Does your campus do “Move-in”? Do you have the opportunity to help students (and their parents) unload cars, trudge to the dorms, trek up the stairs, cram into closets?
That’s now available or allowed on every campus, but for some campuses, it’s an awesome way to serve – in a way that, we all have to admit, actually serves. Moving help is help indeed.
But I hope that’s not the only way our college ministries try simply to help as school starts. It might be easy to be focused nearly entirely on recruitment, planning the first large group meeting, organizing that big event, or… recruiting some more. And while those things matter – a LOT – there are chances to serve.
That’s this week’s Fridea: Take an hour (perhaps with actual students) thinking about the actual students – Billy, Jamie, Todd – who will walk onto campus. What will students (freshmen and otherwise) NEED in those moments?
Consider the Billies!
They don’t have a “felt need” for you to recruit them. (Although they may need you to help them decide among opportunities!)
They don’t have a “need” to come to your event. (But they may need directions to their classes.)
They don’t “need” to know who helped them move in (so if you’re not moving people in simply because your school won’t let you advertise…)
They don’t “need” a flier – pass as many out as you can, but passing out lemonade during move in may be the greater act of service.
If you think through (and pray through) various students’ first-steps-on-to-campus, you’ll come up with a handful of needs. Some will be needs you could meet. And some may be needs you should meet. Don’t think about what it was like for you – think about what it’s like for the class of 2015 (as well as the sophomores and older). Think about various groups on campus, too. If you can only meet the needs of one group really well, choose THAT over meeting a large crowd’s needs in a so-so way.
That’s the tips I’ve got, but I’m sure you could come up with more!