One day your students will graduate and your campus ministry will not be there for them any more. Your ministry is an extension of the local church. A church can add value to the students’ lives by incorporating them into a family of multiple generations rather than merely peers. These adults can provide another layer of developing your students by mentoring or serving together. Likewise serving the church provides the students with opportunities to utilize their spiritual gifts in community and learn more about themselves. These will be the future Sunday School teachers, deacons, missionaries, etc. So why connect your students to the local church?
• Adds value to their experience and connection to the long term local church
• Adds value to the church to see the next generation serve
• Builds a support network for your ministry by building bridges to local churches
So what are some practical ways to have students connect to the local church?
Have a local church sponsor a dessert/snack/meal. It’s a great way for the church to see the needs along with interacting with students. Continue those relationships with local church leaders in order to have other advocates for college ministry.
Have an impact team (group of students) lead a Disciple-now or even a youth Wednesday night. It gives the students opportunity to serve and discover their giftedness. Plus, it shows importance and effects of the local church.
Host a college crossover to help prepare high school grads for college. Whether that is you or a team of students, it’s a great way to help students transition into college and help the local church.
Continually remind them to be a part of the local church. Don’t let the students settle for campus ministry being their ‘church’ because it’s not. It’s a ministry and extension of the local church.