Stephen Lutz writes a book from his experience as a campus pastor at the thriving environment of Penn State, revealing that the unreached people groups of the world are crowding our college campuses en masse, and that in order to reach them effectively, we must change our tired strategies to be more missionally-minded.
I appreciate how Lutz cuts beneath the inspirational rhetoric so typical of this genre, and immediately translates "missional theology to the practice of college ministry."
A big theme throughout the book is the urgency to reproducing disciples, not just converts.
Lutz spends a considerable amount of time fighting the tendency to fall back on the usual modernist ministry proclivities such as concert infatuation, assembly-line efficiency, and head-counting as the sole measurement of success. He articulates the gospel masterfully, restoring college outreach back to the basics of one-on-one, long term discipleship. Lutz then ends the book with a call to die to self-absorption. Yes, I know... that's how ministry should look. But this is one of the first books I've read with a college focus that orients itself around the Great Commission of Jesus with such purity.
The layout of the book is a trisect of short, charged admonitions that move along like a narrative. Borrowing from a tree analogy, Lutz illustrates the activity of an effective college ministry as,
1) being rooted in the Gospel,
2) growing out in mission, and
3) bearing fruit that will last in discipleship.
This small paperback is dynamic considering its few pages and sharp focus.
As a college pastor in Southern California, former college student, millennial, and product of a college environment, I found the book well-suited to train others (myself included) for reaching out to campuses with the hope of long-term fruit. I wish I had read this book years ago.
Though the "college ministry" in the book title seems to imply a pastoral modus operandi, this is a book for ANYONE who wants to engage the college campus setting with results that will last. In fact, having wrestled with many of the obstacles that Lutz presents, both as a college pastor and a former student, I am suggesting this book as a MUST read.