If you’re anything like our team, after all the hard work of the first weeks of the fall, you feel like:
- We worked our tails off reaching out to freshmen and, honestly, the results are not what we had hoped
- Where are all the guys? We are terrible at reaching sharp, male leaders.
- Our weekly meeting numbers are not what I hoped they would be at this point in the fall.
I think it’s the amount of work in relation to the payoff. The excitement and crowds of the first few weeks always seem like they will pay greater dividends than they inevitably do. We’re four weeks into the year and it seems like we are not having any effect on our campus.
The high energy of large numbers at our first week events (and the ensuing, inevitable numerical downturn) can cause us to forget what matters AND what ultimately will impact the world.
Jesus’ “concern was not with programs to reach the multitudes, but with men whom the multitudes would follow.” Dr. Robert Coleman – The Masterplan of Evangelism
Movements are not built in the first few weeks of the fall. They take years. Movements are not built by the masses. Movements are built on the efforts of a small group of passionate followers of Christ. It only takes a handful of students to change the world.
Robert Coleman reminds us that Jesus’ first few years of ministry “had little or no immediate effect upon the religious life of his day, but that did not matter greatly. For as it turned out, these few early converts of the Lord were destined to become the leaders of his church that was to with the gospel to the whole world.”
In the fall there are two important stages of ministry –
- The first few weeks of reaching freshmen
- Selecting who you will invest in this year
Now is the time for Stage 2.
In light of that, this week in staff meeting we read this article by Brian McCollister- Going From Launching to Building Reproducing Movements (and here’s an abridged version I edited down to read in one sitting with my student leaders).
Brian is one of the best college ministry strategist in the world. Almost everything we do in reaching freshmen the first weeks is based on his model from Cru at Ohio University. It’s not a short article- we are reading it over two weeks at staff meeting – but it’s the perfect topic for your staff and student leaders to be talking through right now.
In addition to this article, this fall all of our staff are taking their disciples through The Masterplan of Evangelism. Here is a link to a week by week discussion of Masterplan.
What is your team talking about and doing right now?