Strategy of mobilizing college students
Student Mission Advance: Announcement
"Mission Advance 98, Dec. 29/97 - Jan. 2/98 at Three Hills Alberta, CANADA. The theme is "Awakening our Generation. . . to a purpose worth living for and a cause worth dying for". MA98 is a student missions conference organized by students, for students. It's sponsored by Student Mission Advance, a national mobilization organization in Canada made up of students and recent graduates dedicated to engaging their generation in intelligent and sacrificial involvement in world evangelization." For MA98 info: ph.#: (403) 205-3911 email: email@example.com Web registration: www.netaccess.on.ca/fingertip Submitted by: Matthew Gibbins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
STUDENT MOBILIZATION (Shadrach)
From: Steve Shadrach <SShadrach@aol.com> Student Mobilization is ministering on 10 campuses stateside in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Mississippi... We are trying to be a wholistic ministry where we are focusing on winning people to Christ, discipling them, helping them to become multipliers, and gain a heart for the world. World missions permeates everything we do. We want it to more, though!
Recently, our Board has freed me up to become a "minister at large" of sorts. I am trying to pray and think through the best ways to mobilize this whole South Central U.S. region that God has laid on our hearts. It includes the three states I mentioned as well as TX, LA, KS, MO, half of TN and half of KY. There are between 1-2 million college students in this region alone, not to mention thousands of churches. I am developing a one day seminar called "Day of Discovery" that basically crams 100 hours of Perspectives into 6 hours (including AV presentations, etc..). I am beginning to give that to groups of churches and groups of campus ministries in different cities. We are distributing materials in a number of different settings and I have been doing some writing. We are about to bring on a guy who will spend full time developing our web pages and corresponding to the people that write us via computer...
The main thing that has been on my heart for about two years is to initiate a "Caleb Project" style traveling team in this region... Bob Sjogren in 1984 got me going because of a Caleb team stopover at Fayetteville, Ar. We are in the process of thinking through timing of when we would want to initiate it and personnel and finances, etc...
WORSHIP AND MISSION
Let me share with you what I see happening on campuses around the country and you can tell me if you see some of the same things.
There has been an exponential growth in the number of worship fellowships that have started in the past five or so years (especially since the revivals that swept college campuses four years ago). The danger I see in these worship times is that they often have little or no teaching as a component. As a result, they are becoming "Jesus and Me" experiences with a very man-centered view of worship. These weekly meetings become a mountain top experience that needs to be fueled every week. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that there seems to be a new generation that has a passion for worship.
What I would like to see is that this passion for worship become a fuel for missions. I don't see very many people teaching that worship is a starting place that transforms our lives and demands a response from us of obedience to the heart of God to get more people worshiping him--missions. Does this pattern seem to be evident in the circles that you are in contact with? It seems to be true for many Christian college campuses and a few state schools that I have heard of lately. Let me know what you or others are thinking.
This last fall, I hosted here at Wheaton a Student Leaders Summit on Worship and Missions. The Summit was designed to discuss exactly what I just talked about. We had about 60 students, staff, administrators from about 11 Mid-West schools. We are planning on having the Summit again in September and I think that we could see a few hundred people with 20 or more schools coming...
CAMPUS MINISTRY STAFF
From: Jim Camomile <email@example.com>
I have made a few attempts to be a resource to the local IV chapter here at UCRiverside. I asked Suzanne (the head staff at UCR) if there was any way I could assist her in promoting frontier missions on campus. She was excited and asked me to help promote a missions night for her chapter. I contacted about 9 missions agencies that I respected and that had a local Rep, and asked them to come to the missions night. All but one came. I was shocked at how easy it was to set up all this stuff! The rep's jumped at a chance to actually set up shop for a few hours at a secular university; I was giving them an opportunity they had long waited for! The night was a great success. Suzanne gave a very brief intro and then turned the students loose. By the end of the session, at least one couple had set down concrete plans for a [short-term mission project]. Suzanne and the other staff were encouraged by my willingness to team with them, and have since shown more willingness to partner with [my mobilization efforts].
RECRUITMENT & THE HOME CHURCH
QUESTION From: Ellen Livingood 102575.3275@CompuServe.com A lot of us are convinced that when we are recruiting on campuses we need to bring the potential recruit's home church into the picture early in the recruitment process. But how do you do that...effectively? How do you handle it with the student? How do you approach the church? How do you continue to keep communication flowing around the triangle as you work with the recruit?
ANSWER From: Wade.Harlan@wciu.edu (Wade Harlan) I am involved more in generic, student mobilization (I don't recruit specifically for one specific agency), but one lesson I have learned is regarding student involvement in short-terms. I now require all students that go on our short-terms to get the written permission of their pastor to participate in the short-term. If the pastor is against it, then we will not take the individual. Even more important than this can be calling or writing that same pastor after the short-term and thanking them for allowing the individual to participate. Also, pastors often really appreciate a brief, but specific report on how the individual did. These are small matters, but they really help the church feel that the agency is really partnering with them rather than just "using" their people.
ANSWER From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Forbes) One of the simplest ways to do this is to [ask potential recruits] "Do you think your pastor is aware of your interest in missions?" Much of the time the student will not have talked with his pastor. You can then tell him that you would like to talk to his pastor so that if there is an opening in your org. for him, the person can get to the field faster. If the student is unwilling to have you do this, don't proceed with the prospect. You will have saved yourself some time and effort.
Then phone the pastor. Introduce yourself, tell how you met the prospect, and affirm your commitment to being a servant of the church. Ask him outright if he has any objection to your follow up with the student. Most pastors will be overwhelmed that you are willing to live by your stated priorities (concerning the church) and will tell you so. Whether they have reservations about that person or not, you will have made an instant ally... Follow up with a note of thanks for the conversation, with a promise to keep him informed of progress with the student. You can also ask the Pastor if you should deal with the missions chairman, or with him personnally.
A way to simplify the communication triangle is to ask the pastor specifically how much he wants to know. If his desire is for full disclosure of communication, then you may photocopy all your correspondence with the candidate to him. If the student is hesitant to agree to this, at least those documents originating with you can be copied. This would be rare, most would only want a periodic update from you, and will seek to contact the student himself.
A key bit of posture that all recruiters must be willing to maintain is the ability to walk away from a promising contact when the home church is not supportive.
RECRUITMENT IDEA--CAREER COUNSELING
Work in coordination with your college's Career Counseling Center to make up a questionaire (they might already be using one) to find out what the students at your college want to do occupationally upon graduation. After the questionaires are returned and tallied, make a list of all those who want to become missionaries and a list of those who will be serious supporters of missionaries and mission mobilizers. Contact them to tell them about how your missions fellowship can equip them for their ministry in the future. Get each one to commit to recruiting two more students to join them in becoming a missionary or in becomming a misions mobilizer or large financial supporter of world missions. You could follow up on other people who fill out the questionaire by letting them know of job opportunities in their field overseas. (InterChristo could help you with matching jobs overseas; their address is P.O. Box 333487, Seattle, WA 98133 Phone # 1-800-426-1343.)
STUDENT BEYOND-REACH GROUPS
As a follow-up to Urbana'96, we printed brochures with the priority one peoples mapped out on the inside and 6 basic steps for forming a "beyond reach" group (aka adopting a people group contextualized into a dorm room). There's a supplemental sheet we'll hand out to those who want it, which you can also get from the web: www.goshen.net/calebproject/beyond.htm
There's also a XC conference, Beyond-Reach, to give these somewhat autonomous groups a cyber-meeting place. Source: John Hanna email@example.com
STRATEGY: How To Set Your School On Fire For Missions
3 yrs of leadership as a student--same amount of time Jesus spent in ministry John 14: 12 ("Greater things...")
Introduce disciplemaking concept (Jesus discipled 12 who in turn discipled more)
EXAMPLE: Paper folding vs. stacking
>pass out sheets of paper & tell them to fold as many times as possible
>compare 7x folded sheet (1/2") with stack of 7 sheets (1/34")
>12 folds=1 foot, 24 folds=1 mile, 35 folds=width of the U.S.
YOU can have that kind of impact--perhaps greater than Jesus'!
HOW? Follow Jesus' LIFESTYLE
1. Prayer--early in morning, throughout day
2. Evangelism--He had to go "out" to do it. We are hypocrites if we don't.
*"continuous, not once a week!
*"focused, try recruiting 5 people this year
(Write their names down. How will you recruit them?)
QUESTION: "What will this "cost you?"
>Grades, hobbies, rest, time, relationships
>How about sacrificing the next Fall semester to go on a travel team?
a) Take notes on Jesus' ministry strategy in a Gospel during devotional times.
b) "Secular" source with excellent and powerful writing Guy Kawasaki's "Selling
the Dream" "How to promote your ideas and make a difference using everyday evangelism"
PIPE: Free Will Baptist Bible College
In 1992, Free Will Baptist Bible College student John Weaver recruited 100 students to travel out of town to an optional missions conference. I asked him to share with us how he managed to pull this off, and he shared a little acronym "PIPE" and explained it:
"P" First you see the challenge and you PRAY about it.
"I" Then you go around INFORMING people about the thing to which you are mobilizing them.
"P" Then all you can do is keep PRAYING for God to lead people and
"E" EXPECT God to bring fruit to the endeavour.
As long as we're talking about spiritual acronyms, I might as well share another one that John gave me: "LIPS" Love, Pray, Inform, & Shepherd. These acronyms are models for missions mobilization that apparently worked quite well for Free Will Baptist Bible College, Nashville.