There's so much to learn! I'm at a conference with students and student ministry workers from several countries in South America. We're all part of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES). Each country has its own national movement which partners with IFES.
Students studying the Bible at the conference
This is the second post where I speak with Josué Olmedo, an experienced university student worker from Ecuador. In the first post we discussed "Why is University Ministry Important?" I now ask what advice he could give to someone new to student work. He gave me the following four...
1. Empower students to take the initiative
Don't be tempted to get things done by doing them yourself. Students need to take the initiative. When you start you have lots of energy and ideas and it's easiest to just do things by yourself. Remember that it's their ministry and you're there to support them, encourage and train them. You are not there to try to do all the work.
2. Train leaders
Right from day 1, train leaders to take your place. Don't wait till a year before you have to leave to find others to do your work. Right from day 1 train two or three people to do your job.
3. Focus the ministry on the university
Run events in the university, do ministry in the university, pray in the university and do get-togethers in the university. Keep the focus on the university. There's lots of other ministries that you can do. For example you can run programs to reach street kids but that's not our ministry. Our ministry is students reaching students. Students have a unique opportunity to reach students. After they finish university there are a lot of other ministries that can be done. It may be convenient to run events off campus but wherever possible run events inside the university. Other students will notice and it reduces the barrier to them coming if the event is in the university.
4. Not just for students
Think of the university as a whole - with teaching staff, students and other staff. Aim to reach the whole university - not just the students.
Do you have more tips for running a sustainable university ministry?
Photo courtesy of Andres Vicente Narvaez, our official conference photographer