Monday, August 27, 2012

"How Many Baptist Church College Ministers?"

For different reasons, the question is often asked, "How many Baptist churches have full time college ministers?". The official Baptist figure turned in by Baptist churches is 270. But, what we find is many of those are full time staff members who have some college ministry responsibility, which may be as little as 10% of total job.

In conversations with those who do college ministry for State Conventions, here are the figures we have for "Full time church college minister or the majority of their responsibility" that we know of. As one said, "It's a moving figure that changes daily."
Arkansas 11
Alabama 21
Texas 43
Georgia 20
Kentucky 5
Florida 7
Mississippi 5
Oklahoma 25
Tennessee 15
South Carolina 6

Total 158

Obviously, there are some in some states not listed. If you know of totals in additional states, we would love to hear them.

"New Welcome Week Ideas"

Lots of college ministries have traditional events or multiple outreach/welcome events. But, sometimes it is time for something different. Here are some from last week.

University of Kentucky BCM does "Death by Chocolate". One of their local churches provides all sorts of chocolate treats and over 400 UK students came thru to check it out and there are displays spread all around with info about different ministries of the BCM and upperclassmen are giving in for and getting name and contact info plugged into laptops.

Southern Mississippi BSU does a traditional Survival event for freshmen/transfers, but they wind it up on Sunday by dividing the different family groups up into four different churches on Sunday where the church feeds them a meal after worship.

Arkansas State invited four churches to join them in a Progressive Dinner for new International students. Seventy-five toured four chutes for great food and met potential host families.

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Lord, Help Me Be More Like Calvin Miller!"

For some great reason, I was silly enough to invite the famous Calvin Miller to speak on my campus. He came and was wonderful to our students and to me. He came back different times to speak for our Retreat and our kick-off banquet for our new Baptist Student Center.

He loved on our ASU students at seminary. He threw Kevin and Shannon Inman an engagement party at his house. When they told him they were earning extra money by doing Valet (parking) on the weekend, he looked very confused. He thought they said they were earning extra money doing "Ballet" on weekends....then he did that wonderful laugh of his when he realized what they had said.

Hen bought a sporty camaro and he said the Lord took care of that vanity with a hail storm.

Thanks be to God for Calvin Miller who was brilliant and yet just loved people and spoke in a way everyone could understand. Lord, help me be more like Calvin Miller!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"7 Top Reasons College Students Attended a Ministry the First Time"

These are the results of a survey done by Kentucky College Ministers of 443 students in 5 states. The percentages total more than 100% because the students could list more than one choice.

7. Website 10%

6. Mail. 12%

5. Social Media 17%

4. Advertising. 34%

3. Food 35%

2. An Appealing Event 46%

1. Someone Invited Me 77%

As a result of this survey, some would discount the value of those with a lower percentage, but I believe they are often a factor in the personal invitation being so readily received. It is also easier to invite someone to an appealing event.

Monday, August 13, 2012

"20 Principles and Wise sayings of College Ministry"

1. It takes 3 years for a ministry to become yours in philosophy and organization.

2. A meeting space will only fill to 80% capacity on a regular basis. The converse is true that too many empty seats gives a negative feeling.

3. Once students have been inside your facility or regular meeting place, they are more likely to come back.

4. A college ministry almost always reflects the strengths and weaknesses of it's leader.

5. When you stop recruiting and training leaders, you have begun the end of your ministry.

6. What students you reach determines what students you can and cannot reach.

7. To reach a particular group, reach someone in that group.

8. Students will only hear 4 announcements at most.

9. The single most effective way to grow your ministry is to establish an intentional and specialized freshmen ministry.

10. To increase the number of students in your ministry, increase the number of leadership/ownership roles.

11. You will attract students like the students already active in your ministry.

12. For a college ministry to continue to grow, it must have more than one "in-group".

13. Large special/fun events can be used to attract students to your ministry and to develop campus awareness.

14. To have a ministry larger than your personal ministry, you must organize and administrate.

15. To maintain upper-class involvement, there must be opportunities and responsibilities not available to them in earlier years.

16. Campus-wide publicity/promotion not only tells about an event or the ministry in general, but the quality of the promotion gives a message about the quality of the ministry.

17. If multiple staff members know and work with all the same students, you are nit using your staff to full advantage.

18. The big attracts; the small keeps (Dave Jobe).

19. Never let a student come through one of your events without getting a name and contact information.

20. Donors tend to give in relationship to what is asked for or expected.

Arliss Dickerson

Friday, August 3, 2012

"You Are the Face of Your Ministry"

Whether you like it or not, you are the face of your ministry. People identify with people. All great movements have had a face.

Questions to consider:

1. Will parents say, "I want my son or daughter to be like you?". That's what they
are saying when they send students to you. Or at least, they believe you will
be a plus in their son or daughter's life.

2. Will financial supporters want to give to to your ministry when they see who you

3. Will school officials work with you and trust you when they see who you are?

One college minister tells of receiving significant financial gifts any time his
Picture appeared in the paper. Over time he has become the face of the ministry. What are you doing or what should you be doing to be a better face to your ministry. One of the truths of college ministry is One of the grous you will attract is people just like you. Scary huh?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Common Characteristics of Large College Ministries"/

I just read some interesting articles by Tim Casteel listing the 8 largest Cru (Campus Cruade Ministries) and stats from his interviews with their leaders of some of them. Some of the campuses were University of Florida, Cal Poly and Montana State. There seemed to be six common characteristics that ran through the story of each.

1. Large staff 6-12
2. Long Term leader/Director
3. Strong Student leaders given much responsibility
4. Strong/intentional small group ministry
5. They are THE ministry on campus (no other nearly as large)

As one who travels in Batist Collegiate Ministry circles, I have given some thought to our larger ministries out of the 800 plus BCM/BSU ministries. Some of these would be LSU, Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, North Georgia and others. I have NOT interviewed the directors as Tim Casteel did the Cru Directors, but from my observations there are six commonalities that run through our larger ministries.

1. Long term Director
2. Strong tradition/long term presence
3. Excellent or large facilities
4. Specific freshmen ministry
5. Campus setting/type student
6. Usually THE ministry on campus

As you see, there are common characteristics between the two. All of this assumes and realizes none of this happens apart from the work of the Lord in all of it. My thanks to Tim Casteel and others who would help us understand how to reach more students for Christ.