This might seem like an incredibly basic part of campus ministry, but every campus minister or student looking to make a difference needs to know this: you need to spend time on campus. This might seem like a “duh factor,” but this is a vitally important principle. Why is it important for you to make sure you carve out as much time as you can on campus? Here’s a few reasons why.
It Communicates Availability
As you get to know students, you start to become a part of their routine. If they know that you are going to be in a certain part of campus on certain days of the week, there’s a good possibility that they’ll find a way to “swing by” and see you. That will especially happen when something major comes up in their lives and they need prayer or advice. By being on campus consistently, it gives you consistent shepherding opportunities. This helps you to really become a campus pastor or minister.
It Provides Opportunities
It’s wise to pray for and expect “divine appointments” when you are at the University. You never know when you’ll just happen to be on campus during a major tragedy, a memorable event, or something else. To put it simply, if you’re not on campus, it’s very possible that you are missing out on something important in the life of the campus or a student. The more you are there, the more potential opportunities that God can bring your way.
It Builds Your Knowledge of Your Campus and Student Body
Unfortunately, sitting in your office at church doesn’t help you learn the culture of a campus. You have to get down there, talk to students and faculty, and walk around frequently to get a more accurate feel of the ebbs and flows of your college. This will help you understand the weekly schedule, school spirit, and the general attitudes and biorhythms of the student body and faculty. Even if you feel like you already know your campus, it is a rapidly changing environment. If you’re gone for 2 weeks, it often feels very different when you return! If you want to be an expert of your mission field, you have to be in your mission field.
These are just a few reasons why it’s important to hangout on campus. Try it out yourself and let us know if you learn any additional lessons!