two forgotten groups in college ministry recruiting

As I was writing yesterday’s post about preparing our returning students for the new ministry year, I was reminded of two groups we may not always remember in the hustle and bustle of recruiting new freshmen to our ministries.

The first group we should recruit – or, in their case, re-recruit – is our returning students. While we all hope that those returning students will actually… return, we know that post-summer turnover happens all the time. Some students even return to school with brand-new baggage (or just collegiate wanderlust), and they need to know that we still love ’em and want them to be a part.

Are you doing anything to prevent that turnover? In many ways, it may be more beneficial to your ministry to hold on to a student you’ve poured into already than to recruit a new one – assuming that returning student has been teachable and willing to play a real part in the ministry.

A second group that our recruiting efforts may focus very little on is non-freshmen. Of course, some non-freshmen may approach your table in the Student Center or make their way to your Tuesday night gathering the first week of school. But how often do you specifically target non-freshmen (including transfer students)? Can you offer something special to all those students who are either looking for a new ministry to be involved in – or might be interested in trying out a college ministry for the very first time?

Obviously, most of us will put a lot of emphasis on freshmen in the upcoming first weeks of the school year, and that makes perfect sense. But what if you took even 25% of that energy and poured it into “recruiting” those you’ve already got and drawing older students?

The new school year is a new start for everybody, not just freshmen. That can cause difficulties and opportunities for our ministries. Hopefully God will guide us to minimize the former and maximize the latter.

Written from University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN

Road Trip #12 update (Day 2)
yesterday’s T-shirt: the Redwolves of Arkansas State

states yesterday: Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana (on a 12-hour drive from south of Dallas to Indiana)
I’ve arrived at the National Student Conference
and have already had cool opportunities to connect with old friends and new! Plus, I’ve been “recruited” for a Q&A time with leaders on Monday morning – please pray for that!


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