I have been thinking about the different terms we use for our ministries for a very long time (about 9 years or so). So, I wanted to throw out some of the different terms and thoughts behind them and see where you land in the mix. Here are some different terms used to describe our ministries:
- Pro’s: hits the age stage we’re trying to reach, provides a natural progression after high school, is universal enough to include community college or university students
- Con’s: limits the ministry to students – possibly alienating those not attending school, makes it tough for those who graduate college and still find themselves in a limbo/late adolescent stage of life to feel comfortable
- Pro’s: same pro’s as above, but also makes it more comfortable for those 5th and 6th year seniors to feel comfortable in the ministry. It also allows graduate students to feel more comfortable coming.
- Con’s: limits it to students, often leaving non-students wondering if it’s appropriate for them to come
- Pro’s: avoids limiting ministry to students, newer terminology, helps articulate the stage of life being one of people that are entering adulthood – but aren’t there yet
- Con’s: ambiguous, can be linked with the “emergent” movement (this could be negative or positive depending on your focus), doesn’t give any age range of appropriateness which can alienate graduating high school students
- Pro’s: gives the impression of including all phases of life after high school and before married life, can take on any personality and reputation
- Con’s: is very ambiguous, suggests that an 18 year old is an adult – which can make it difficult for them to feel comfortable transitioning right after high school, will likely focus more either on recent high school grads or those older twenty somethings
- Pro’s: allows for the most amount of people to feel comfortable
- Con’s: recent high school grads need specific attention – very different from college grads pursuing a career – so consequently it will tend to focus on one end of the spectrum and neglect to other, some high school grads can be intimidated
- Pro’s: easy transition for recent high school grads, focuses on age range
- Con’s: seems “young” so tends to alienate those 21 and older
Many of these are good, but I’ve chosen not to use any of them. The one I choose to use is “College-age Ministry” because it doesn’t limit it to students, it provides natural progression for high school grads, allows the church to define what this age range is, and pretty much says everything most of the above does without alienating anyone. I personally don’t see any con’s other than it’s longer. But, feel free to chime in!
Which one do you use, and why?