back to the dorms: a missional fridea

I’ve come to learn that relatively common college ministry methods still aren’t always widely known. This week’s Fridea is one of those tools that I’ve seen in a number of ministries, but I would still guess it hasn’t come into play in plenty of others.

This idea is also a particularly Missional undertaking – and just happens to be one of the many ways college ministries have been “missional” since long before “missional” was cool.

The Fridea? Encourage students to stay in the dorms, as intentional ministers to next year’s residents.

I hope it’s not too late to share this idea, but it’s amazing how God can turn students’ plans, even at the end of the school year – and even in the summer.

Certainly, in some contexts this method takes place “organically”; students, having been gripped by Jesus, recognize the unique soil provided by the dorm environment. So instead of jumping into an apartment or splitting a house with buddies, they decide to renew their dorm lease for another year… or in some cases, even choose to return to the dorms after a hiatus off-campus.

But unless this is happening in a widely known way on your campus, you might need to nudge your students to consider this sacrificial sojourn. The OU BSU did that through a student testimony just last night; they also have that as one of their scrolling announcements on their home page right now.

And here’s the thing: An intentional decision (maybe even especially if it’s a hard decision) to live in the dorms will help students become even more “on mission” than they were before. It’s the principle of your heart following your treasure (Matt. 6:21), which is actually a psychological principle (and thus the way God made us). As students give of their comfort-treasure and coolness-treasure and money-treasure and alone-time-treasure and Christian-environment-treasure to live in the dorms… their heart will find itself more firmly embedded in those places than ever.

So might this be worth an announcement, an email, a push? If not, could you put it on the calendar for next year?

Written from Motel 6, Oklahoma City, OK

Road Trip 14 recap, Day 15 (see all explorations here)
new campuses:
Oklahoma City Community College (#22), Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College, Moore, OK (#23)
yesterday: exploring OKC and another run to OU in Norman!
today: more at OU… and then, we’ll see. If nothing comes up for the weekend, I’ll probably head home!


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One Comment

  1. Hannah L

    Thanks Benson, that’s a great fridea.
    We’ve had students apply and be Resident Assistants (which means they lead their floor/area in mentorship and social activities) and they’ve been able to be a great tool for the Kingdom. It IS hard tho, those students find that they are needing to walk a fine line between satisfying the Residence Managers and also holding strong on their beliefs.

    There are a few great opportunities here tho:
    1) freshman naturally look up to these RAs
    2) they have the authority to gather people together to have events
    3) they have influence over the rest of the leaders in the dorms
    4) they have great influence in the lives of the next generation on campus (reach the freshmen for 4 years, you reach the campus)

    Things done in the past:
    – a concert in the dining hall (so good they did it every year after that)
    – talks linked to the large event put on by the club (ie. Jesus Fact or Fiction or Porn Nation[an outreach talking about the harms of porn])
    – prayer meetings/bible studies/small groups
    – helping students move in

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