Posted by: Brian Musser | July 18, 2012

Connecting with churches in a new town… ask someone from your old church.

On Thursday of last week, Disciples InDeed with help from some of our church friends (shout out to the youth ministry from First Baptist Church of Perryville, MD; the Foundry Church in Wallingford, PA and Texas Baptist Student Ministry for joining us and for several of our financial supporters and partners for providing the funds we used) spent the majority of the afternoon passing out free water and doing surveys.

One of the surveys asked 3 questions in order:

  1. Are religion and/or spirituality of any type important to you?      Yes         No
  2. Has its importance changed since becoming part of Drexel University?   Increased            Decreased           No Change
  3. What would be the reasons for the change?

A significant portion of those surveyed that indicated a decrease and commented on not knowing what religious opportunities were available on campus.  Many indicated that if they knew about a Christian church on campus they would be at least casually interested in checking it out.  Others completely lit up when we told them that we were doing Christian things around Drexel’s campus.  I say that to make these three statements.  If you are a student at university there may be more Christian things going on than you realize.  If you are in a campus ministry there are still students that don’t know you exist.  If you are a church you need to try and connect to the Christian student organizations on the campuses near you and assist your students to make good connections when they go away to university.

If you are a student going away to college allow me to give you one piece of advice. Before you leave ask someone from the church you are attending to help you search for Christian ministries and/or local churches in the area.  And make a connection with them before you get on campus.  Do some homework.  If you have a youth leader/ pastor/ minister at your church they would be the perfect person to ask.  If not don’t be afraid to ask the pastor directly.  Ask them what churches they know in the area.  If they don’t know any ask them to do a search for you.  If they don’t have time, do the search yourself and ask their opinion on the ones you find.  Ask them about campus ministries at the university.  Ask them to contact one or more of the campus minsters at the school and check out if they would recommend that ministry for you.

When I was a youth pastor and later a lay youth minister, it was extremely important for me to connect my graduating seniors to good ministries and churches as the went off to college.  As a campus minister I love receiving phone calls, emails and visits from future students and/or their leaders/ parents/ ministers/ pastors.  As a campus minister I have also tried to develop an extensive network throughout the nation that I could be able to make connections with other schools if youth ministers and pastors are having trouble finding Christian ministries.  Also I try to be knowledgeable on a wide variety of local churches in the area and able to offer advice on where students may most likely feel at home.

The main point of this blog is before you pack your bags to head off from your freshman year actually do some research and have an idea of what Christian opportunities are available for you when you get there.

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