Free Pot

Miriam Rainwater Director, Northwest Collegiate Ministries, Portland State University, Oregon

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 Conversational Outreach event will be useful to you and your students!  


I serve on a campus in a state where marijuana is legal. While we definitely do not promote the use of weed or any other substances as a ministry, we know that there are many students on our campus who participate in this aspect of our culture. This event engages a group of students that we might not be able to engage otherwise in a humorous way! To host a Free Pot! event, you will need the following:

  • 4 inch clay planting pots
  • Potting soil
  • Succulent clippings
  • Small river rocks
  • Succulent care tabs on cardstock
  • Table
  • Table cloth


Purchase pots, soil, rocks and succulent clippings. You may have individuals in your church who have multiplying succulents they would be willing to donate! If not, we were able to find a nursery supplier on Amazon that brought the price to about $.70/succulent. Create a plant tab with information about the care of the type of succulents you have on one side and information about your campus ministry social media accounts on the other; including the care information on one side makes it more likely that the student will keep this tab and be reminded of your student group!


Set up a table with planting supplies in an assembly line style: pots, dirt, succulents, tabs, rocks. Call out to students “Free Pot!” Watch them be confused, intrigued, and maybe a little shocked all at once! When they approach to see what is going on, hand them a clay pot and offer for them to fill their free pot with a plant!

This approach disarms so many students as we chuckle together and while they spend a few minutes planting and designing their tiny rock garden around it, there are natural opportunities for conversation and invitation! We love to specifically invite from this event to Game Night, a natural place for us to engage our seeking friends in community!


  • Instead of succulents, have a few different herb seeds available to choose from (basil, cilantro, mint, and rosemary are all easy to grow!). Just note that you will need to create separate plant care tags!
  • Consider having materials to decorate the outside of the clay pot before filling it!
  • Consider asking a question while they are planting like “What do you believe is essential for spiritual growth?” or “How have you grown this semester?” and transitioning to spiritual conversation as students are open.

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