In most churches, the “connection card” is a staple, letting new visitors (and sometimes longtime attenders) communicate with the staff about their presence, their prayer requests, and potentially their questions.

Many college ministries have their own form; when they do, it’s usually available as new students walk in the door or up to a welcome table. But I think we can learn from our “big church” counterparts on this, or at least from some of the better examples. One key for hospitality here is to treat the “form” not simply as something for you, the college ministry leadership. The form can itself be a sort of forum, a chance for the students to gain something and to interact with you.

How? Here are a few ideas:

  • Let them ask questions on the form
  • Let them indicate (by checkbox) what they’re interested in (either “next steps” like “Tell me about joining a small group” or areas of emphasis like “service projects”)
  • Ask them their First Impressions of your ministry – while this info is ostensibly for the leaders, it’s a really encouraging thing to be asked, too
  • Use the form to reveal some aspects of your ministry (as in the checkboxes bullet above)
  • And then, of course, follow up – and follow up with someone who’s ready to answer questions and connect, not just provide a copy-and-paste email