What are some expectations for the college ministry in our church?
1. To know each student and to know what his or her plans are.
2. To provide for our students' spiritual nurture by being prepared to share our faith in Christ.
3. To keep in touch with each student on a scheduled time period.
4. To recognize the needs that are present in each student's life - those away and those who are commuting.
5. To let the parents know of our interest and concern for their son or daughter.
6. To provide the activities necessary for the building of a relationship with each student.
7. To recognize any special accomplishments.
How can we accomplish these things?
1. By selecting leaders who will want to know all about the life-style of the students.
2. By keeping up-to-date records of the students' addresses and class information (for example, major, classification, extracurricular activities, dorm student, off-campus apartment, or living at home).
3. By helping the students find the school that is best suited to their future study. Also, by helping the students with paper work where financial assistance is needed.
4. By providing a Bible study setting where experiential learning can take place. This can only be done where the teacher knows the needs of his or her students. Also, by encouraging the opportunity for the college age student to teach in the youth area, preferably the seventh and eighth grade level.
5. By remembering the student through monthly mailouts of the following:
Birthday cards, valentine cards, tracts, and letters with spiritual emphasis based on students' needs. Cookies including Girl Scout, homemade by members of the church, and even McDonald's are always welcome! These packages provide the perfect place for including a note to the student to remind him or her that you care.
6. By encouraging members to write to students. Names and addresses can be placed on cards to be mailed and distributed during mid-week or Sunday evening services. A church could recognize a "Student of the Week," with that student's name and address appearing in the church bulletin. During holidays and summer break, recognize students at the Wednesday night fellowship meal.
Newspaper articles and pictures can be sent in a card or letter to let the student know of your interest. Articles about students can also be displayed on a bulletin board so that others might be informed.
In addition to using the regular mail system, you might want to consider using the growing form of communication called Email. Almost all students are given an email address when they register for the first semester. They will keep this email address the entire time they are enrolled. If you ask for this information from students, you can then pass this on to persons in your church who are on-line through a commercial system, business system, or through a university system. If you provide these persons with the student e-mail addresses, students can be communicated with in a form which they are likely to use on a daily basis.
Contributed by Joe Clontz, Former Student Ministry Consultant, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina