Recruiting students to your college ministry is a form of disciplemaking!
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it this time of year. While we should always beware of missing the point of drawing students in to our ministries, I don’t believe that drawing students in is simply a “necessary secular” that prepares for “real” spiritual ministry later on.
Too often we think of recruiting only in terms of us-versus-other-ministries, forgetting that what we offer is also competing with anything that won’t be as eternally profitable. Those things include everything from time-wasting and wisdom-lacking to the “dark side” of campus life.
But more than that, we’re pointing students toward something we believe could honestly impact their lives (or at least I hope you believe that). Our love for campus ministry exists because we love its effects, right? So we really-really-really want more students to experience those effects. So we recruit them.
Recruitment isn’t pulling students in so we can be involved with them spiritually. Recruitment is the first step of our spiritual involvement with these students!
Need one more proof?
When I encourage a student to consider our college ministry, I’m simply
- presenting a spiritual endeavor for them to pursue
- relating why it’s important and beneficial
- and urging them to try something that I know (better than they know) could greatly benefit them.
Sounds a lot like what happens when I sit across from a guy at Taco Bell and encourage him to grow in his use of spiritual disciplines, or talk about better wisdom for dating.
Recruitment is discipleship (assuming we’re doing it rightly). [For thoughts on doing this well, click here.]
Written from Motel 6, Little Rock, AR
Road Trip #12 update (Day 9)
Yesterday’s T-shirt: the Big Red tribe of Cornell University
I’ll be attending churches in Little Rock today, then checking out two or three Arkansas campuses tomorrow!