted mindset in relation to the student community, caring for them in major struggles as well as helping them out when they get maggoted on Saturday night and are falling asleep in a gutter somewhere.
There were the sorts of things I was beginning to think, as I look towards ministry on campus in Hobart in 2010, so it was nice to hear how it's going with kindred spirits.