How to Choose a Campus Ministry
The summer before my freshman year of college, a trusted friend stopped me on the sidewalk. He said that the best advice he could give me as I start my life at CSU was to find a faith community right away—like the very first thing. He said if I made it my mission to find a Jesus-centered community right out of the gate, I would be so thankful I did.
I listened. Right away I had eyes wide open looking for a campus ministry to make friends who would encourage and support my faith. What I found when I looked was a bunch of awesome communities, with a bunch of awesome events. So many choices!
I was the extremely-extroverted and over-committed type (I still am) and thrived off all the events and all the new faces. I barely spent any of my freshman year in my room or even at my dorm because I filled my schedule to the brim with multiple ministry’s events and small groups. I said yes to everything. In some ways I am glad I did. I met a lot of great people.
However, there was a point when I realized I hadn't been alone in weeks. Like, I couldn't remember a moment alone. I had packed my schedule so full that I never actually spent time alone with the Lord. I had a bunch of things going on in my heart that I didn't ever process behind the veil of busy ministry attendance.
I think that, as a new student, you should go to several different campus ministries and find a place where you feel at home. Find people who will encourage you to grow in your faith. Look for people who could mentor you. Go 3 or 4 times. Maybe devote your first semester to stepping out and trying new ministries. But don't over do it. And at a certain point, for the sake of your soul, choose a place to plant and serve.
So how do you choose between all these awesome communities? We can’t tell you which ministry is best for you. But here some questions we think are great to ask.
Good Questions to Ask When Choosing a Campus Ministry:
Where do you feel seen, wanted and valued?
Where do you you feel challenged?
Where are older/wiser people you can learn from?
Where can you get involved and serve?
We hope you find a community of people to share life with. We truly believe these years can be the best of your life, and the people you surround yourself with will determine the direction you go. Find a community that supports and helps you grow in your faith. Make it your mission. First thing. You won't regret it.
*A word of caution. Be careful, and ask questions of ministries that seem controlling or have particular leaders who exhibit extreme influence over the behavior of those involved. It is valuable to be confronted and challenged, but tread lightly wherever you feel a lack of choice and voice. Ask someone you trust for their opinions. Pay attention to any tension you feel and address it.