Sometimes my head spins with how complex we, as Christian folk, make ministry. It certainly is hard work, but a rather simple pattern is observable with Jesus. He gathered some men together in a close discipleship relationship, taught them, and sent them out to gather followers themselves. I think this may be what Jesus had in mind with the Great Commission of Matthew chapter 28 when he said to go and make disciples of all nations. That is, he is telling us to do what he did.
Historically, we know that this model was practiced by the Apostle John who gathered a group of disciples of which Polycarp was a part (Bishop of Smyrna and an early martyr of the the faith). Polycarp formed a group of disciples of whom Irenaeus was a part (a huge figure in the early church whose theological impact is still felt today). Irenaeus formed a group of whom Hippolytus was a part (another Big Dog in the early church). And on it goes...
This approach is simple, but requires a lot of relational work. Church folk can be involved in mentoring, or gathering a few together as “disciples” in the same fashion as Jesus did. The intention is to bring students to spiritual maturity, and equip them to form their own groups and mentor students themselves. This has the advantage of students moving in both worlds of the church and the campus, becoming mature believers in the context of the church and making an impact in their community of the campus.
There is a rhythm here of gathering and sending. Getting into this groove is to find the sweet spot of ministry, and reproduce the model of Jesus himself. What do you think?