A couple of weeks ago, I spent some time talking about ways to better mobilize students, based largely on what I learn in my job (which involves mobilizing our church’s people). By “mobilizing” I mean helping those who are already attending get more involved – from the first-time guest who needs to hear about your small groups, to the long-time attendee who should be thinking about service, or leadership, or something.
Sadly, college ministers are regularly tempted to spend far more time on recruiting than on mobilizing – but while there are ways to make recruiting a form of discipleship, mobilization is directly connected to helping people grow. And it’s vital for a healthy ministry in all sorts of other ways, too. So hopefully here, while we’re still mid-summer (barely), you can take some time to think through your ministry’s mobilization plan: After you get all those new people in during August and September, what steps forward will they take between September and May?
Enough of the re-introduction to this series; time for today’s quick thought:
One of the most important parts of mobilization is providing clear, published opportunities for involvement.
We can spend a lot of time constructing an “events calendar” for our ministry but never make it obvious for new people what their next steps are. Do we want people in small groups? Serving their community on a regular basis? Volunteering within our ministry? Perhaps aspiring to lead within our ministry someday?
Then we need to tell them. Maybe it’s a web page – something straightforward like, “yourcollegeministry.com/steps,” that lists ways to get involved. Maybe it’s actually on paper (on the back of that Events Calendar you’re handing out anyway?). Maybe you actually (quickly) recite the steps every time your ministry has a Large Group Meeting.
I’d vote for doing all three. If it’s not achingly redundant to you (the college minister), then it’s probably not clear enough for your students.
And if it’s not clear to your students, then you shouldn’t assume they know it’s expected.