As a 21st century global citizen, a student at a secular university, and a worker in the circuit of campus ministry who lives in an urban(ish) culture, I live a very cerebral life. The bulk of my daily tasks is done in front of a computer and my brain is always doing this funny activity called thinking. Even my service activities in campus ministry are mostly cerebral.
While intellectualism has its rigor, if not balanced with other aspects of life, it can exhaust one to the very core, no matter if that intellectualism comes from academia, work, or ministry.
Since I first was introduced to campus ministry about 8.5 years ago, I’ve participated, undergone training, led, and taught others to give Bible studies, prayer meetings, visitations, and organize events. These components have made up the bulk of campus ministry activities that I’ve experienced thus far, and they have revived many out of spiritual slumber. But I have come to believe that this branch of ministry still lacks a very important component in its participants’ spiritual walk: service.
Yes, all of the aforementioned components are a form of service. But what I mean here is simply doing good for humanity and exercising compassion for the human family.
I think we already do some level of service in campus ministry through our investment in students, in friendships, and in mentor-mentee relationships. Yet the human family is much wider than just the campus community; it extends to the entire geographical span of our planet, as well as those in the past and future of this world. Perhaps, by reaching out to the greater sphere of humanity, our campuses will be more revived too.
It is not the abundance of your meetings that God accepts. It is not the numerous prayers, but the rightdoing, doing the right thing and at the right time. It is to be less self-caring and more benevolent. Our souls must expand. Then God will make them like a watered garden, whose waters fail not. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church Vol. 2, p. 35,36)
There are certain aspects of our character that will never be developed unless we go out and serve others as God wants us to do. Our souls must break through the wall of self and feel a tender sympathy for humanity that is not mere sentimentalism. This is what our Divine example, Jesus Christ, did on earth. He went about doing good.
Wouldn’t it be something if all campus ministers have the perfect symmetry in character development, becoming holistic human beings and holistic Christians? What would it look like to have a generation of students who love God supremely and love others as themselves? After all, the two greatest commandments are not mutually exclusive. As it has been sung before, “To love another person is to see the face of God..”