As we consider how to reach different groups of people for Christ, today we’ll hear about reaching college-age students.
Josh Bowers and I have known each other for years. We attended church together for a while, served in different ministries together, and now ministry has taken us about 2,000 miles away from each other. He now serves as the college pastor for Veritas College Ministry at Fresh Life Church in Kalispell, MT.
Follow him on Twitter HERE.
If you’re not a college pastor, make sure to email a link to this blog to the college pastor at your church or pass it onto someone who could use it!
1. As someone striving to reach the college-age group (18-28ish), what are some creative ways to reach them on their level?
The more we can use interactive elements the better, especially media. The college age is so into media. It’s all around them; internet, television, movies, television and movies on the internet. The more we can be in that world the better. We’re trying to get better at this.
2. When developing a college ministry, what are some important things to keep in mind?Don’t make it about you. It’s about Jesus and His glory. If you keep that at the center you’ll be doing good. Also, you need to have a heart and burden to reach the people of that age group. If you don’t have a heart for God’s glory and a burden to reach the people you’re trying to minister to, then you can’t effectively minister to them.
3. How important of a role do volunteers and leaders play in your college ministry?
Volunteers are HUGE! You can’t have a ministry without having volunteers. Our volunteers are the core of our ministry. It wouldn’t exist without them. You’re never a one-man show. This is true in a technical and a relational aspect. I can’t run everything technically and logistically, and I can’t be deeply involved in everyone’s lives relationally, but through the volunteers and leaders of the ministry everything gets done and everyone can have a personal connection with someone.
4. What are 1 or 2 lessons that you learned the hard way that stand out to you about ministering to college-age people?
Well, I could share more than two, but for brevity’s sake I’ll keep it to 2.
1. Delegate responsibility as much as possible. There are people in your ministry who are awesome at what they do, and want to be entrusted to do it. I used to try to do everything by myself. The result; I was totally overwhelmed and volunteers weren’t feeling like they were being used to their full potential.
2. Don’t take yourself too seriously. You are only used by God because of His grace, so don’t get a big head, and laugh. If you can’t laugh at a joke about you there’s something wrong. I’ve struggled and struggle with having a big head, but God has ways of keeping His servants humble.
5. What are some great ways to really get into the lives of college students?
I love to be able to meet up with people for coffee. College students usually like coffee, and they love talking and building relationships. Coffee can be the way to a college student’s heart. Also, doing things like going out to eat after whatever night you meet on is great too. My schedule is so busy I don’t get to do that as much as I would like, but it’s a great way to build relationships with a lot with people in your group in a short time. Also, just having a grasp on what is going on in the world around you through pop culture and technology can be very helpful too. It gives you more opportunities to be able to connect with students.