5 Lessons Learned While Starting a Campus Ministry

This is a guest post by Morgan Hines. Morgan is the campus minister at Genesis Campus Ministry at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Morgan and I worked together for one year before he moved to Little Rock to start Genesis. 

Five years ago I was 20 years old, newly married, half-way through an engineering degree, and I thought I had everything under control. Planting a campus ministry was never in my “five-year plan.”


Pictures of students from the Genesis Campus Ministry at UALR

Now I’m over a year into a campus ministry plant at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock resting in the power and grace of God. I’ll be honest, I often struggle to rest in his power and grace. But, he loves me anyway!

Here are five lessons I’ve learned while starting a campus ministry…

1.) Marrying someone with deep, unwavering faith changes your life.

I was on my way to a degree with plenty of jobs on the horizon. I had just married and was in a better financial place than most college students! Christ insured my next life, but I had this one covered.

I was a walking oxymoron: a Christian who didn’t need God.

Why? Because I never did anything that I wasn’t confident in my own abilities to do!

On the other hand, my wife, Lacey, never doubted that our hope, for this life and the next, is in God. And it’s largely because of her faith in God’s plan for us that we are in Little Rock today.

2.) God wants his children to be completely and totally reliant on Him.

God delights in showing his power in our weakness. That’s why we believe God brought us to UALR, to show his power in our weakness.

I’m not electric enough, passionate enough, or cool enough to draw in droves of people. But God’s Spirit is moving, and HE is drawing people into his mercy and grace.

Often, we come to God when we NEED something, when we’re DESPERATE. But the Gospel says that we ALWAYS NEED God. God is not a luxury, but a necessity.

3.) I have to be convinced that being with God is the best place I can be. 

My weakest moments come when I haven’t been pursuing God and abiding in his presence daily. If I want others to trust Jesus with their lives, my life should reflect that I truly believe the Good News I preach. It starts with me.

4.) If I’m not willing to see another ministry succeed for the glory of God, then I have no business here. 

The priority — the ONLY priority — is God’s glory to the ends of the earth. Seeing your ministry/church/mission grow can become an idol. We have to be proactive, fighting the urge to do only what benefits us.

5.) Everyone matters.

What does this mean PERSONALLY?

We can’t pick and choose who has value in God’s eyes. God WANTS every person to know his goodness, his mercy, and his grace. 

What does this mean CORPORATELY?

Our ministry is part of the body of Christ. When others succeed, we succeed. When people come to Christ because of another ministry’s efforts, we rejoice.

It may mean that we support another ministry that’s already doing something well. We can’t think of a better way to show that it isn’t about us than to love our brothers and sisters in Christ and refuse to compete with them.

What if they grow, and we don’t? To God be the glory.

You can watch the Genesis Campus Ministry story here. To learn more about the need for new campus ministries, you can read…

The One Thing I’d Like to See Restored in the Restoration Movement

3 Reasons Why the University is One of the Most Receptive Mission Fields in the World

Infographic: Why Start New Campus Ministries?

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