I had the fun chance to do a little phone-consultation-time with a college minister buddy yesterday. He’s facing some tough changes to his situation, so he has to make some decisions about how to adjust his college ministry accordingly.

What I was awfully impressed by was how often he mentioned discussing these changes with all kinds of constituents: students of different varieties, adult volunteers, his overseers. He seemed to have asked them smart questions and really listened to their answers, noticing not just their “yes / no” opinions but also the reasons behind their opinions.

As I pondered that, I came across a nifty Fridea that would be perfect for this time of year: Establish a focus group of students to help discuss ideas and changes.

These students shouldn’t be the same as your core group of students, your leadership team, or the most popular students. Pick your focus group wisely, incorporating students you know will be

  • Thoughtful
  • Diverse in the experiences they’ve had with your ministry
  • Diverse in personality (so don’t just get extraverts)
  • Opinionated (or at least very open to sharing)
  • Easy to listen to as you meet with them regularly!

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