We all know the critical importance of reaching the Freshman class each year in our movements. Aside from the reaching teenagers while they are in high school, no other target audience is as responsive to the gospel as freshmen during the first couple of weeks on campus. So we do all we can to involve as many as we can in that narrow window.
So we want to reach freshmen, but are we willing to give them the ministry? My friend, Dave Michels, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Cru MTL, does just that for one of his weekly meetings. Read on to see what he does and why.
Freshman TakeOver Night
The Cru Ministry at Michigan Tech developed a unique strategy many years ago for involving Freshmen and it still works! They call it Freshman TakeOver Night, where the entire meeting is handed over to their freshmen.
Early in the fall we gather any freshmen that attend the weekly meeting and ask them to plan a weekly meeting. It is usually the first or second meeting in November.
The first meeting is a brainstorm meeting led by our staff volunteer, Bill O’Connor. They decide on a theme and look for a core group of 3 or 4 students to give leadership to the planning.
At a second meeting they make assignments and at a third meeting they do a rehearsal or dry run of the meeting. The weekly meeting coordinator can sit in as a coach, but the freshmen are encouraged to do the planning as a team. We encourage them to get all the Freshmen up in front at some point in the meeting
The Freshmen can utilize the regular praise team or do the music on their own. They are encouraged to do a skit, make action points and be as creative as they can be.
A student leader or a staff volunteer, also meets with the speaker or speakers to give some principles of giving a good talk, do’s and don’ts, and helps in general coaching. More often than not the freshmen like to keep the meeting plans a secret.
The same ideas are used second semester, with a little less guidance. The Sophomore class is also given a night to plan each semester, but they are given the night and told to just inform the weekly meeting coordinator of their plans.
This is a wonderful activity to give goal ownership. Plus every student has the opportunity and/or experience of planning a meeting. We’ve expanded the idea so that now we are doing this on all of our campuses.
Involvement breeds Commitment!!
Way to go, Dave! They have been doing this for well over 10 years, starting when their Cru group was only 30-35. Dave says it is his favorite meeting of the year! They have lots of energy and LOTS of Freshman ownership. Dave posted on the wiki his Freshman TakeOver Night how to’s document that explains this in more detail. Look at the bottom of the page.
Have a great week launching and building new movements.