Have you ever been in a club that was trying to recruit new members? You may have had a party and invited other students to come check your club out, or you may have had a sign-up table at a student event. Gathering students to your ministry is like this. You want to meet students, let them know about your ministry and get them involved. This can be really fun. You can be as creative as you want to be. Gathering lets you find a group of students who want to grow in Christ, and reach others with His love and forgiveness. As long as you keep gathering new students into your ministry, it will continue to grow and reach more and more students for Christ.
The foundation for gathering is based on the five principles listed below:
Your best preparation for gathering Students is seeking God. Get some friends together and pray for direction for your gathering plans. Ask God to show you the best way to do it. Pray for students to come to Christ. Specifically, pray for students you know. Ask God to introduce you to students you wouldn’t normally have contact with and ones who He has already made hungry for truth (remember, you would like to see every student on your campus come to Christ, not just the ones you know personally).
Ask these questions:
- Who do I know that might attend an event because I ask them?
- Who do I already know that is involved in a different circle of friends?
- Who are some of the leaders on campus, and how can we get them involved?
- What would make these people feel comfortable (welcome) in our ministry?
Again, the key to gathering students is relationships. Go out of your way to meet people and get to know them. People are starved for others who care about them. The more people you meet, the more will be involved in your campus ministry.
God has chosen you to help reach your campus. A personal relationship with Christ is the only thing that truly changes a person’s life. Anyone you meet is someone who you can share Christ with. God will empower you and wants to use you. Take the first opportunity you get to share Christ’s love with them. Find a tool that you feel comfortable using to share the gospel and become very familiar with it. You will also need to train those who work with you to use the tool.
Challenge to Growth
God’s Word tells us that He wants every Christian to grow in their faith. Since this is true, we need to put together a plan for helping students grow. Two things to remember are that growth happens quicker in groups, and growth is an ongoing process. Take advantage of the natural groups that students are part of (teams, clubs, etc.). The rate of growth is quicker in a group setting since they learn from each other. It is also more fun for them to get together when their friends are involved. Create opportunities for them to grow, and they will respond. Regularly give them chances to trust God. Let them open the group in prayer or share their testimony. Take the group out to share their faith, involve them in an outreach, involve them in leadership. Continue to challenge them to grow in their faith.
It is wise to evaluate your progress. If involving new students in your ministry is foundational for success, then you should measure whether you are accomplishing that goal. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are new students becoming involved in our activities? Discipleship groups? And in leadership?
- Am I building relationships with new students regularly? If not, why not?
- Is the entire campus being represented in our ministry? If not, why not?
- What changes are needed?
- What is needed to increase the level of growth of the students involved?
Gathering and involving new students in the ministry is one of the most important parts of your campus ministry. It takes planning to make sure it is taking place. Pray, develop your plan and go for it!