Continuing where I left off… I was involved in a college student ministry that I loved. It seemed like the the perfect mix of community & worship, teaching & interaction. It was refreshing–after so many years in churches that seemed out of touch–this ministry hit the nail on the head.

But I felt it was too small. It seemed to me, and two or three of my friends, that if only more people could connect with the ministry then it would explode and all our fellow Christian college students would start engaging in it. However, the more we talked to other students the more we realized that although they were supposedly “Christian” they wanted very little to do with Church.

We decided to do a survey on Sunday morning at 10:30 AM. The idea with this is we would only catch those students who weren’t going to church. Not that much earlier than this Willow Creek had started their church using a similar method. Fellow leaders named Robin & Mike joined me in recruiting about 12 or so other that would go to every dorm and every apartment with a clipboard and ask a few questions. After apologizing for waking them up on a sleepy Sunday morning, we asked questions like these:

  • What do you like or not like about church?
  • Would you go to church if you could sleep in?
  • What kinds of elements should be in a church service that is relevant to your life?
  • What issues should a relevant church service address?
  • Which time of the week are you most available–when you have free time?
  • There were a handful of other question, but they ran similar to these.

As you can see, we were obsessed with the idea of church being “relevant.” These days there seems to be a counter-revolution to this word, which sounds about 7 years expired to me now. But at the time, the idea of the church being relevant was a revolution indeed. We were a part of the revolution. It was exciting–as we began to gather the results of this survey, and about a dozen college students got in a room with a whiteboard to analyze them and dream for the future.

More on that later. So, what’s your take? Where you ever a part of a ministry that started to think like this “back in the day”?

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