Part of doing student recruitment as good discipleship is making it easier for students to respond, as I argued last week. Adding to last week’s list, today I hit a couple of others.
What is it really like to come to your college ministry? This is one of the ways recruitment that recognizes its disciplemaking role differs the most from that which doesn’t.
Our goal shouldn’t be simply to get as many people into our ministry by any means necessary SO the discipleship can start. From the first moment, we should be discipling – which includes giving people an honest look at what our ministry offers, and what it doesn’t. That doesn’t mean you have to accentuate the negatives – but you can’t claim positives you don’t have, whether that’s friendliness or “lots of fun parties” or a big attendance or “a bunch of service opportunities” or “leadership roles for students.”
Students are making a life-changing decision here; bait-and-switch isn’t right.
Similar to honesty, it’s important for a college ministry to share some of how their ministry is different from other ministries. This too helps students make this big decision.
I’m not encouraging contrasting as much as simply including your distinctives as you tell about your ministry. If your specific denominational theology runs throughout your ministry and its teaching, it should run through your recruitment some, too. If small groups are a key part of your DNA, they should be mentioned early and often. Are the students you draw mostly introverted… or extroverted? You don’t have to chase the other crew away, but it’s worth sharing the atmosphere of your different environments. Is your ministry the biggest (or smallest) on campus? Then it’s good to share the size to give students an accurate expectation.
What methods, characteristics, or philosophies make you different from other college ministries on your campus? Students need to hear about those distinctives.