I've figured out what's got me running so scared about campus ministry. I know, I put forth this air of utter competence and joyous energy--how could I possibly have doubts? Well, I do. Don't you?
It's not meeting people. It's not doing cool programs and/or worship. It's not interacting with faculty and administration. It's the students.
More specifically, it's empowering the students to be leaders. Everyone who's anyone at the campus ministry party says the key to successful (however you define that) ministry is a student-owned and -run operation. I'm all for it. It's all about the priesthood of all believers, about empowering the laity, about the priest/minister/grand poobah not being in charge but just another guy with a specific set of skills. It's about community sustainability. Again, I'm all for it. I'm just not sure I'm all about it.
Do I, extroverted and sometimes control-adjacent Alice, have the skills and gifts for giving the power to someone else? Looking back at five years in my previous parish, I wonder. I created an elected youth council to govern and vision for the youth group and many of the youth were active in planning and encouraging others. But they weren't where I had hoped. But process theology tells me that we never truly arrive--we're always on the way. It's less about hitting a particular, self-inflicted goal and more about how you exist and change in relationship.
Pray for me and for officemates Chris and Jamie that we stay semi-sane and feel the breath of God periodically.