One of the posts I enjoy writing the most is the weekly College Ministry Fridea, which usually means a zany-but-concrete idea for college ministries. You can read through the entire list (with short descriptions) right here, but I picked out a couple of favorites to highlight as I continue with “Best of the Blog.”
The first of these “all-star” Frideas encourages us to add a new form of student recruitment to our toolbox (an important topic as we enter the spring). The second Fridea offers a special potential student leadership position – perfect for any social butterflies you’ve got fluttering around your leadership team. And as always, the hope is that these Frideas would be either useful directly OR springboard you to another new idea that fits your campus ministry best!
SHOW Recruitment and TELL recruitment
If you’re wanting to change things up, I’d encourage you to consider providing show recruitment, not simply tell recruitment.
What about your particular collegiate ministry (and entire church, in the case of a church-based ministry) is truly remarkable? What do students tell their friends about, what do alumni remember fondly, what do you and the students involved get really excited about? In other words, what is remarked about?
Is there a creative way to show those “remarkables” – rather than only telling them?
If your ministry is known for having a lot of fun together, then you might consider something along the lines of playing ultimate Frisbee idea on campus (as suggested by Kevin Young of Christian Challenge, Mesa State University). His suggestion reminded me of one of the best collegiate campaigns I’ve seen – only it wasn’t for a college ministry but for a major student body election at Texas A&M. I still remember the Ricky Wood for Yell Leader campaign a decade later, because those guys took a very unique tack…
…they had a blast. Wearing bright green T-shirts and popping up all over campus, those guys spent a lot of time simply having fun on campus in various, public ways. I never met Ricky, but it sure said something about him. The campaign showed us who they were; they didn’t just tell us.
But maybe your ministry has a different remarkable to show: Depth of teaching. Strength of community. Passionate worship times. Opportunities for service. Whatever it is, you probably show it on a regular basis during the semester, whether during a weekly meeting or on campus. What’s keeping you from showing it during recruitment?
What’s significant enough about your ministry that it’s worth showing to a waiting campus instead of simply telling people in the midst of 223 other organizations? How could you even do that?
A Student Leader Position: Social Connector
This week’s Fridea comes substantially from Richard Jett, college minister at Adventure Christian Church near Sacramento. As he was describing his hoped-for student leader positions, one particularly unique one caught my eye.
The idea? Assign a student leader to help new people make specific connections within your ministry.
You might call this a “social connector,” a “purposeful networker,” or a “social concierge.” The point is, this individual – who would probably need to be naturally a “connector” anyway – would help newcomers find their place within your ministry.
So when Sarah visits your ministry and says she’s a pre-med major, this “Social Connector” makes sure to introduce her to Laura, an older student who’s also pre-med.
When Brandon turns out to be interested in hiking, he finds out (via the Social Connector) that there’s a group of students who hike every third Saturday.
When a handful of individuals sign up for adult mentors, the Connector helps them connect with adults in their churches (or elsewhere) who would be a good fit.
And when Jeri and Carmen say they would come to the ministry but live across town, the Connector suggests they get a ride with some of the other students who live thataway.
Obviously, as community is built, some of these connections will happen without an assigned student leader over this area. But if you find a student with particular aptitude in this area, her (or his) strength can be leveraged for the Kingdom in this way – especially as their natural talent is honed to be used more purposefully and prayerfully.
Can you imagine each visitor to your ministry never leaving without at least one solid connection?