ARISE: 6 Ways to Get on School Campuses
Getting on campus is the ministry we all know we should be doing but don’t quite know how. We are in student ministry, which means going to a place that is full of students five days a week should be something we are doing. It will undoubtably increase the effectiveness of our ministry, allow us to connect to new students, and get us out of the office, getting on campus is a no brainer. But how?
We all know that public schools are not the most welcoming to churches and religious organizations. When I first started in ministry getting on campus seemed almost impossible and I know I am not the only one who has felt that. But here are six different ways to get on campus!
I have been on campus via every single one of these ways, some are more effective than others but all will get you on campus.
I have learned that volunteering is hands down the most effective way to get on school campuses and build relationships. I would suggest this method over all of the others because schools are always looking for volunteers. No school in their right mind is going to turn down free help.
Look for ways to volunteer and serve the school. Choose opportunities that will give you exposure and you will be able to meet lots of students. A ticket taker at a sporting event, fee and photo day, classroom aid, tutor, career day, mentoring, lunch server, dance or trip chaperone, etc. There are plenty of ways to volunteer and get on campus, pick one and do it!
Coach a sport or help out with the band. This is a great way to “get on campus” and do amazing ministry. Use the talent God has given you. Some may have athletic talent, some musical, some theater, and some have neither but would be an awesome ‘team parent’.
3. Lunch Visits
This is the go-to for most youth pastors. It is easy and not much of a time commitment. However, many of you may have experienced difficulties with the school allowing you on for lunch, or they may even have a closed lunch. Let me tell you a secret, volunteer first! It makes it so much easier to get on for lunch because they already know you and know that you care about them. I can walk on campus at pretty much any time because I have built that relationship with the schools in our area.
Outside people can come in for school clubs usually pretty easily. However, in my experience going on campus for a Christian club is usually not that effective for my purpose because it is mostly just a bunch of church kids. Which if that is your purpose then fine, but I prefer to meet and build relationships with non-church students. But either way, clubs are another way to get on campus rather easily.
5. Substitute Teach
This is a larger time commitment but if you have the time it is also not a bad way to make some extra cash as well. Subbing will get you on campus, allow you to meet and get to know a ton of students, and pay you to do it. But like I said, this one is obviously very time consuming and may require a teaching credential.
6. Sporting Events
Sporting events are awesome because they are open to anyone. You do not have to jump through any hoops to get on campus when you attend these events, and you are able to connect in three ways. First, you connect to the students on the sports teams that are on the field or on the court. They LOVE IT when people come to their games, especially if they are a freshmen or JV team. Second, you connect to the students in the stands with you. There are spectators at every game and all they are doing is sitting there, such a great opportunity to connect and meet students! Third, you connect with the parents of the students playing. Parents love their kids, so when you are able to show support for their kid they love you.
Sporting events are a great, cheap, low time commitment way to get on campus and connect!
Getting on campus can seem overwhelming, but it really isn’t that difficult.
Use these six ways and find the ones that work best for you. Not all of them may work for you personally, but these are all ways I have used to get on campus.
TODD JONES has been in youth ministry for 10 years and has a passion for reaching lost students and training youth workers to do the same. He is the founder of STOKEDONYOUTHMINISTRY.COM, a speaker, author, and pastor. When Todd is not writing or speaking he enjoys surfing, baseball, and most importantly hanging out with his awesome wife and three beautiful daughters. You can connect with Todd at STOKEDONYOUTHMINSITRY.COM, THETODDJONES.COM, or on Twitter @THETODD_JONES, or Instagram @TODD_JONES.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.