Archive | May, 2013

Is Campus Ministry Important? Is the way you “Do” Campus Ministry Important?

16 May

Is Campus Ministry important?  Is the way you “do” campus ministry important?

For several years I have held these two questions before the ecumenical campus ministry I lead at Missouri State University.  It led us to borrow $490,000 to buy a strategically located building.  A few years later we traded that property plus cash for another property.  This allowed us to retire our debt and left us with money to renovate the tired old house we acquired (again strategically located), all debt free.  Next, we leveraged our understanding of the campus community and students to become a consultant on a $6.5 million privately owned values-based student apartment building.  We were also paid to do the programming for the building.  This partnership provided us with a laboratory for ministry like we have never had before.  We learned a lot about campus ministry and business.  Oh, and along the way our endowment grew to almost $500,000.

Today, we are building an 11,000 square feet fraternity house for a social fraternity we have advised for fifteen years.  The new building is owned by our campus ministry and provides us with a predictable income stream (as opposed to judicatory variable and declining wind) plus new student ministry opportunities.

These highlights of the past dozen or so years represent courage.  My campus ministry board of directors answered “yes” to the above two questions.  The task then became to create a sustainable financial model to support our mission.  That task has been filled with prayer, sound business practices and, again, courage.

What questions are you asking your campus ministry board?  I want to start a conversation with campus ministries who can think outside the box, campus ministries who want to still be in existence 50+ years from now and campus ministries who have courage.  Interested?  If so, call or email me.

Remember the fraternity house?  Consider that as our loan is paid down our campus ministry will have more money than it can reasonably spend.  In fact, starting this fall we are working out details to “buy” a part of the job description of local church associate ministers to build a new model for staffing our campus ministry.  Yes, it looks like we may start funding local churches.

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Howard Cavner (417) 693-2492   HowardCavner@MissouriState.edu

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