exploring the edges of “the map-bringers”

Last week’s Fridea for College Ministry was simple:

What if your ministry’s students wandered the campus in the first days of school (or during student orientation), armed with campus maps and campus knowledge to help hapless freshmen?

(Of course, there’s a little more explanation at that post.)

This week, I wanted to go further with this idea; it’s also a chance to illustrate “exploring the edges,” a profitable way to brainstorm that I first described here.

So here I go – a few explorations around the who, what, where, when, and why of last week’s Fridea. Every suggestion is independent of the others, although plenty of them could be combined. (Some, on the other hand, are mutually exclusive.)

  1. Who: What if you made such helpful new maps that everybody wanted to give them out? (Orientation leaders, student advisors, the information desk workers…)
  2. Who: What if the people helping out all had particular roles within your ministry? This could be Bible study leaders, the visible leadership (worship, speakers, greeters, etc.), the recruitment team…
  3. Who: What if your “map-bringers” were specifically the nicest, happiest, most spirited people you know?
  4. What: What if instead of / alongside maps, you handed out new student guides with suggestions? –Like suggestions for local hang-outs, where to take care of everyday chores, a brief article or two, church possibilities (and contacts), coupons and ads (which may get this whole thing paid for)…
  5. What: What if instead of wandering the campus, you used trucks, bikes, or golf carts? Could you take harried students to a class? Swoop in “to the rescue” at just the right time? At least get noticed?
  6. Where: What if your “helpers” were stationed in each dorm for a week?
  7. Where: What if you simply set up one superb first-week-of-school kiosk in the middle of campus?
  8. When: What if you did this during move-in day? (Of course, you could combine it with actually helping students move in!)
  9. When: What if you were available “on demand 24/7,” with a phone number people can call for help throughout the first week or even during the summer months?
  10. Why: What if you leveraged your map for advertising your ministry?
  11. Why: What if your main goal in this activity was simply to raise the morale level of the entering freshman class by 2 full points?* (See #3.)

*There is no such thing as “morale points,” but you get the idea.

Written from University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

Road Trip #11 update (Day 39)
yesterday’s T-shirt: the Camel tribe of Connecticut College

today: speaking at NACCAP (please pray for the speakin’ and the impact!); this afternoon heading west-ish to Miami University; I’ll be in Champaign / Urbana this weekend!
click here to see all the explorations from Road Trip #11)


  1. cody

    hey ben,
    just to throw this out there, we do this during dorm move ins. the housing department does not give a map that actually labels the dorms so we walk around the dorms handing them out. this year we will actually be hanging just outside the housing checking room and handing them out. we put all our contact info on the back and a schedule of our first weeks activities. it works well, if nothing else, alot of people are appreciative.

  2. That is awesome! I bet a lot of people are appreciative indeed.

    You might have already thought of this, but what if you got a few local hangouts to let you put coupons on there? I don’t know if that would fit with your layout, but it was another thought I had.

    Thanks for sharing. Do you have a copy of your map you can send me?

  3. Pingback: raising expectations #3: better brainstorming | Exploring College Ministry blog (daily notes about our field)

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