Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Why Do College Students Pick a Particular Church?

We asked 45 students who serve on Ministry Teams in a campus based ministry to "Number 1 through 5 the things that are Most important to you in a college church (1 being most important).

The choices were:
Special College Student Events
Personality of the College Minister
Music/Band at church
Friendliness of Everyone
Preaching style/Sermons of the Pastor

Here are the results by the number of students who listed that item as the number one most important:

Special College Students Events 1
Music/Band 2
Personality of the College Minister 8
Friendliness of Everyone 17
Preaching style/Sermons of the Pastor 17

Is music/worship not as important as it used to be or do students simply take that for granted in the choices they consider?

One gigantic point for me out of this very limited survey is, the value of the whole church being bought into the College Ministry. If "Friendliness of Everyone" is one of the top two most important, does the church encourage, train and cast vision for the College Ministry to the whole church? A friend in a large college church has talked to the congregation on Sundays prior to school starting about how they can help and what they can do to make students feel welcome.

Another factor that was not listed in the choices is, students want to go where other students go. That's the tough thing about getting a church College Ministry off the ground. Students invite students. No one wants to go where they feel like the lone duck. There is a momentum that comes from other students going. Some years ago I was driving a van of students going from church to church in a Progressive Dinner for Freshmen. Each church had done an excellent presentation. By the time we reached the final stop, the students on my van had already figured out where most students went. I honestly don't know how they did it. A huge factor must be getting a core group of students to buy into ownership of the ministry and reaching out to other students.

I'll leave to you to tell the pastor how and what to preach!

Next: "What's the ONE THING that's a turn off to you at a church?

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