Right now on college campuses, “freshmen are everything” – or at least that’s what it can seem like.
But as college ministers, it’s really important not to “play favorites” – at least not in a way that causes your hospitality, shepherding, and even “re-recruiting” of former ministry members to take a back seat.
It’s not just about making old members feel alienated – while that’s a danger, it’s probably fairly rare for freshman-philia to extend to a highly noticeable place. But it’s worth examining whether a college ministry’s efforts simply aren’t balanced enough (whether anyone notices or not). Those not in your ministry are certainly worth reaching, and that recruiting is even an act of discipleship. But your “regulars” are your flock, the guys and gals God has given you to shepherd and steward. After they’ve likely spent three months without your direct attention, nobody wants to make them wait another one to dive in.