Monday, May 2, 2016

Next for a College Minister....Your Website or Facebook Page

It is that time of year where you may have had your last event or you are just plunging into that series of last events. I call it "The Banquet Season" because it is full of dinners and cookouts. But, there is one thing that needs doing as soon possible and before you totally exhale.

Your website needs updating.

As high school seniors graduate and come to campus for Summer Orientations, they hopefully will be checking out what your ministry might have to offer. Some of you have already had one or two Freshmen Orientation events. What about those students you connected with then or handed a flyer or card about your ministry? What if they really are interested? Will your website encourage them to further connect with you? I sometimes check out different websites of College Ministries. And, I am dumbfounded by how many are out of date or even say "Not Available".

Some things to consider for your website:

1. Pictures - I am a picture freak. Pictures answer more questions than you could ever think to answer...and in far less space. At the very least, I would try to have one picture that represents each of my regular weekly events....two weekly events...two good pictures. If you have a meeting place or a Center, a good picture of it is important.

2. Is there a first special event for Freshmen? If so, what and when is it? Can you have a picture from last year's that would show me what to expect? If it is a Survival type event that requires advance registration, does your website tell them how and when to do that? How much does it cost?

3. Videos - Some websites or pages have a brief video from the College Minister while others have a brief testimony from a student. I prefer the student one....but, you may be extra pretty and charismatic. Often I think it is better to do "Snippet Quotes". Here is an example: "I met my best friend....It was the best thing the first week....I got my tough faith questions was crazy fun....I became a Christian....exactly what I was looking for.". You can ask several students to write one or two sentences and then pick snippets you want to use.

4. Location - Does your website/Facebook page tell where your church or campus center is? Could someone find it this summer
when they come to town?

5. Links - If yours is a Campus based ministry, it could have links to local churches. If it is a church based ministry, it could have a link to the campus based ministry with which you connect. Remember to partner well. Or, if links are not an option, a simple statement of partnership or a list works.

6. Contact Info - So, is there a way to call, email, text, or whatever?

7. Remember the two F's for freshmen. They are looking for FRIENDS AND FUN! Many college freshmen ship wreck their lives finding friends and fun in the wrong places and ways in those first weeks of college.

A website or Facebook page does not have to be elaborate. At the very least, it can be up to date and have one good picture (no not of you).

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