Big Ideas & 'Best Of'

Why ‘Less is More’ on Your Calendar this Month

 

The beginning of the school year is often one of the busiest times in the life of college ministers.

Every moment counts — or so it would seem.

And we often feel compelled to provide an abundance of programming opportunities in an attempt to draw in new students… and win back returning ones.

We want everyone to know that there are “plenty” of ways to be involved with us.

Countless opportunities to grow in their faith.

Something for everyone…

And so we fill up our calendars with program upon activity upon opportunity… casting the net as far and wide as we possibly can.

But do we get the “results” that we hope for?

I don’t know… maybe you do.

But what if we were to make a break from this line of thinking?

What if we chose to adopt the “less is more” mentality during this season of transition and beginnings on campus?

What might it look like to identify just a couple of key events that we would host, and could point everyone to during the first few weeks of the new term… and then spend the rest of our time simply being present on campus with students.

Unscheduled time.

Long lunches in the cafe.

Lengthy conversations out in the quad.

Fall sporting events.

Campus concerts.

Attending other events happening on campus — ones that we don’t have to prepare for or lead — but ones where we can simply be with students, has the chance to do far more for us (in terms of our connections with students) than any amount of programming could achieve.

While this might seem like a “risky” ministry strategy (because we’re not exposing people to the wide-variety of ministry-related activities that they could be involved in with us) it may just prove to build the kind of relational credibility with students that will prove to be the life-blood of our ministry this year.

What do you think?

  • Does your calendar tend to be more scheduled or clear this time of year?
  • Does your ministry strategy include just being present at events you don’t have anything to do with?
  • What do you do to build relational credibility this time of year?

Take a moment to leave a thought or tip in the comment section below.

 

  • Guy, great post here. We’ve been at new student outreach at USC for a week now since move in, and you just described the main shift we made from last year to this year. More space for relationships. Utilize the events new students are already going to, and build relationships with them there. Have one or two key events of our own, but that’s it.

    Our student leaders are still a bit tired, but it’s not from planning and organizing events. It’s from relating to lots of new folks. That’s always a better kind of tired. (And to be honest, it gives them more of an ability to stop, pull back, rest, and pray when needed, too.)

  • Guy, great post here. We’ve been at new student outreach at USC for a week now since move in, and you just described the main shift we made from last year to this year. More space for relationships. Utilize the events new students are already going to, and build relationships with them there. Have one or two key events of our own, but that’s it.

    Our student leaders are still a bit tired, but it’s not from planning and organizing events. It’s from relating to lots of new folks. That’s always a better kind of tired. (And to be honest, it gives them more of an ability to stop, pull back, rest, and pray when needed, too.)

    • Hey Steve!

      I know it may still be too early to tell anything definitively, but has your “less is more” approach to the start of the new academic year yielded you any discernible results?

      I’d love to hear an update as your fall term unfolds and you’re able to understand how your change in approach to the first few weeks of the year has impacted your ministry.