This is such a critical time of the year for campus ministries. Our team at the University of Florida had an event planned every night last week in order to meet and involve freshmen in their movement. How well they do connecting with the incoming freshman class will determine how their movement goes for the next few years.
Mike Woodruff, a senior pastor today, but with 18 years of campus ministry, said, “Every group I’ve studied has followed roughly the same pattern. In fact, with only two exceptions, I have never seen a campus ministry grow after the first month of the year.”
Not only does the hard work now pay off for our movements, but that first week on campus is the single most important week of the year where students make friends that will lead him or her to Christ.
Lorna Johnson, The Impact Movement’s Associate National Director for Campus, is someone who understands how important it is to involve freshmen. I asked her what she uses to help her staff at this time of year.
She sent me their “Impact Seasonal Emphasis” and explained how Impact coaches keep the right “season” before their students. For example, we are in Season 1 of the Fall Semester.
The Emphases for Season 1, August to mid-October, is FRESHMAN OUTREACH.
- Evangelism and Follow Up Training
- Tables at University Activity Fair
- Evangelism and Follow Up Activities
- Interest Meeting
- Journey Groups (Foundational truths to provide the basics for ones walk in Christ and provide others the knowledge of the things Impact teach.)
- Social Events
- Fall Retreat (Optional)
Plan and Prepare
- Develop Conference Recruiting Strategy
- Develop Fund Development Strategy
Lorna asks these questions as she coaches students in prioritizing Season 1 activities.
- What is so significant about reaching freshman?
- Are the events in key places where the African descent community travel on campus?
- Does the event lend to gathering contacts and the gospel presentation? (Meaning do we do an event that disguises what we really stand for? Do we have so many events there is no time for follow-up/call back.)
- Do the events within the strategy leave room for relational follow-up/call back?
- Are all the leaders prepared/trained for the relational follow-up?
- Is the “Passage” being used to share the gospel relationally? Many times the students will ask questions, good questions, but do not always receive from the student clarity about a relationship with Jesus Christ.
What I appreciate in Lorna is that she places value on teaching the student leaders the Seasonal Emphases, not just our staff. It is important to her that students understand what and why we do what we do.
Here is the whole 2 page Impact Seasonal Emphasis article.