Have you ever considered recruiting a leader for a specific need in your college ministry?
Sure, if you have ministry teams and not only small group leaders, you probably open some narrowly defined leadership opportunities once a year or so. But what about a very specific need that arises mid-year?
Let’s say, for example, you’ve realized that the number of international students on your campus is increasing every year. What’s more, the administration has shared that they’re ramping up their efforts to draw students from other countries and expect the increase to accelerate. What would your college ministry’s response be?
One option: Recruit a few student leaders to lead an International Students team, right now, and let those leaders (and teammates) loose to welcome, serve, and build relationships with international students.
Of course, a first effort would come among your present students, sharing with them the opportunity and asking (1) who might want to serve on such a team, and (2) who might want to lead that team. But there’s more you could do to recruit.
Maybe there’s a current international student – who’s a believer – who would help in this regard? Could you find out? Or could you advertise on campus for this particular role, especially among clubs or apartment complexes or events where international students, students who love international things, or other niches abound? Don’t forget, there are plenty of strong believers on your campus who simply haven’t joined a full-fledged campus ministry.
(Remember, this international student effort is just an example – you might be looking for any sort of specific leader.)
Wilder still: What if you actually went outside your own collegiate ministry to recruit a leader for this particular spot? I know that’s unusual. But there may be a mature student, already primed to serve international students (perhaps already serving them in some capacity) who just hasn’t found their way to your college ministry. They might be well-known to their church in town. Perhaps they’re even involved in another college ministry. And yet the fit – this particular leadership role – might in fact be God’s best next step for them.
It’s crazy – for most college ministers, at least – to think about putting the word out among their fellow Christian leaders, sharing that they’re looking for a few student leaders that might currently be in their ministries. And it’s crazy to think that someone might help in this regard, offering to share your need with a leadership-caliber student currently in their ministry.
But this is what Kingdom-minded campus missions looks like. Deep down, I hope you’d be willing to share a particular need with a particular student, even if that need took them away from your ministry, because your own ministry didn’t offer the same opportunity.
So if there’s a need that has arisen, consider recruiting for that need. And if you see a place one of your students could find their best possible “fit” – whether it’s a campus role, a job in town, a different church, or a different college ministry – be willing to shepherd students in that way.