Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Church College Minister Position

 Jefferson Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is searching for a full time College Minister.  Jefferson Baptist is a medium/large sized church in Baton Rouge.  JBC's college ministry has grown consistently over the last six years and currently averages 40-50 students with lots of opportunity for growth.  The JBC college ministry works closely with the LSU Baptist Collegiate Ministry.

If you are interested, have questions, or wish to submit a resume, contact Joseph Fowler at  jfowler@jeffersonbaptist.org.


Arliss Dickerson's college ministry books are available at amazon.com/dp/B08CMD9CXX.


Monday, November 29, 2021

Funny College Student Stories

 Someone asked me the other day about funny college student stories.  Here are some of my favorites.

There was freshman girl who came to college whose mother had always wanted to go to college.  The mother decided to attend also and the mother and daughter were roommates in the freshmen dorm.

An enterprising upperclassman, who lived in a high rise dorm, was selling elevator passes to freshmen.  Business was pretty good until school officials got wind of it.

A mom started noticing several charges on the credit card used by her freshman son.  He lived on campus, but he had been calling Uber to take him to class.  That stopped!

One major university now has moms who call and get cleaning ladies to go clean the room of their freshman student.

The band on our campus comes to school one week early to prepare for marching at the football games.  They get to move into their dorms early and start eating in the cafeteria.  After a couple of weeks of school, they discovered that one upperclass band member had never registered for any classes, etc and was just living in the dorm, eating in the cafeteria and going to band practice.  It's a great life!  The campus police had to forcibly remove her from the dorm.

Send me your favorite funny campus story.  I would love to print a bunch of them.  I can say who it came from or not...if we need to protect the innocent or guilty.  I am serious.  Send me your favorites.  Email me at arlissdickerson@gmail.com, Facebook, or  text me, whatever.

Arliss Dickerson's college ministry books are available at amazon.com/dp/B08CMD9CXX

Monday, November 22, 2021

Book Sale at Amazon This Week & Remember College Ministry Rule #1


Two of my books are on sale this week at Amazon Books.  "Almost Everything About College Ministry" is $7.99 and "A College Ministry Success Formula" is $4.00.  

Happy Thanksgiving Week to you and yours!  Take some time to rest and be able to finish the semester strong.  As you finish this semester remember what I believe is College Ministry Rule Number One:

Believe and act on the fact that God is always doing more than you know!

Arliss Dickerson's college ministry books are available at amazon.com/dp/B08CMD9CXX

Thursday, November 18, 2021

10 DUMB Mistakes in College Ministry

1.  Sloppy handling or reporting of ministry finances.  I have never known of a College Minister who I felt was dishonest or stealing ministry money.  But, I have seen lots of instances where the sloppy handling and reporting gave the appearance of possible dishonest behavior.  College Ministers should go above and beyond in financial record keeping and reporting.

2.  Use of alcohol by a College Minister where such behavior has not been discussed and agreed on as acceptable behavior.  In Baptist life there is often a divide between older Baptists and younger Baptists on this issue.  It must be clearly discussed and there be an understanding on both sides.

3. Poor care and maintenance of college ministry centers.  Why should people give money to a ministry when the appearance of the ministry center tends to give the impression of poor stewardship?  Remember, many people will only ever see the OUTSIDE of a center.  What does the yard and bushes look like and say about your ministry?

4.  Not cooperating with local church ministries...even though they sometimes are not cooperative. God's kingdom is always bigger than our ministry.  We must be about HIS kingdom.  That is true even when trying to cooperate with those who are not cooperative.  It is a tough issue, but we must work at it.

5.  Not returning messages or calls in a reasonably timely manner.  When we do not return messages or calls in a timely manner, it gives the impression we are not working or are lazy....even when the opposite is true.

6.  Misbehavior or the APPEARANCE of misbehavior with students of the opposite sex.  Always, ALWAYS be thinking about how your behavior with students of the opposite sex looks.  Yes, College Ministers have been fired for "poor appearance" behavior.  That does not matter if it is "fair" or not.  It will bite you and even if it does not get you fired, it can hurt the ministry in the eyes of students.

7.  Breaking unwritten rules or "Everybody knows" rules.  Every job has unwritten rules and expectations.  It just is.  Ask old pros what they are and be alert to them.

8.  Posting things on social media related to politics or commenting on divisive issues.  This is a tough issue because some controversial things need a wise comment or correction of facts.  But, beware of policies and use your best judgement.  

9.  Not keeping a supervisor in the loop on major issues or key changes in the ministry.  This protects BOTH the College Minister and the supervisor.

10. Breaking work rules.....even though they are dumb rules.  Yes, there are some dumb work rules.  Don't be dumb about them.

Arliss Dickerson's college ministry books are available at amazon.com/dp/B08CMD9CXX .

Thursday, November 11, 2021

How Long Should a Speaker Speak?

In recent years there has been a trend for Christian speakers to speak for 30 to 45 minutes. I am not sure what caused that development.  Likely, one of our famous preachers or college ministry speakers started doing it and lots of folks just jumped in behind.  I am a constant complainer about college ministry events not starting or ending on time.  I was part of planning a regular collegiate conference where we had to change the daily schedule because the morning speakers were always going over their allotted time.

A friend who used to speak around the country said he would often be introduced as "the man of the hour" and they had told him he had twenty minutes.

So, is there a perfect time length to speak?  As it so happens, yes there is!

Well, maybe not perfect, but here is what some of the best know and have learned:

-Ted Talks are 18 minutes long. Nobody gets more than 18 minutes.  Ted Talk Curator, Chris Anderson, says, 18 minutes is "short enough to hold peoples' attention, precise enough to be taken seriously, and long enough to say something that matters."

-Biologists say the brain starts to tune out after 10 minutes. So, it is at the 9-10 minute mark that a gear has to shift, a prop used, or something done to bring the audience back again..  One conference leader said when he sees the audience attention waning, he holds up one finger and says, "let me tell you a joke."  Or, he says something startling.  It is both the gesture AND the statement tot draws them back. Discussion or Q & A definitely changes the time and interest quotient as well.  It is possible to speak 15-20 minutes and then do discussion and answer questions.

I have always said after one of our events that I would rather people complain that it was not long enough rather than wish it had ended earlier.

One of the reasons I have always loved college ministry Lunch Programs is that the speaker usually has about 15 minutes.  Yes, it takes more work to speak 18 minutes than to just go on as long as you want.  But, the reason we speak is for college students to listen.....how long do you usually speak?

Arliss Dickerson's college ministry books are available at amazon.com/dp/B08CMD9CXX

How Large Should a College Ministry Staff Be?

 The answer to that question is really pretty simple.....how many do you want to reach?  Most of us would say that we want to reach all that we can.  Many years ago, the accepted number was that one person could work effectively with about fifty (50) students.  Either we were wrong then or that number has gone up for some reason because I believe that many are working with larger numbers than that.

But, I am more convinced than ever that reaching more students calls for more staff!  There is a second part to that, which I will get to shortly.  A while back I heard about a large ministry ( not Baptist, but another denomination) on a nationally known campus.  The story I was told was that they normally had a thousand (yes that is 1,000!!) at their weekly meeting.  So, I had to know more about them and found them on the web.  So, here is the deal, they have 60 staff members.  Yes, that is not a typo.  They have sixty staffers.  Some are permanent and others are first, second, and third year interns.

I also noted that with the name of each of these was some simple description of what they did.  And, they were all different.  The second part of reaching more with multiple staff is having a clear plan and strategy.  Everybody cannot be working with the same group of students.  Of course, there will be overlaps.

MY TAKE-AWAYS:

1.  Even if there are just two of you, you must have very clear and distinct job descriptions of who each of you are trying to connect to.  It can be dorms.  It can be certain types of groups.  It can be different classes (Freshmen, Soph, etc).

2.  We have to figure out different ways of increasing college ministry staff sizes.  Is it seniors staying for a fifth year and raising their own salaries?

3.  Is it our top seniors becoming "Senior Assistants" that get paid just a little and have very specific responsibilities with different groups?

4.  Is it volunteer or part-time staff that have one or two responsibilities each week?

Many years ago Max Barnett went to Oklahoma University as the BSU Director.  He added an Associate by giving away half his salary and raising the other half.  The person who got half the salary then raised their other half.  I am not necessarily advocating that.  The thought of a bunch of us suddenly having half a salary is pretty scary.  What I am advocating is, How can we be more creative in adding more college ministry staff?  Does your Caretaker room/apartment become a "staff benefit" and the building gets cleaned some other way?

I don't have any magic answers and I think the answer will be different on different campuses.  But, we have to be brain storming how to have more staff.....AND how to strategize well with those staffers and what they do.  Their just showing up will not be magic either.

Arliss Dickerson's college ministry books are available at amazon.com/dp/B08CMD9CXX


Monday, November 8, 2021

Six Ways Older College Ministers can Succeed or Fail

 I am a fan of older College Ministers....not just because I am one.......but, I think their college ministry experience and life experience bring so many pluses to the job.  And, they often train and raise up a new generation of College Ministers.  But, sometimes a College Minister has gotten older and is not doing the job as well.  So, here are some of my thoughts on what affects all of that.

1.  Acting your age is huge.

I have seen some who tried to pretend they were younger.  That doesn't work  I wrote an article once entitled, "I Don't Wear Gym Shorts on Campus".  Some younger College Ministers do and it works for them.  Yes, I have seen older College Ministers show up at Freshmen Orientation in shorts and they were the talk of the event....and that wasn't a good thing.  There is a difference between acting your age and being unapproachable.  Today's generation has a desire to be mentored by older adults.  Also, acting your age is about playing to the strengths of your age which is wisdom and experience.  You don't have to say what you think about ear rings and tattoos any time the opportunity arises.

2.   Know your Weak Points and Equip and EMPOWER others.

Part of acting your age is knowing your weak points.  So, look for and empower others in the areas that are no longer a strength for you.  Encourage and help them develop.  Sometimes as we get older, it is easy to become defensive and try to go out of our way to do everything just the way we did it before.  Remember, the ministry is not about what you like, but what today's generation relates to and what speaks into their life.  Instead of your speaking all the time, could you coach and train some of your students to speak at your large group?

3.  You can be POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE.

As we get older, we can easily talk about what is wrong with us and the world.  We can be bitter about our lack of advancement or our salaries or whatever.  Or, we can be thankful to God for the opportunities that we have and that we get to be a part of what God is doing in today's generation.  Attitude matters and comes across to others.  An attitude of gratitude goes a long way.

4.  You can Quit Talking to College Students or LISTEN harder than ever BEFORE!

Someone has said, "Listening is so much like loving that its hard to tell the difference."  We can preach AT students or do lots of listening to them.  As we get older, it is easy to just hang out with faculty and other older friends.  Listening and talking to students not only enriches their lives, but ours as well.  And, it continues to make us a better College Minister.

5.  You can FIGHT with the administration or LEVERAGE your INFLUENCE.

These are tough days for college administrators with all the competing forces they have to make happy or keep from being too unhappy.  There are easy areas we can fuss with them about.  But, what are the areas we can work with them or encourage them?  A friend was asked by the University to host a luncheon for all the campus club presidents.  It would have been easy to say, "No thanks; we have our own things to do."  Or, "you haven't been to kind to us in some decisions."  Our older age often makes us peers with some of the top administrators.  Be a friend.  It is surprising how many doors being a partner opens.  Be a friend and partner, where possible.  The older we get the easier it is to be friends and peers with top administrators.  Leverage that strength!

6.  ASK for help or just be BULL HEADED.

Don't be overly stubborn.  Admit to students you don't know how to do the latest social media or even what it is and can they give you a quick tutorial.  Be willing to learn new stuff.  And, you may not be an expert, but you will at least know what they are talking about.  Pretending you know is a killer!

We need more older experienced College Ministers for a ton of reasons!

Arliss Dickerson's college ministry books are available at amazon.com/dp/B08CMD9CXX.