I’m getting to spend this week at Camp Allendale in Trafalgar, IN working with four good friends. Roger, Tim, Don, Barry, and I are serving as officers for the Association of College Ministries – a group of about 110 campus ministries around the world. This is the third time in my 29 years of campus ministry that I have served as an officer of this group. Probably now , more than at any other time, I feel a responsibility for the care and success of those ministries and the over 300 folks who serve with them. We’ve spent the week talking about and planning retreats and conferences, but also about how we can add value to others’ ministries and help equip them for success over the long haul.
The week has also got me thinking about how one’s perspective changes the longer one is in leadership. The first time I served as an officer (about 20 years ago), my vision in all areas was more limited. Most of it centered on my specific ministry – our growth and development and needs. Though I had friends ministering in other places, my mind was mostly wrapped up in what I was doing where I was at. That wasn’t true of just the ACM (or the NACSF as it was known then), but also of my ministry at the UofA. I didn’t have much of a relationship with the other ministries on our campus. I was busy working to build and shape Christ on Campus.
Now I find myself thinking a lot about the big picture of furthering God’s Kingdom. That doesn’t mean I’m not totally invested in our ministry. I am as committed as ever to our growth and success in reaching and equipping students on our campus. But I also realize that God’s vision for our campus – and for our world – won’t be accomplished just by our efforts. So I’m concerned about and interested in the other Christ-honoring ministries on our campus. One of the most important appointments on my calendar is our weekly campus ministers’ prayer time when leaders of a dozen or so ministries gather to pray for one another. And I’m interested in and committed to the success of other ministries around the world that share the same desire to further God’s Kingdom.
This week has been about the Kingdom of God on a bigger scale. Teaching, training, and encouraging campus ministry staff and students from around the country. Strategic partnerships with other like-minded ministries.
I believe that is one of the tasks to which leaders are called. We are to be looking ahead and considering the big picture, the ultimate purpose. It is not just about the success of this event, but how does this event move us toward our purpose, towards God’s purpose. It is not just about the success of my group, but the advancement of God’s Kingdom and His glory. As a leader, your ministry needs you to be looking ahead and thinking strategically about the big picture – your purpose and the steps it will take to get there. Don’t get side-tracked by the immediate. Keep your eyes on the big picture – what will it take for God’s vision to be accomplished and God’s Kingdom furthered.