One of the most important principles for college ministry I ever learned was…
Spend most of your energy on the students who are going with you, not the ones who are resisting.
This is going to be particularly applicable in any ministry that is “rebooting,” with even a few students who remember “how things used to be.” Not all will be ready for the new version.
Here’s a timely analogy for Thanksgiving Day:
I bet the Pilgrims focused more on building deeper relationships with those Native Americans who were already friendly than on trying to turn the unfriendly ones around. Eventually, there was enough goodwill to necessitate some really long dinner tables! And the rest is history.
I may, of course, be historically wrong here. But the point is, while it may be human nature (or at least my nature) to try incessantly to woo those who are resisting our leadership, it’s usually a better tactic to focus much more on “wooing” the willing to go even further.
Focusing on the disgruntled still won’t win many of them in the end, and it may turn off those who were ready to go forward.
Focusing on those who want to go forward will move everything forward. And you may just pick up some of the originally hesitant, as well.
When a college ministry is restarting, it may be healthier (for the students and our ministry) if some students head for places that fit them better.
Certainly, be patient and winsome with those who doubt the new direction. Some will come around. But focus on those who are willing to go with you.