The Box Springs Cooperative Parish, comprised of three local congregations, leads a college ministry with University of California, Riverside students that reaches almost 100 students every month and that has made contact with over 1,000 students since it began three years ago. Pastor Lisa Wright shares with us five steps to a new college ministry:
- Pray and Discern: The whole church, including every leader of the church, should pray and discern what kind of program the church is able to lead that would easily reach a neighboring college community
- Secure Advocates & Partnerships: Because many times one congregation does not have the resources to lead a college ministry, securing partnerships amongst a number of neighboring churches and building a leadership group of motivated college students is critical to success.
- Build the Program: Once the people are in place, put together a program that includes ways by which students will learn about the program and how a base of leadership will lead the program. For example, keep a contact information database of college students and set a budget for producing flyers to distribute on campus.
- Add Momentum: If the program is successful at building an initial group of participants, develop leaders to fulfill responsibilities and expand the program. For example, if the program begins as a monthly meal, develop a time for prayer at the end or think about a special version of these meals for special occasions.
- Fund the Momentum: Search for donors in light of the initial success of the program. Obtain grants from funding sources such as Higher Education groups.