Monday, April 14, 2014

Starting a Church Collegiate Ministry

This is a brief version of an article Bruce Venable wrote in response to a church asking how to start a College Ministry. Bruce currently serves as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Monticello, Arkansas. Prior to that, he was College Minister at First Baptist, Lubbock, Texas and a BCM Director in Louisiana.

5 Key Questions

1. Are there lay leaders (of all ages) who like college students and will college students relate to your lay leaders? Lay leaders must see ministry with students as more than a 45 minute study each week.

2. Are collegians within reasonable location of the church? They are mobile, but that benefit only comes when momentum is rolling. Connect with collegiate ministry on campus (BCM, BSM, etc).

3. Is your church worship collegiate friendly? It doesn't have to be a full blown college service with bands and lights. Is your staff collegiate friendly? The staff should believe students arema vital investment for the kingdom.

4. Will your church allow Collegiates to serve? Are they totally dependable? Tell me the last time you had an adult totally dependable...just saying.

5. Is there a way collegians can intergeneration-ally connect? Students are looking for mentors, not theologians, just good quality mentors.

First Step Suggestions to Start:

1. Identify one or two couples with the calling. Meet with them to establish vision and direction.

2. Do you have an handful of students you can include in the vision casting process? Students reaching students is unbeatable. Let them own and shape it.

3. Plan toward a fall launch. Find a way to reach next fall's incoming Freshmen. Connect with your BCM/BSM, etc to assist in fall freshmen events.

4. Don't think that you need to "wait a few weeks until after school starts" to begin next fall. Go after them from Day 1....even in the summer, if you can identify some. Thry decide their typical patterns of involvement in the first month of their freshman year.

5. Don't get frustrated with their unfaithfulness. They will be there some and be gone some....that is just the nature of the beast during this time of life.

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