Understanding the Campus
If we want to see God do exciting things on our campus, there are some things we need to know.
1. First, there are wild things going on there!
Some of it is good and some of it is bad. Lets look at the bad first teen violence, widespread recreational drug use, teens trying to parent their own children, and many students have no father in the home. It is in this environment that we want God to use us to share His love!
That brings us to the good. Amazingly, with all of those heavy things going on in the lives of students, we are experiencing unprecedented spiritual openness. As one speaker recently said, the things that have made them lost have made them ready!
2. Secondly, a high school students day is packed!
Little time for lunch, and then they are back in class again. Then there are tons of stuff going on after school: sports, service clubs, work. Students are usually tired and hungry with lots of homework to do before the next day. And we havent even mentioned church and family and social activities! This is a huge load.
Identifying Groups on Campus
High school students are influenced by their peers. Just look at a high school campus. It is pretty overwhelming at first. It appears to be a jumbled mass of people. Look more closely! Students tend to clump together, often in identifiable groups, such as sports teams (football, basketball, cheerleading squad, etc.), clubs (chess, art, drama, etc.) or service groups. You can identify these groups by watching where they eat lunch and hang out.
Becoming an Insider
Now that we have an idea of whats going on there, its time to find our place. The key to successful ministry on campus is to become an insider. Make yourself available to serve the school, so that meeting students is not viewed as preying on them. This is true whether you are a student or a concerned adult affecting the life of another requires developing relationships! If you have a "job" there you will have opportunities to get to know folks.
-Videotape practices or games so the coach can view it with the team for evaluation.
- Mentor struggling students.
- Chaperone dances.
- Volunteer to monitor the cafeteria at lunch or help out at sporting events.
- Become a chaplain for an athletic team.
Relationships are the avenue of influence, and getting to know more students translates into more opportunities to do what God has called us there to do. Dont lose sight of your goal: to share Christ!
Making this work well involves coming up with answers to these three questions:
1. How can you meet and share Christ with the most people?
2. What are the greatest needs of the campus community?
3. And which of these needs are you uniquely qualified to meet?
Do your homework! Who might know the answers to these questions?