Most campus ministers encourage the students they lead to go to a college ministry conference sometime during their college experience. While there are similarities and differences with each, there is at least one big commonality for those leaders trying to get students to these events—It takes lots of preparation and effort to get students to a college ministry conference! With so much effort, what is the value of rallying students to go to these conferences year after year?
Here are a few of the reasons why I keep making the effort to bring students each year to the Every Nation Campus Conference every year.
1. Time Spent Together
Students are busy. It can be hard to get them together for things and hard to get them to focus even when we are together as a group. One of my favorite parts about these conference trips is that they provide our group three days of concentrated, quality time together.
As we get out of town, everyone in our group is able to focus and be present in a way that rarely ever happens when we are in our own city and on our own campuses. The time spent traveling and eating meals together is as valuable as the conference itself.
2. Encounter with the Holy Spirit
As we spend time singing songs of praise and worship to the Lord, and as the Word of God is preached, the Holy Spirit always shows up powerfully in this conference environment. Attitudes shift, minds are renewed and souls are refreshed in God’s presence. It’s a beautiful thing to witness and a wonderful thing to experience.
3. Connecting to the Bigger Vision
On our campuses and in the midst of the daily grind of ministry, what we are doing doesn’t always feel very big or significant—but it is. Our local group is part of a global movement with a big vision.
We need to be reminded often of the big picture. The vision of reaching every campus in every nation would still be the same if we weren’t there, but being there helps us in our local context. We need a regular dose of that vision to stay on mission. It helps us to keep perspective and keep going.
4. Building Friendships with Others in the Movement
The college ministry conference also provides space for those in our group to connect relationally with like minded students from other campuses. This is something that can’t happen from simply listening to a podcast or reading a book. Being at this conference helps us to enjoy the ministry family that God has placed us in and to experience the relational blessing that comes with it.
[reminder]Do you see the value in taking students to conferences? Is there anything you would add to this list?[/reminder]