Guest post by David Sheldon
Starting a college ministry from the ground up is not an easy thing to do, but at the same time, it’s nothing to stress over. In this post I hope to give you some things I’ve learned and help you as you being a college ministry in your church. Now we all know that ministries targeting college students are desperately needed, so we’ll just jump right in with some practical steps you can take to kick it off.
1. Base it on the Gospel – You ministry needs to be based on the Gospel. The message and hope of the Gospel should be made very clear very frequently.
2. Vision – Pray and think about the vision you have. You want to be able to articulate this vision to others to bring them on board with you. Don’t be scared to have a God-sized vision, but step out in faith and pursue.
3. Leader – Choose a leader wisely. Maybe the leader will be you, but maybe you will have someone else begin this ministry. Find a man who is godly in his personal life, has the gift of teaching, and knows how to study the Bible in its context.
4. Core Group – Figure out who would comprise a solid core group. These are the college students you are sure will come and will invite others. As the ministry grows, the core group will grow as well. Allow these students to have input in the ministry, and get them excited for it by filling them in on details.
5. Structure – Structure your ministry wisely. College students don’t ask for a lot to do, but they do want something. I would suggest something very simple like singing, teaching, and small groups. Emphasize the teaching. College students want answers. They are going through a time in their life where they question a lot of things, so make the lessons to be grounded in the Word and very informative and practical. The small groups will help them build relationships with others and this becomes accountability. Singing is good; it helps set the tone for the meeting, but I’ll be honest, if it gets in the way or becomes a hassle, just get rid of it. There’s no law saying we have to have singing at every meeting. When the students develop a love for the Word, they will come whether there is singing or not.
6. Make it Legit – I highly encourage you, however you decide to do your ministry, make it legit. College students can tell whether or not you are putting your whole heart into reaching them, and if they see that you’re not, they will not be impressed. You want them to see that worship is enjoyable, and that they are loved at your ministry.
This guest post was written by my good friend David Sheldon. David is a recent graduate of Piedmont International University and currently interning at Union Grove Baptist Church in Lexington, NC. He has been given the opportunity to start a college ministry called The Well at Union Grove. You can see more of David’s thoughts on his blog as well as follow him on Twitter.