Understand their world. Let's face it, campus life is a world all its own, and each campus is different. They all have a different way of doing things, different cultural feel, student demographics. The best way to understand your local campus is to go there. If there is a BSM on campus, ask the BSM Director if you could join him/her for a few hours on campus. You might even want to help out with an outreach event. Or if there isn't a BSM, ask a student to show you around. Take them to lunch in the cafeteria or the student center. Ask a lot of questions like:
You'll have new insight into the campus culture, and maybe even some new ideas about how your church could minister to the campus.
Meet their needs. Going to the campus can give you perspective on even the most practical needs of students. On many campuses, international students and many incoming freshmen have no personal transportation. Your church could help by supplying rides to the grocery store, giving away supplies for daily living, and giving rides to church. Students may need places to serve to meet service hour requirements. Provide information about local mission projects where they might serve and supply transportation to the campus for them to join you.
The local campus can seem to be a world of its own, but it is a part of the community that your church serves. Building relationships on campus with administrators, staff and students can lead to years of fruitful ministry and multiple opportunities to impact lives. This year, make a committment to be more involved with your local campus, even if that means going to the campus for the first time. Who knows what God might be able to do through your church this year.
Need help? Contact Ginger Bowman at firstname.lastname@example.org.