Reaching College-Age Students with the Gospel and Involving Them in the Church.
by Dr. Jerry Johnson
CKNB Collegiate Ministry Specialist
College is a time of great foundational impact. For most college students, it is the first time away from home, making decisions as an adult, learning time and task management and embracing new challenges and communities. Churches in college towns have a unique mission field to impact these students, but to also be impacted by this young, and open generation.
But, how prepared is your church to minister to college students? Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing when considering launching a collegiate ministry in your church, or tweaking an already existing ministry...
Create a Welcoming Environment:
Provide a warm and inclusive atmosphere where college-age students feel accepted and valued.
Foster genuine relationships by encouraging older members of the church to intentionally connect with and mentor college students.
OPEN your homes. Offer social events, small groups, and gatherings specifically tailored to college-age individuals.
Prioritize Biblically Sound, Relevant and Engaging Worship:
Craft worship experiences that resonate with college students, incorporating relevant teaching and a loving environment.
Address topics and questions that are relevant to their stage of life, providing biblical insights and practical applications, yet provide timeless truths and incorporation for every age.
Encourage participation and involvement in worship through opportunities for young adults to contribute their musical talents or share testimonies, read scripture, take up the offering, etc..
Offer Bible Studies and Discipleship Programs:
MentoringDefine priorities and build a structure and strategy to teach basic discipleship in one on one, one on two (up to five in a group).
ALSO, provide Bible studies and discipleship programs specifically designed for college-age students, addressing their spiritual needs and questions.
Offer opportunities for group discussions, Bible exploration, and relationships to foster spiritual growth.
Empower college students to lead or co-lead Bible study groups, allowing them to develop leadership skills and invest in their peers.
Engage in Outreach and Service:
Encourage college-age students to actively participate in local outreach efforts, serving their community and demonstrating the love of Christ.
Organize mission trips or service projects that align with the interests and passions of college students, allowing them to make a meaningful impact.
Equip and train college students to share their faith with their peers, providing resources and support to engage in conversations about the Gospel.
Utilize Technology and Social Media:
Leverage technology and social media platforms to connect with college students and share relevant content.
Develop an online presence, providing access to sermons, devotionals, and resources that college students can engage with at their convenience.
Utilize social media platforms to share testimonies, promote events, and encourage community among college-age individuals.
Foster Intergenerational Relationships:
Encourage interactions between college students and older members of the church, fostering mentorship and guidance.
Create opportunities for intergenerational gatherings, such as meals, discussion groups, or service projects, to promote understanding and connection.
Encourage college students to seek wisdom and guidance from more experienced believers, fostering a sense of belonging and spiritual growth.
By implementing these strategies, the local church can effectively reach college-age students with the Gospel and involve them in the church community. Creating a welcoming environment, prioritizing relevant worship and discipleship, engaging in outreach and service, utilizing technology, and fostering
intergenerational relationships are key steps in reaching this specific age group and helping them grow in their faith journey.
Statistics tell us that the current generation of college students are hungry for what is real and genuine. Creating a community around the most genuine truth humanity has ever known should be the most natural thing to do. Let's join in prayer for these students as they are preparing to arrive on our campuses in a little under two months and prepare our churches to minister to them like never before.
The Central Kentucky Network of Baptists ministers in an area which is home to The University of Kentucky, multiple Bluegrass Community & Technical College Campuses, Transylvania University, Sullivan University, Asbury University, Georgetown College and several other institutions of higher learning. We are proud to work with Baptist Campus Ministries on all major college campuses. Your church could be involved in the work going on at these campuses as well. For more information, reach out to Dr. Jerry Johnson, CKNB Collegiate Ministry Specialist, at email@example.com or 912-682-5717