Sunday, January 25th, has been designated Connect Day for Collegiate Ministry Churches. That day has been set aside to specifically encourage college and university students to join the church they have been visiting. It has become a trend in recent years for students to just attend somewhere, but never join. This lends itself to floating around more and never really digging into one church both for their own growth and for service to the church.
Collegiate churches at one college or university might decide that another date works best for them. Agreeing on one common date will help more students be aware and to hear the message of connecting to a local church. What can you do to help promote Connect Day?
1. If you are a Campus Based College Minister, work with your cooperating churches in working together and promoting Connect Day. Everyone being on the same page will benefit everyone.
2. Announce Connect Day to your students and why committing to a local church is of value and important.
3. If you are a Church Based College Minister, have a meeting with either interested students or at your large group meeting where you talk about joining and HOW to join. Many students have grown up in one church and have never joined another church. Or, they have come to Christ in college and have never joined a church.
One large College Ministry Church sends a letter about this time in the fall to every student who has visited encouraging them to consider joining on a particular Sunday and telling them of the different ways they may join. They also include a form students can fill out in advance and bring with them, if they choose.
4. Youth Ministers should consider sending a letter to their graduates who are away at school about joining where they are on Connect Day.
One of the most important things we teach in College Ministry is not just attending a local church, but committing to a local church…being a part, serving.
Why Should College Students Be Active in a Local Church?
1. For worship, Bible study, and fellowship
2. To use their spiritual gifts in service to others.
3. To be part of a family of believers of all ages.
4. To benefit from pastoral and staff leadership.
5. To meet adults in the church who can serve as role models and mentors.
6. To connect with and develop friendships with other Christian college students.
7. To begin or continue a lifetime relationship with the local church.
Whether to have Connect Day is not the question. The question is whether January 25th is best for your location or if another date is best in your situation. College students need to connect!
Arliss served as Baptist Campus Minister at Arkansas State University for 32 years and currently serves as a Contract worker for the Collegiate Ministry Office at Lifeway. He is a husband, father, grandfather, growing believer, & poor but improving golfer. Arliss is currently serving as interim collegiate minister at First Baptist Church of Jonesboro.
This article originally appeared on Arliss’ blog on 10/27/2014.