Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Leaves Are Turning and Homecoming is in the Air.....What??

Football is big where I come from and even when we had a sorry football team, we still had a good crowd at Homecoming. If you have read my stuff, you know I am a big advocate of working with alumni. There are lots of good reasons:
-You can still be a spiritual mentor or encourager in their life.
-In these days of significant cutbacks those who have experienced God's working in their life through a College Ministry can be a powerful voice and advocate for College Ministry in their church, area or state churches, and denomination.
-Most larger campus based College Ministries could not do all they do without alumni financial support.

Usually, only campus based College Ministers think in terms of working with alums, but I believe a strong case can be made for church based College Ministers to do some alumni work.

Homecoming is an easy and almost automatic time to have some sort of alumni gathering. And, NOW is the time to make the plan and start passing the word. Churches can recognize alums in their Sunday service. It won't hurt in the least for a large crowd of former students to be recognized that were touched by the College Ministry. You could host a Drop-In for them before or after the service....a brunch is always appropriate.

Is a student who is active in your ministry on the Homecoming Court or playing in the game? What if they were to give a testimony on Sunday after the game?

If you are a campus based College Minister, here are some different ideas:
-Pick a place and publicize where your alum group will gather to watch the parade.
-Have an informal lunch at your Center prior to the game. If you are raising your salary, what about a Vision Lunch at that time?
-Host a Drop-In prior to or following the game.
-Have a Missions Fund Raising Cookout selling tickets to alums and friends. Yes; I have lit Barbecue fires at 3:00 a.m. on Homecoming game day!

2 Huge Things That Make a Difference:

1. Announce and promote it NOW so alums can get it on their calendar.

2. We have found the most significant thing about an Alumni event in determining who is coming is....."Will I see people I know and would love to see?

Ever go to a Homecoming event and there was no one there you knew? I have and it didnt make me want to go back. So, enlist hosts from different eras or decades who will commit to be there. You know some peole everyone wants to see . It may be former students or it could be former staffers that were loved by all. If you announce who is going to be there as hosts, it often will significantly increase your crowd. AND, people are more likely to be glad they came. Where possible enlist multiple hosts from the different eras you want represented, so if someone has to cancel, there are still familiar faces from that era.

Do you do an Alumni Newsletter? Will there be a brief Info Sheet available that they can share some news for the next edition? Will you make some pictures that could be in the next Alumni Edition that will make those that didn't come realize they will want to come next year?

I know Campus Based College Ministers who get checks for $500, $5,000, $10,000 and yes....even $100,000 from alums! Are alums aware of what you are doing? Is your ministry even on their radar?

I will repeat one of my outrageous statements: If you don't work with alumni, you should be fired!

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