The Difference Between Church-Based College Ministry and Campus-Based

I read this article over the weekend, and thought it had some good thoughts for those working with emerging adults.  The author, Arliss served as Baptist Campus Minister at Arkansas State University for 32 years. He now serves as Leadership Development Consultant for the Collegiate Ministry office at Lifeway Christian Resources.

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I spent 41 years doing campus based college ministry.  I recently started my second stint as an Interim Church Based College Minister.  One of the things I have believed in both positions is that a church based ministry should not look just like a campus based one.  There is and should be a difference in the two.  I would even go as far as to say that some churches are not doing a church based college ministry, but rather are doing their version of a campus based ministry.  The church I serve started the campus based BCM ministry on the local campus many years ago and continues to be one of it’s leading financial supporters.  So, we want it to succeed and we do not want to do anything that might harm what it is doing.

Read the rest of the article on Arliss’ website.

If you work with either church or campus-based ministry, join the EA Network. 

We need to come together for the sake of God’s Kingdom!

 

Five Dos and Don’ts when dropping off your college student

Fall is upon us, and many campuses, are many schools are welcoming another record-breaking number of students.   It is a good idea for parents to have a role in the higher education of their children, but what is that role?  Are they simply there as pack mules for an over-abundance of clothes and a mini-fridge?  Should they take an active role in organizing the room and arranging their daily schedule?  For those parents who plan to drop off your student at college, here are a few things to make the trip productive and enjoyable.

1.  Talk about Expectations.

You may not know what to expect, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have expectations.  Remember that your child will also have expectations.  Make sure you discuss these expectations before you arrive.  Do they want you to spend the night nearby?   What role can siblings play (if any)?  What is important for them while you are there?  Asking good questions will set you to have a successful trip.

After you arrive, remember that their expectations might change quickly.  One emerging adult said, “Do your best to read the mood of your child.  Know when it’s time to leave (or stay), setting aside personal feelings.”   As a parent, you have learned to read your child, and if you are confused ask them.

2.  Meet the Suitemates.

While on campus, don’t focus entirely on the work of moving in, but meet those who will be living with your child.  If you are bad with names, make a list on your drive home, so when you child mentions their new friends, you will know who they are talking about.  This information is invaluable, and will provide a bridge between your worlds.

While meeting these students, one parents said, “Do not make quick judgments about peers on the dorm floor, they are placed there by God for a reason. “  There is a strong desire to share our perceptions and first impressions about those living with your child; however, parents must begin to let go and let them discern and decide who will be in their inner circle (community).

3.  Attend and See what you want.

© 2017 Hamza Butt, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Most colleges offer information sessions for parents as part of their welcoming week.  If you want to stay and see a program, that doesn’t mean your child has to go.  If you want to take a walk around campus or visit the school cafeteria, your child doesn’t have to babysit you.  As parents, it is important that you get a feel of the campus, and what their new life will be like.

4.  Pray with them – and pray for them.

Leaving a child at school is big event in your life and your child, commemorate it.  Don’t let your final words be repeated sound bytes of your timeless wisdom.  One emerging adult said, “I really appreciated that they didn’t give me a bunch of last minute advice about how to live life on my own. I feel like the drop off is not the time or place!”  So in order to avoid the last-minute advice, plan to end with a time of family prayer.  Find a private space and time to pray with and over your child.  Now this will seem weird, if you haven’t built a lifestyle of praying together, but for the spiritually connected family, this is an absolute.  Your prayers don’t end with the amen, but that part of parenting goes on forever.

5.  Control your emotions

One mother said, “I needed to remind myself that this event is truly not about me, it involved me and caused much change in my life , but was the beginning of the independent journey for my child in God’s plan.”  You will face strong emotions, and it is important to keep those emotions in check while with your child, and then process them later in private with your spouse or a friend.  One parent said that, “I manage not to dissolve into tears until we exit the parking lot.”  Your student wants to know that you love them, but most could do without the public meltdown.  One EA writes, “Although I might feel embarrassed if mom starts crying, deep down I feel loved and will cherish it.”

One emerging adult said, “I loved that my parents dropped me off with my stuff (without telling me I had too much stuff), said congratulations, snapped pictures, and took off saying ‘Time to party.’”   When asked how it affected them, she said, “It made me deal with the reality that I need to grow up and take responsibility.”

Remember that you are not the only one facing strong emotions.  Your children will face a variety of emotions including fear, excitement, joy, and sorrow.  As you leave, make sure they know you will be there – no matter what comes their way.

Remember that as you leave their side, God remains.

Top questions to ask college students before they head to school

Fall is upon us, and student will soon be packing their bags and leaving for college.  If your child is leaving, Kara Powell from the Fuller Youth Institute released this article about preparing your child for college.  Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary.

When our oldest started high school, multiple older parents told me that high school would fly by. I didn’t believe them, but now that Nathan is diving into eleventh grade, I’ve jumped on the “high school goes so fast” bandwagon.

Here is the full article! 

Pass it along to someone you know is dropping off a student this fall.

If you work with emerging adults, please join Kara and other members of the Fuller Youth Institute as members of the EA Network – a networking site on Facebook.

Other resources:

 

Creating a Mentoring Community for Emerging Adults

The three developmental tasks of adulthood are to discover vocation, establish autonomy, and develop community.  These tasks cannot be accomplished overnight, and emerging adults require support to accomplish these tasks.

In her book, Big Questions, Worthy Dreams, Sharon Parks states that one place where emerging adults can find this support is a mentoring community. Parks describes a mentoring community as “an environment or milieu that provides the right mix of support, challenge, opportunity, and inspiration.” (Article)  Mentoring communities can be formed in many social settings including: a classroom, laboratory, athletic team, residence hall, neighborhood or church. Regardless of the form, here is an overview of Park’s list of essential aspects for a mentoring community.

Park’s list of essential aspects for a mentoring community.

1.  Support

When developing a mentoring community, you must create an atmosphere where emerging adults feel supported through words and actions.  Although spiritual direction and encouragement are central to your ministry, your support must go beyond quips and Bible verses.  Your support must be abundantly clear, resulting in tangible acts.  Emerging adults must have their basic human needs met to focus on the developmental tasks of adulthood. (Read more about Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs as it pertains to adulthood.)

2.  Challenge

While providing support, you must also challenge emerging adults.  We must promote questions in order to cause growth and to stir them towards autonomy of beliefs and actions (Raising Expectations on Emerging Adults).  Good questions from mentors include: How is this working for you?, What do you think?, How would you respond?, and How does that apply or affect your life?

3.  Opportunity

Mentoring communities must provide opportunity.  Mentors seek to give meaningful work, training, and service opportunities to emerging adults.  These opportunities provide experiences and sharpen job skills which prepare emerging adults for future vocations.  Within your community, create opportunities where emerging adults can both serve and lead.

4.  Inspiration

Inspiration is essential to a mentoring environment.  Emerging adults must be “invited to imagine a future that can hold significance and purpose – both for self and for the larger world.”  (Article)  Inspiration produces hope, inspires dreams, and sparks motivation.  The living Word of God contains endless passages which can inspire emerging adults.

Each week as your community meets, evaluate whether or not you adding enough of these ingredients to help emerging adults grow and flourish.

If Dr. G. David Boyd can help your church design a community for emerging adults, you can contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.  If you work with emerging adults (18-25), check out the EA Network.

Resources:

Big Questions, Worthy Dreams by Sharon Parks

Living with Parents – outnumber all other forms of living arrangements.

While we often hear about the growth of children living with their parents – these statistics are shocking.  The chart from Pew Research reveals the shifts in living arrangements that have occurred over the 134 years.

Broad demographic shifts in marital status, educational attainment and employment have transformed the way young adults in the U.S. are living, and a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data highlights the implications of these changes for the most basic element of their lives – where they call home. In 2014, for the first time in more than 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 were slightly more likely to be living in their parents’ home than they were to be living with a spouse or partner in their own household.

Here is the full article.

Living with a parent is the most common young adult living arrangement for the first time on record

Here are few notes:

  • The most significant drop was among those married or cohabiting.
  • Please note the wide margin of age.  Many 18-22, may live with their parents during the summers only while not in college. The percentage rate among 18 year olds (living at home) is significantly higher than 34 year olds.
  • Education, race, and ethnicity are factors which affect the living arrangements of emerging adults.

While this might be difficult news to hear, many parents enjoy having their children back under their roof.

Maintaining a healthy relationship with your adult childwill require some adapting for both of you.

Other Resources:

 

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a nonprofit designed to equip parents and churches to minister to the needs of emerging adults.  If you have a question, you can reach him at gdavid@earesources.org.

Student Loans – Change is on the Horizon

© 2017 Hamza Butt, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

The amount of educational debt among emerging adults continues to increase.  In 2016, the average among college graduates was over $37k.  About 44 million Americans hold about 1.34 trillion dollars in student loan debt.  This amount of debt as a young adult can be overwhelming, and change is needed to our educational system, and how college is financed.

Millions of student loans could be headed for big shakeup

As Courtney Minor began a master’s program in vocal performance, she made sure to heed some well-known advice: Stick to federal government student loans. 

In completing the two-year program at Longy School of Music of Bard College in Boston in 2009, Minor racked up $60,000 in debt using six different loans, which required her to pay a total of $800 a month for 10 years following her graduation.

Read the full article here.

Here are some of the changes discussed:

  • Adjusted Loan Forgiveness
  • Employer Incentives to Assist in Debt Payments
  • Additional Refinance options
  • Eliminate PLUS loans

While no one really knows what the future holds (since many of these changes are based on our political system), the church should speak regularly about the danger of debt which is mentioned regularly in scripture.

Related Articles:

 

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and communities to minister to the needs of emerging adults.

Emerging Adult Ministry – Reading List

Here are some resources that I recommend for those who want to minister to emerging adults.  Our recommendations does not mean that we agree with everything stated in the book, or with all beliefs of the author.

© 2014 Brittany Stevens, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

If you want to know the first book that you should read – my top pick…

Continue reading

Why are Millennials slowly leaving the church? by Sam Eaton

The purpose of EA Resources is to provide resources to equip parents and churches to minister to the needs of emerging adults.  Many times churches turn away emerging adults because they do not understand how they think or feel about the church.  This article represents one voice of the Millennial Exodus – or those who have either left or almost left the church.  You can find more of their stories by searching under the phrase Millennial Exodus.

Here is Sam’s story.

We are already misunderstood and highly overlooked. Millennials are on a clock worked schedule and it always seems to consist of proving ourselves to people as well as being heard. Much of these unfortunate events tend to happen in schools, the work area, with family (who are not millennials) and even church.

Yes, I said church.

Read the entire article here.

This article was written by Sam Eaton.  You can find out more about Sam at his website.

Why did emerging adults not vote in the 2016? What does this mean for the Church?

In the 2016 election, 46% percent of emerging adults (18-29) voted.  This percentage was up slightly from the 2012 election.  Historically, younger Americans do not vote as much as older generations.  For example, over 70% of those over the age of 65 voted in the election.  We could say that the reason that emerging adults don’t vote is because they are all lazy and narcissistic, but that would not be true.

www.census.gov

 

I believe that young voters often do not believe that their vote will make a difference.

Democracy is built upon a belief that each individual has a voice, and that each vote matters.

I recently read an article that was discussing the recent election in the United Kingdom.  In the last election (which included the decision about the UK leaving the European Union), 43% of voters between the ages of 18-24 did not vote.  The author stated that behind each young adult, there is a story as to why they feel as if their vote did not matter.

The author states that she believes the same thing is true about the church.  She states, “If they [emerging adults] haven’t been included in decision making and leadership, if they’ve been patronized or belittled, why would they bother turning up?”  I believe that there is a correlation between the involvement of emerging adults in the institutions of government and the church.

Emerging adults are rarely allowed into places of leadership.  Emerging adults are rarely given the opportunity for their voice to be heard.

The decline of religion in the UK has been occurring for many decades, and as the decline of religion is becoming clear in the US (Millennial Exodus), we should listen and learn from them.

Unfortunately, sometimes current church leadership does not want them to vote – because they are afraid.  They are afraid of what the new generation believes.  So instead of everyone coming together to work out our differences, we simple don’t leave room for them at the table.

Instead of fear, I believe that we should respond in faith.

Without the voice and vote of emerging adults, the church suffers.

Relevant Links

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources.  He is the founder of the EA Network.  If he can help you and your community ministry to the emerging adults in your community, please contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.

The Millennial Exodus – An Article from South Korea

The article is entitled – Why young South Koreans are turning away from religion – Some churches are employing technology and becoming less hierarchical to try to entice and keep young members.

The article was interesting to me because it has similar features to the Millennial Exodus happening here in the United States.  According to the article, the reasons why South Koreans are leaving the faith…

  • Smartphones
  • Demanding Educational System
  • Unemployment
  • Church Hierarchy

Unfortunately, it appears that some churches are attempting to win them back by following the Western churches through hip music and pyrotechnics. 

Here are some additional resources about this topic.