Digital Speedfriending

August 24, 2020
Miriam Rainwater Director, Northwest Collegiate Ministries, Portland State University, Oregon
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One of our desires as a BCNet Evangelism Committee is to provide collegiate directors with ideas for evangelism on their campus. We have provided ideas in four categories: First Contact, Conversational Outreach, Community Integration, and Gospel Proclamation. We hope that the following Community Integration event will be useful to you and your students!

MATERIALS

Students greatly desire to make friends at the beginning of each term, and hosting Speedfriending is a great way to facilitate the beginnings of community! While we typically host Speedfriending with dozens of students in a room, we have adapted this event to work online in light of COVID-19. However, we will most likely utilize this event digitally in future years in the summer while seeking to connect with students pre-fall rush! Why not be the first organization on campus that is providing a basis for friendship and community? Hosting this event is simple. You’ll need the following:

  • Zoom account
  • Speedfriending questions (I have included ours in an Appendix if you would like to use them!)
  • A believing student or staff facilitator for each breakout room
  • A facilitator for the main room to keep track of time, reorganize rooms, approve new students entering throughout the event, etc.

PRIOR TO THE EVENT

Either create your own Speedfriending questions or use the ones in this Appendix. We recommend that if you create your own questions that you ask three questions in this order: simple non-threatening question (e.g. “What is your favorite color?”), slightly more personal question that allows student to begin sharing about themselves (e.g. “What’s your favorite childhood memory of vacation?”), and finally a more detailed question that allows for spiritual discussion (e.g. “Do you believe that kindness can really change the world? Why or why not?”).

Decide who you will appoint to lead each breakout room. You’ll need one facilitator per 2-4 students who will attend. Smaller groups will allow for everyone to answer the questions.

DURING THE EVENT

Have some type of fun icebreaker game or question to discuss in the large room as you are waiting on students to join. When the event starts, explain that they will be sent to a different breakout room every 5-7 minutes with new people and new questions. Copy and paste the three questions for the round into the chat box for everyone to see. Assign students to breakout rooms. (If you have a large number you may choose to randomize the breakout rooms every time but if you do this, you will not have the opportunity to guarantee that they are connecting with current Christian students each time.)

Send them to breakout rooms and set your timer. We decided whether to set it for 5-7 minutes depending on the depth of that round of questions. When the timer goes off, tell Zoom to close the breakout rooms. Students will return to the main room over the next 60 seconds.

Send everyone a new set of questions via chat. Reorganize rooms and send them out to breakouts all over again! Repeat with new questions/groups over the duration of the event. We found that students stayed engaged for about an hour and a half.

Leave a few minutes at the end for a student leader to thank students for attending and make announcements about more ways students can get involved.

Make sure that your student leaders/staff split up the student contacts by individuals they connected with and follow-up with everyone. Personal Zoom or one-on-one coffee meetings (according to your campus and state guidelines) are crucial to continue momentum of relationships and gospel opportunities!

Consider doing a follow-up Speedfriending event with more questions to re-engage in more discussion!

APPENDIX

If you could pick up a new skill in an instant what would it be?

Who’s someone you really admire?

What is your view of the afterlife and why?

Seen any good movies lately you’d recommend?

Who are you most alike in your family?

Do you think that kindness can change the world? Why or why not?

Have you been anywhere recently for the first time?

What’s your earliest memory?

What are you celebrating in this season of life?

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

What’s your favorite family tradition?

How would you define truth?

Who had the most influence on you growing up?

What was the first thing you bought with your own money?

What causes are you most passionate about and why?

What’s something you want to do in the next year that you’ve never done before?

What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited?

What is your favorite part of nature and how does it make you feel?

What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?

Do you collect anything?

What do you believe is your life purpose? Why?

What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?

Do you have siblings? What are they like?

What are you reading right now?

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Which three people from history would you like to meet and why?

What are your goals in becoming better at managing your time as a college student?

What’s your favorite hot beverage?

Would you rather be an Olympian or an Astronaut? Why?

What are your favorite three works of classic literature and why?

Would you rather have a dragon or become a dragon?

What is your favorite TV show and why?

Do you have a faith background? Is so, what is it and does it affect your daily life today? Why or why not?

Is a hotdog a sandwich?

What’s your favorite Disney movie?

What are you most looking forward to on campus this year?

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