Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Rice U. Sidewalk Thoughts

I've been reading "The Blogging Church" from Brian Bailey and Terry Storch and came across a great architectural anecdote.

He mentions the unconventional way the architect planned out the sidewalks.  He "decided to open the campus without sidewalks and see where the poeple naturally traveled.  After a couple of weeks, it was obvious where the sidewalks should be poured."
I'm really not satisfied with the way our student ministry functions right now and have been working through some possible 're-construction' ideas.  I don't know all the implications of this analogy, but I'm liking the idea: see where the work is needed by observing the patterns already established in the lives of students.

I have to recognize, though, that there were some set destinations (Point A & Point B...) that students were walking to on the campus.  While the students essentially established the routes, the university determined the destinations.

The first question then is, "Where do we want students to go?"


  1. good illustration, as the school year is wrapping up i've been thinking about that a lot with our college students as well, and wondering what can we offer that they are not getting as well. What part of thier walk with/towards God is not in their life and how can we provide it/meet it?

  2. I think answering this question helps us avoid just 'spinning the tires' in ministry. We need to be going somewhere, not just going through the motions. But sometimes, "the motions" are already in place ahead of us, they're expected of us, and we need to do some careful re-routing.

  3. I agree, sometimes i wonder if the outside church organizations have the upper hand, (almost like a church plant) where they can offer some specific things that meet needs and not worry about what "has always been done" It has to be about what will best draw the kids to what they need. Too many times we think the only way to win someone to Christ or to disciple is the exact same way i was or am.

  4. Yeah, I've been encouraged with the church plant going on in Laramie not too far. We have some family and friends who moved there to start the church and it's exciting to see God working through ways that make sense - but are out of the ordinary for most traditional churches. (Obvious stuff that we just don't think to do anymore - like feeding people, community clean up project type of stuff...)

    Also, I've seen some great stuff through Mark Batterson's blog and Vince Antonnuci's blog (he's in the beginning phase of a church plant in Vegas).


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