Yesterday, I had communication with two different Youth Ministers planning their High School Seniors Recogniton Sundays. Different churches that I have worked with do a banquet or luncheon following the service or on Saturday night. Let me make some suggestions, if you are invited to speak at one of these or other ways you may connect to them, etc.
1. If you are speaking, speak to both parents and seniors. Don't just challenge the seniors about faith in college or where ever they are headed, but challenge themparents to be part of that process also. I have come to the conclusion that one factor in many college students walking away from faith in college is that basically their committed, active Christian parents in some way give them permission to walk away....cause we all know they will come back....yeah right...and if they do, bring all the baggage that goes with their walking away.
2. Give specific suggestions as to how to connect to faith at College.
-Do it within the first 2 weeks or you likely will not.
-Connect before going...on line, visit the ministry on a preview or Orientation Day.
-Sign up for special Freshmen events such as Survival, Freshmen Leadership Team, etc at the BCM ministry.
-look at different church options on line and what they may offer to College students.
But They Don't Ask Me to Speak at their Senior Day Events:
1. Prior to the Senior Day event, send the Youth Minister or Pastor a note asking them to send you their list and addresses and colleges they are attending....even if they aren't coming to your school, you can pass them on...wouldnt it be great if everyone did that! I find they are more likely to do it then than later in the summer.
2. If you have a church in your vicinity with a strong youth ministry and many of their students normally attend your college, you can simply attend the Senior Sunday service, make some notes and even make some personal connections then or with a handwritten note or call later on.
Offer churches that you will come and do a "Parents of College Freshmen Seminar" at their time and place. Parents are more frightened and concerned than they have ever been and you can speak words of wisdom into the situation.
You can do topics like:
-Common Mistakes Freshmen Make
-Pros and Cons of Fraternity/Sorority Life
-2 Common Traits of Happiest Students by Surveys:
1. Live on campus (more likely to be involved, engaged and have friends...but, don't have to live on campus to do that.)
2. Active in a student organization that shares their goals and priorities.