For the seventh entry in this series of “Big Leaps” college ministries can consider taking, I wanted to expand on an idea I posted last year as one of “Four Angles on College Ministry Recruitment” (see that post for the three other ideas). It’s an idea worth considering right now – and for many campus ministries, it would indeed be a big leap.
The idea: Recruiting mid-year like you did in August / September.
I don’t see why we don’t recruit more often in the “off-season,” beyond the first few weeks of school. There are lots of students who don’t find a ministry that “sticks” by October… why lessen their chances of finding any ministry? Who says we can’t recruit later on?
And that opportunity is all the more natural as the Spring Semester or Winter Quarter gets underway. Some thoughts on all this:
There are plenty of Christian and non-Christian students who – for a variety of reasons – might be newly interested in your ministry… if only you were willing to shout from the rooftops (just like you did a few months ago).
Your campus also has transfer students, students who were studying abroad in the fall, and others who simply weren’t around this semester… but are now. Should they wait eight months to hear an excited invitation to join your group?
This may sound crazy, but one of the benefits of having multiple college ministries on a campus is that we can “pick up each other’s slack.” If a student gets disillusioned with my campus ministry, I hope they find another one – and sooner, rather than later. By recruiting after Winter Break, you’re helping this happen, too.
This is a huge opportunity for newer ministries, too. If you’re different from the other ministries, why not recruit at the time when students are looking for something different from what they’ve been experiencing?
Remember, recruitment doesn’t only serve to draw new students. It also invigorates your present students, lets the campus know you exist, and reminds you of your mission and uniquenesses. All good things! Why reserve them for only a few weeks in September?