What a great time of the year! So much to do. So much promise of what God might do in our ministries. So many people to talk with. So many options. So where do I begin?
Let’s make this as practical as we can while we get our ministries up and running. Our time is limited. The first week that a freshman student is on campus is probably as important as all the rest of the first semester combined. This first week is when students will determine who their friends will be and what they will value in college. Who are your key student leaders for each movement you are working with? Coach them through each of these four areas. As they see God use them right out of the blocks, it will build their confidence for the rest of the year.
Growing vision of what God will do this year.
- Have every student in a leadership position read or re-read Transforming Movements. This is what we are trusting God to do within every community on every campus.
- Here is a great article on Planning the Campus Year.
- Here is a very practical Nine Principles for the First Six Weeks.
Making contact with the key players.
- Call each of the rest of your student leadership team to see how their summer went, inform them of the first meeting and what their individual responsibility is, and answer any questions they may have.
- Give your faculty advisor a call to inform him or her of the first events of the semester and to give them specific prayer requests.
- Check to make sure your meeting room is scheduled, any tables that you might be using for FSKs or surveys are reserved, and any ads that you might put in the newspaper are ready to go. You want to make sure the details are covered.
A leadership team kickoff meeting before freshmen arrive.
- Share your vision for the year.
- Have a devotion from, say Nehemiah 1, about the start of a great undertaking. Nehemiah is a great example of leading in both prayer and action.
- Inform them of the first few events and make sure that each responsibility is covered.
- Take concerted time to pray for God to move, for new students to connect and for the ministry to grow and make an impact.
- Encourage everyone to be familiar with the Campus Ministry Year.
Be thinking about your first outreach.
- If you plan some kind of info table or to hand out Freshman Survival Kits, decide when to assemble them and when would be the earliest time for distribution. The very first week is when first year students are determining where their allegiances lie.
- If you will have an open house, a “cower” or pizza party, etc., make sure that the right “people” people are greeting visitors to help them feel welcome. Have the opening talk be brief, visionary and welcoming.
- If you use a survey to find interested students, schedule the table or dining hall to take the surveys. Three easy to use surveys with transitions and nationwide tabulating tools can be found on the QuEST Resources page.
- Start right away with posters.
If you are coaching your leaders to get started, why not forward this email to them, and schedule a time to talk through some of the details. It is a huge confidence booster whenever anyone takes on ownership and sees God use them. And it frees you up to be able to go to a campus that does not have the student leadership already in place in order to prayer walk, hand out FSKs or do an info table.