I believe that many of you sincerely desire to make a difference for Christ in the lives of your students and colleagues and on your institution, but you simply don't feel equipped to do so. You don't know what is permissible, what is legal, or what is appropriate. You don't know attractive ways of reaching out to those around you in the university. And let's face it, most of you are very, very busy. There is not enough time in the day to accomplish all that you need to do in order to faithfully discharge the duties your institution expects of you. There certainly isn't time to add ministry involvement in any significant way to what you are already doing.
If you can identify with any of these statements, this workshop is for you. I have been involved as a university professor in Christian ministry on a secular university campuse for twenty-five years. During the entire time I was a professor, I was subject to the very same pressures many of you face -- heavy pressure to publish in scholarly journals and pressure to be a good classroom teacher. During this entire time, I sought to reach out to my students and colleagues in a Christian way and I tried to have an impact for Christ on my institution. The material presented in the workshop and in this notebook outlines strategies I have accumulated over years of ministry and represents the entire spectrum of ministry opportunities for Christian university and college professors and professional staff.
I have personally engaged in most of the ministry activities presented here and those which I haven't personally experienced, have been used by friends and colleagues at other institutions. These ideas will allow you to have an impact for Christ in your setting which is legal, appropriate and attractive. By carefully selecting a few of these strategies, you can have a significant influence for Christ with only a modest investment of time and energy. In twenty- five years of ministering on the university campus, I rarely spent over an hour or two a week in ministry activity. Over a career, an hour or so a week can amount to a significant investment, especially when it is committed to the sovereign hand of the Lord.
I believe that one day, each of us will stand before God to give an account for his or her service. I further believe that God expects each of us to have an impact for Him in our circle of influence and for those of us who work on university and college campuses, that includes the campus -- our students, our colleagues, and the institution. I don't know about you, but I want to hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant," when my service is assessed. Thus, my motivation for ministry was always to be a faithful servant and my purpose in assembling these materials is to share with you some of the insights God has given me as I have endeavored to serve Him in the secular university.
I am truly indebted to many of my colleagues at the University of Alabama over the years for encouraging me and for participating with me in Christian ministry. For nearly twenty-four years, there has been a cooperative and, indeed, pioneer spirit among the Christian faculty and staff at the university as we dreamed, planned, and worked together and individually to have an impact for Jesus. I am sure that they join me in challenging you to make a difference. We hope you will find these ideas and materials helpful as you seek to impact those in your circle of influence for the Savior.