Dear Friends & family,

To be honest, there are times when I find it difficult to describe what I do with students in campus ministry.  Most of us who are in this line of work do.

In what seems like a different life, I measured my productivity with hours billed to a client, design documentation, and eventually in a newly built facility.  If it was special, it got a ribbon cutting ceremony.

In my current part time studies in business school, we talk about measuring competitive advantage, and what a firm’s financial statement says about it’s operational effectiveness.

How do you measure success in ministry?  While I can speak of numbers, and while we’ve had our greatest growth at Northwestern in the last two years as we’ve ever had, I still would rather tell a story – a story about friendship.

What I love most about my job, and will miss the most when I leave, are the teachable moments when everything comes together so clearly for students.  I had one of my most enjoyable years with students I’ve had – each year seems to bring more joy than the last.

Greek IV Seniors - Scott is on the far left

My favorite time of year is when one team of leaders passes the torch to the next.  A good student leadership team is one where the students know and love God, each other, and the mission to the campus.

The new leaders are a little shell shocked when they first enter the room and see the outgoing leaders – after all, these are the ones they’ve looked to for vision and, in many ways, why they joined InterVarsity. The leaders they’ve followed are sharing what God has taught them, and in vulnerability they share how much God has shaped them in their time on campus.

They help each other discover the leaders God has made them to be, and become interdependent upon each other in good times and bad to help the gospel be good news to the lost on campus.  That the gospel isn’t just good idea in the marketplace of ideas, the university, but that the gospel is truly good news.  I smile as I hear them saying what we’ve studied in Scripture, and how God has met them as they’ve led through the course of the year – some for even longer.

We wrap up the meeting, the outgoing leaders looking at each other as it’s their last meeting as a team.  I walk out with our fraternity ministries director, Scott, and he says, “Man Andy, I feel like I’m just now getting what we’ve talked about for the last three years.”

In a moment of clarity, I say, “Scott, it’s really about being your friend.  Jesus called his disciples ‘friends’ at the end of their time together.  It’s through friendship that God uses ordinary sinful people to become the the extraordinary beings he designed them to be. Our time together in mission has ended, but our friendship will always remain.”

Scott locks his eyes with mine, smiles, and says, “Thank-you for being my friend, Andy.”

One of my only three time student leadership team members, Meg, at Graduation

I hold back the lump in my throat – because sometimes it’s just as simple as that statement.  Ministry to students is successful when it is simply about friendship – opening a life so they can see, hear, and grow into the men and women God has called them to be.

Enjoy this issue and may God grant you soulish friends with whom you can build his Kingdom together.

Grace & Peace,

1 Response to “New! Building the Kingdom – Summer 2010”


  1. 1 Brooke Thurman September 13, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    🙂
    ‘nough said.


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