This week, the Threads team is in the middle of Collegiate Week at Glorieta. Collegiate Week is always an exciting week of renewal, fellowship, information and seeing God Work in the lives of college students. As a local campus minister, it was always the first event to help kick off a busy fall. One of the things that I always watched was to see the impact the week had on my leaders as they returned to our ministry in the fall. They always came back fired up and ready to serve. If you can get some of your key leaders to go with you each August to Collegiate Week, it is almost a sure thing that they will be better leaders in your ministry in the fall. Put it on your calendar for next year. The dates are August 5–10, 2012.
The beginning of the fall semester is a crucial time for your ministry to reach students. Students are being recruited by almost every group on campus. From Greeks to ROTC, from service groups to clubs, everyone is reaching out to capture new students. Collegiate Ministry must work hard to reach out to these same new students—not just to grow our numbers but to help them hear Christ’s message for them. They are very spiritually interested and we have an opportunity to connect with them. But typically after the first three weeks, students have set their patterns for the semester. So, remember to work hard and focus on outreach opportunities at the very beginning of your semester.
Lifeway did a research project several years ago and asked young adults what they look for in terms of a Bible study group. We found that they are looking for four basic things:
- They want people to know their names and to be their friends on campus.
- They want to study God’s Word and see how it applies to their lives as they live each day. They don’t want to come to a Bible study just to hear someone’s testimony and have a cookie. They want depth.
- They don’t want to just study God’s Word, they want to put it into action by making a personal difference in the world.
- They want their campus group and their church to be working in a larger arena bringing about a change in the world. This sounds like what campus and church college ministries are doing through their various missions projects.
These four pillars—community, depth, responsibility, and connection—are what Threads resources have been built around. If you are looking for small group materials that will help on these emphases, visit the Threads Web site at threadmedia.com.
Also of note this fall is the event “10-10-10.” This is an emphasis that Doug Hunt has started at Clemson University. Through 10-10-10, Doug is asking folks to pray for Collegiate Ministers and College Students on August 10, at 10 a.m. for 10 minutes. I would love to see every campus in America commit to this emphasis. It may be too late for some of you to do this year, but go ahead and put it on your calendar for 2012. Learn more on Facebook.
God bless you all as you start a new semester. Know that we at Threads are praying for you.
National Collegiate Ministry Leader
Church and Network Partnerships, Lifeway