mid-summer mobilization #9: the anti-fridea

Usually my “Frideas” involve simple, straightforward methods you can use in college ministry. Sometimes they twist an old idea; often they’re a little “out of the box.” But today’s idea – though it is straightforward – is a lot “messier” and less simple than most.

But when it comes to our recent series – about getting your students more involved than they already are – this Fridea fits perfectly.

When all is said and done, helping our most plugged-in students fully use their gifts and talents in our ministries will require more “touch” than any previous mobilization. It’s simple enough to recruit students from scratch, making the all-call to a waiting campus using various advertising charms. Likewise, pointing new students to small groups isn’t so messy either – “Here are the groups. Get in one.” Ministry-wide events are easy to promote, too.

But what about beyond that? What about the students who are fully plugged in but might be asking “What’s next?” It’s a little harder to provide the all-call to them.

Not every student is going to have a passion for your homeless-feeding ministry, so beyond giving them that “taste,” how will they find their fit? The same is true for leadership positions – some are called to Tech Team, some to Events Team; “Not many of you should presume to be small group leaders,” James 3:1 says (I think), but some should.

And if your ministry isn’t “high touch” for these already-involved students, they’re unlikely to be mobilized as far as they could be.

So that’s today’s Fridea for the first day of August, as the start of the semester starts breathing down your neck: Devise your strategy for helping involved students figure out how they should plug in even more.

This doesn’t mean you have to be the one shepherding them in this. Training your small group leaders or other leaders – whomever is most likely to know students best – is probably the best option anyway.

But at some level, you or other “top leaders” may have to be available for those who get stuck, who want to be guided into their next great opportunity… who may even need to create their new opportunity, since none of the present options fit them very well. Yes, this means a lunch, or an hour in the Student Center, or devising (or finding) some simple tools to help these already-committed “find their mission.” Maybe even spending some weeks mentoring a student.

It will be messy and time-consuming because people are different, and the ones running in ministry the hardest are the most different from each other – because they’re learning who they are and how they can serve best.

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