This exact Friday last year, I first presented this Fridea, one that continues to catch my fancy… and that would be worth instituting right about now if it fits your ministry. Enjoy!
As I ventured into Northern California on Road Trip 13, I got to hang out with Richard Jett, then the college minister at Adventure Christian Church. As he explained the student leaders he hoped to raise up within his campus ministry, one particularly unique position caught my eye.
The idea? Assign a student leader to help new people make specific relational connections within your ministry.
You might call this a “social connector,” a “purposeful networker,” or a “social concierge” in your ministry. 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 students sign up for adult mentors, the Connector helps the students 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 points them to other students who live thataway, so they can catch a ride.
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. As their natural talent is honed with purposefulness and prayerfulness (and intentional time learning about the people who come to the college ministry), they might see God do something through their personality that they (and you) never would have imagined.
Can you imagine each visitor to your ministry never walking away without at least one solid connection?
The thingy at the top is a cool piece of “connected” art I found at the University of Wyoming.