Monday, March 18, 2013

Reasons Students Attend or Stop Attending

All of us who do College Ministry have experienced the frustration of a Christian student we have spent a great deal of time reaching out to stop attending our ministry and move to another ministry. Or, sometimes a student who has been active in another ministry moves to ours....what happened and why? Usually, we don't know. Here are what I think are the top reasons Christian students go to or leave a particular ministry, apart from a faith crisis.

1. Language and style
Ministries may have the same theology, but they say it differently or just do it differently. It goes to natural comfort level.

2. Schedule
Sometimes, it is just as simple as one ministry's schedule works better for that student. Work or new classes may bring about a change in schedule.

3. The Cool Place
A Campus Ministry may get the reputation of being THE ministry on campus and students go there for that reason. Never forget that there is some "word of Mouth" about your ministry on campus....good or bad...deserved or undeserved.

4. Size
Some students attend a ministry because it is large (The Cool Place)but some students want to go to a small ministry because they may feel more known or it feels more like their home church.

5. Theology
I am amazed that some ministries tout that they teach no theology...just the Bible. Every ministry is espousing a theology. Sometimes, a student comes into a ministry to later decide that their beliefs are different and move to another ministry.

6. Relationships
I believe for good or bad, the number one reason students attend or quit attending a particular ministry is relationships. A quarrel or breakup in a relationship can send a student to another ministry. All of us have experienced a couple who date breaking up....and then BOTH stop coming because they are afraid they will run into the other!

1 comment:

  1. I agree that word of mouth is a huge factor for the ministry. The ministry, then, must walk the line of being "hip" enough, while not selling out and missing the real ministry that needs to happen within the lives of its students.

    I don't think that a faith crisis is something that can be ignored, however. I think that the campus ministry should find ways to seek out those who are currently suffering from a crisis of belief and minister to them effectively.

    I would add that college ministry grows when things are announced in the right channels, and a good ministry will seek to be in all the media and announcement outlets that it can be.