Pope Francis’s “little monsters” comment is making the rounds today. I found something apt for campus ministry in his message of those in religious orders, as he was urging his listeners to “shun centralism and ideological approaches.”
Those who work with youth cannot be content with simply saying things that are too tidy and structured, as in a tract; these things go in one ear and out the other of young people. We need a new language, a new way of saying things. Today God asks this of us: to leave the nest which encloses us in order to be sent.
It is the most concrete way of imitating Jesus, who went toward all the peripheries. Jesus went to all, really all. I would not really feel uncomfortable going to the periphery: you should not feel uncomfortable in reaching out to anyone.
If one were to press me about a key element for a campus minister, I would say the comfort in reaching out to anyone is one of the more important principles I have heard, and seen in my more fruitful colleagues. Especially a comfort with leaving the nest that formed us.