Integration vs. Mission | Exploring College Ministry

June 30, 2009 — 4 Comments

Benson Hines has a great discussion about integration of college ministry relative to mission here.

This has been a consistent struggle for us in the College Ministry at The Austin Stone, but definitely one that has yielded great fruit in ministry.  To summarize where we have landed, we:

  1. Deliberately integrate our weekly worship service, and will NOT begin a separate service just for college students.
  2. Provide specific environments and a few events aimed at assimilating college students, including a worship service on campus once per semester (Austin Stone on Campus audio and review).
  3. Deliberately integrate students into ministry opportunities that serve the church and serve our city.  Any opportunity that exists in open for any college student to participate, and we encourage students in that direction.
  4. We contextualize our missional community structure to mobilize students onto campus, and therefore have a separate ministry that is under the leadership of our overall missional community structure, but operates relatively independently.
  5. We have both integration and separation in our equipping ministry and global missions ministry.  There are specific opportunities just for students that equip and mobilize based on their schedule and life stage, but also students are welcome to engage in any of our other course/seminar/training environments and global mission opportunities.

There is never a perfect answer, but this has been an effective solution that affords opportunities for students to connect with people outside their lifestage, but also keep them invested in their mission field.

Todd Engstrom

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Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth. God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

4 responses to Integration vs. Mission | Exploring College Ministry

  1. Todd, good word. Thanks for sharing, this is helpful for our understanding.

  2. This is excellent – thanks for walking through this. We need to learn from this!

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  1. college students & the world we must reach « Exploring College Ministry blog (daily notes about our field) - July 1, 2009

    […] Todd Engstrom of The Austin Stone Community Church very helpfully posted their collegiate methodology on his blog in response to my post. It’s an excellent example of a church that runs in […]

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