Posted by: Brian Musser | May 29, 2012

10 Ideas for How Your Church Can Support Campus Ministry

Most campus minister salaries and campus ministry budgets are provided by the generous donations of churches and individual Christians whether these are through local ministry accounts, state or regional networks and/or national organizations.  I hope your church has carefully considered how it is using its financial resources to impact students and our academic communities.  Last week I posted 10 Reasons Your Church Should Invest in Campus Ministry if you need motivation for why you should invest please check it out.  Outside of a financial investment here are 10 ideas for how you and your church can support Campus Ministry.

10. Check it out.  Attend something they do. Get on the campus and try to see how it feels to be a Christian student and/or a minister at a local college and university.

9.  Pray regularly and specifically for your local campuses, students, campus ministers and ministries.  They should be on every prayer list that your church has and featured prominently in how your church prays.

8.  Get to know your local campus minister.  Call them for no apparent reason other than to connect with them, encourage them and maybe even buy them a cup of coffee.

7.  Find out who in your congregation are alumni of what colleges and universities.  Colleges and universities pay attention to their alumni.  If you can connect alumni in the churches in a way that supports the students, campus ministers and ministries this will gain the attention and favor of the university administration.

6.  Birthdays.  Find out when student’s, campus minister’s and/or campus minister’s family member’s birthdays are.  Do something special for them at that time.

5.  Experience and Expertise.  In your church are professionals that have a reasonable amount of experience in the many of the careers that students are studying.  Connect the professional experience and expertise in you church with the students.  Also, there may be services that professionals in your church would be willing to provide for the students, campus ministers and campus ministries.  We could use everything from graphic design, to printing, to financial management, to transportation, to counseling, to health care and those are just what come to mind immediately.

4.  FOOD!  There are many students who struggle not only with eating right but with having enough money to even get the food they need.  I know of campus ministers who have used state and federal feeding options to provide for the needs.  Food is a great way to connect with students but it is also a real need in the lives of students.  If the campus is close by think of hosting a regularly scheduled meal for students.  If the campus is far away think of providing a campus minister with a restaurant gift card so that they can provide meals.

3.  Designate a person in your church to specifically pay attention to college students.  I know most churches can’t afford a professional staff member to work with students.  I know that most pastors can afford the time to specifically engage every person that walks through the door on a Sunday morning.  One of the things I am always looking for in a church is a person of contact.  If I bring a student to your church have someone who is designated to connect with them and follow up with them.

2.  Give campus ministers a platform to speak to your congregation.  We are experts on how Christianity connects to the current culture.  Allow us the opportunity to educate, equip and inspire your congregation to connect with students and academic institutions.

1.  Connect your students to campus ministries.  If you have students who are going to colleges and universities take the time to connect them with the campus ministries and campus minister.  Depending on the student and situation this connection could range from an email introduction to inviting the campus minister to an event at your church.  It makes me smile when I am able to connect with a student before they even get to Drexel and walk them through their first couple of days as a Dragon. That only happens when pastors, youth leaders and churches connect their students with me beforehand.

There are probably a thousand other ways your church can support students, campus ministries and campus ministers but hopefully this list has gotten your creative juices flowing.

Some personal comments: 

I would love to come and speak at your church for any group or audience that you think is appropriate.

I am always looking for churches and individuals to financially support me and the ministry here at Drexel.

If you are Drexel Alumni I’m starting to put together ideas of how we can connect better to the University.

If you have any other suggestions that did not make the list feel free to share them by commenting below.

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Responses

  1. I enjoyed your post and agree with your suggestions. Having a Bible College at my home church, we are also try to find ways to bring support the school.

    • I know at Drexel University(we are a large secular institution) we have an entire office that does Community Engagement. It is someone’s job at our school to have a list of ways an outside organization (like a church) can help the school specifically. I expect that at a smaller Bible College that there is someone on the campus with some very specific ways you can help them. It probably isn’t their entire job but i bet it is part of someone’s job. My suggestion is to try to help the school in the exact ways it thinks it needs help (if those needs intersect with the resource available at you church). After you’ve built some good rapport by helping its felt needs then you can become more creative and suggest ways that You would like your church to help. To often churches I see churches go in to help schools (or other entities) in ways that those entities don’t think they need or are confused by.


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