One of the most successful ways the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at LSU is reaching freshmen is by mailing a Parents Survey to the parents of each student whose name and contract information we secure.
We secure the names of incoming freshmen that will be attending LSU in a variety of ways as collegiate ministers across the country do. These include:
- LSU orientations for new students
- Local and state churches
- State Youth Evangelism Conference
- Current students
- Baptist preference list at LSU
We secure their email and cell number for direct contact and their home mailing address for the Parents Survey and other mail outs through the U.S. mail.
We address the Parents Survey to “The Parents of (name of the freshman)” and mail it to their home address. A letter from me explains that we want to invite the parents to partner with us to help their son/daughter become involved in our ministry and to either stay or become involved in a local church. The letter we send is attached here (LSU Parent Letter). We send it to all parents and not just those from a Baptist background. We always get good responses from the parents of non-Baptist students.
We also include testimonies from parents of students involved in our ministry about the involvement of their son/daughter in our ministry (LSU Parent Testimonies). The third document we include in the mailing is the Parents Survey. We ask the parents to complete it and mail, email or fax it in to us (LSU Parent Survey).
This survey has been very helpful in letting us know about the student’s background and interests. Knowing they play an instrument, sing, participated in mission trips, etc. is very helpful in reaching out to the student. Many parents share the names and contact information of friends of their son/daughter. This summer I called for a student whose parents had completed a survey and left a voicemail. I then called two friends of the student as provided in the survey and they both signed up for a Freshmen Bible Study.
We have also had various parents sign up to help with a fellowship, drive a van for a trip, etc… In the letter to the parents we share various ways they can partner with us in ministry to, with and for their son/daughter. As you can see we invite them to help us financially. Last year a parent sent us $1,000.00 before the fall semester had even begun. We don’t send it out primarily for financial support but we certainly appreciate it and use it when it comes!
We attempt to call the students provided by the parent’s survey as soon as they come in. After contact is made we call the parents (usually the Mom) to give a report. If the student does not get involved in our ministry we call them again every year until they graduate. We make a copy of each survey and provide it to our collegiate churches that want to invite the student to their church.
I would encourage you to consider mailing a Parent’s Survey to the parents of the freshmen whose name and contact information you have. It has been a great way for us to reach out to them
Guest Blogger: Steve Masters, BCM Director at Louisiana State University
You can email Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text at 225-964-0830 if you have any questions or he can help you in anyway (you can also ask him about his golfing, fishing, and hunting ministries for students).