where do they come from?

Presumably, you’re able to count heads now.

If you’re in a semester system, your turbulent weeks are (hopefully!) behind you, and there are (hopefully again!) some new students that look like they might actually stick.

Right now, before you forget to ask – and before they forget the true answers – why not ask these new students how they found the ministry and why they stayed around?

We shouldn’t assume it was the ads, the word-of-mouth, the Facebook messages, the new leadership, the old leadership, the friendliness, the coolness, the location, the T-shirts, the teaching, the refreshments, or the rockin’ kick-off party.

It could be those things, but there’s no reason to assume. Because we can ask.

I have not gotten the impression that we’re very good at thinking like this (even when we have surprising increases in numbers), but we need to be. It is of immeasurable value to find out the methods that God seems to have used to draw students – if He wants to show us a pattern or a product or a program He used in our particular contexts.

2 questions to ask:

  • Why did you come?
  • Why did you stick?

(A caveat to this idea is in the next post.)


  1. How soon can you measure whether or not people are “sticking?” We are past our big push here at Washington State University, but the real challenges are about to begin. We kick off our Fall Retreat in two weeks, where we talk about Lordship and hearing from God. We follow up with our membership class, where we introduce doctrine and teaching on the Holy Spirit. For us, you don’t really know who sticks until late fall, when we see who shows up to clean up after the Christmas party.

    What about the rest of the world? Do you typically keep the people you have attending after five weeks? What about year-to-year? Is someone who “sticks” someone who stays one year, or someone who stays several years?

  2. Pingback: 10 quick reads on evaluating your ministry « Exploring College Ministry blog (daily notes about our field)

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