One Job, Many Responsibilities

Last week I participated in an RUF recruiting meeting at Gordon-Conwell Seminary, along with some of the national staff. Being an alum and working near the seminary, it isn’t unusual to talk with ministry students about what they might do after graduation. But recently I’ve settle on a tactic: “You should do RUF because it’s the best way to start out in ministry!”

There are several reasons I think that this is true – the fun of working with college students, the camaraderie and accountability within RUF, and so on. But more than any of that, RUF stretches its Campus Ministers to exercise a wide range of ministry skills and to develop a diverse set of competencies.

First, there’s the stuff everyone thinks of as “ministry” – preaching, teaching, pastoral counseling. Those aspects of the job reflect the main reasons people get into ministry, and we get to do a lot of those things! Additionally, we have to learn how to lead a movement. It’s not that we’re re-tooling the gospel or the Scriptures or even our theology; but we constantly have to convince others to buy into what we’re doing. Every year means inevitable turnover and the necessity of bringing in new students. For some this sort of thing comes naturally; for others – and I include myself in this group – this is a learned skill. Furthermore, we have to be fundraisers and organization builders. These are not skills very many seeking out ministry possess. The work of making a ministry sustainable over the long-term can bore some of us, but the work necessitates it.

Please don’t misunderstand: I have not arrived on all these fronts. There is plenty I am still learning. But what a great place to learn all of these things! What a way to learn! What a fantastic vocation!

Jeremy Mullen, Campus Minister at Harvard
November 13, 2014 • 610-691-0988 • 631 Fourth Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18018