Monday, July 14, 2014

The Single Most Effective Way to Grow or Enlarge a College Ministry

I have long believed the single most effective way to grow or enlarge your College Ministry is with an intentional and specific Freshmen Ministry. Several years ago in our ministry at Arkansas State we began to do a Freshmen Night each Monday with Family Groups led by upperclassmen. Recently I read, "Drop What You're Doing and Build a Movement" by Tim Casteel, Cru Director at the University of Arkansas. He gives in great detail, with other attached articles, a specific plan for developing and organizing a Freshmen Ministry. I recommend this article to you.

10 of My How and Why Do Freshmen Ministry:

1. Many college freshmen shipwreck their lives in their first semester of college. Your ministry can be a lifeguard.

2. Freshmen are looking for friends and fun.
-Have fun Freshmen events the first two weeks.
-Combine fun and spiritual throughout the fall.

3. I used to think sharp sophomores were great to lead Freshmen groups....they had just been there and survived.....I was wrong!
-Their immaturity would pop up at just the wrong time.
-We found many were doing it for the position not the ministry.

4. Do practical Bible studies that help freshmen with key issues.
-Dealing with Doubt
-Making Good Decisions
-Accepting Forgiveness

5. Go looking for missing freshmen after Reality Week. College seems like summer camp at the beginning of the fall semester. Everybody is having Welcome Parties and there is free food everywhere. But, about 2 or 3 weeks in, there comes the first set of quits being fun. It so shell shocks many freshmen who just failed their first test ever. They immediately drop everything they were doing.
-Go find and re-enlist them.

6. Connect with as many incoming Freshmen as possible throughout the summer.
-Other groups are looking for them and connecting with them.
-These freshmen can bring other freshmen to your start of school events.

7. Spend wisely Extravagantly on freshmen events at the start of school.
-How does the quality of your event compare to the quality of a Greek Rush party?

8. Connect personally with freshmen (I don't care how old you are.)
-Invite 3 or 4 at a time for a coke and a visit (I kept my fridge stocked with cokes.)
-Eat lunch in the cafeteria or food court with a table full of freshmen as often as possible.

9. Draw out some freshmen for extra investment as the semester progresses.
-Some will just naturally rise to the top.
-Some will come to you asking for more.

10. Before school starts send an invitation to some freshmen inviting them to be part of a Freshmen Leasership Team for the purpose of growing as a leader and developing friendships with other students who want to grow as a leader.

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