Helping freshmen and new students transition well begins with reaching them well.
Here are 8 quick Freshmen ministry tips as you think about starting a new semester:
- Have a plan. You must have a set plan and strategy for reaching Freshmen. It’s not something you can just “wing” and expect results. It is strategic ministry that needs our time and attention. Freshmen students can be easy to reach but also easy to lose. Having a plan is essential.
- Have a strong Welcome Week. We all know the importance of the first 2-3 weeks of Fall semester ministry. Have a good mix of events that include things that will draw a crowd and things that will allow for intentional one-on-one conversations. Don’t miss the “window of Welcome Week”. That window will close, and you will not get that time back again.
- Capitalize on the free time Freshmen students have. They have more freedom and more free time than any other college student. Involve them, mobilize them, and give them a job to do. Freshmen students are often more open to community and to the gospel. Take advantage of the free time they have to truly invest in them.
- Pray for incoming Freshmen. This is simple but begin praying for Freshmen students by name as soon as you began gathering contacts over the summer.
- Have a solid plan for follow-up. Make it a goal for your BCM to follow up individually with each Freshman that attends a Welcome week event with a text or message. Take that a step further and challenge your team to follow up individually for coffee or lunch for a gospel appointment conversation.
- Connect Freshmen students to other Freshmen students. They need community and friends right where they are in life.
- Know the places on campus where Freshmen are likely to do life and target those areas. Freshmen dorms, the places on your campus where they are likely to eat and hang out, etc.
- You can never over-emphasize a small group strategy for Freshmen. Have discipleship/family groups just for Freshmen led by upperclassmen. Equip your leaders to know that this is just not about leading a Bible study for Freshmen, but this is about being able to minister to one of the most strategic groups on our campus.
Matthew 9:37-38 “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few, therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” What a privilege it is to be a laborer in the harvest field of Freshmen ministry at such a crucial time this year. It might just be the most important thing you do all year to befriend a new student for the sake of the gospel!