One BIG Idea For Keeping Supporters Invested In Your Campus Ministry

“Thank you so much for including your Campus Ministry reports in the church bulletin every week.   They’re really encouraging and they help us keep up with what God’s doing on campus.”

Comments like these are common on Sundays at the local church that sponsors the Campus Ministry I direct at the University of Delaware.

Starting what I call the Campus Corner, two years ago, was one of the best decisions I made, as it pertains to keeping supporters in the loop.  The concept is simple, yet profound: write a bulletin insert to keep your Campus Ministry in front of as many people as possible as often as possible.  Then make the PDF available via email, bulletin boards, and on your website.

Will it eat into your schedule, as one more thing you gotta do?  Yes.

Will it be worth it?  Absolutely!

The Pay Off Goes Beyond What You Can Measure

I got the idea from the book of Acts.  There, Paul and Barnabas made it a practice to report to their sponsoring churches, concerning the work God was doing through them.

“Finally, [Paul and Barnabas] returned by ship to Antioch of Syria, where their journey had begun.  The believers there had entrusted them to the grace of God to do the work they had now completed.  Upon arriving in Antioch, they called the church together and reported everything God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles, too.” Acts 14:26-27 (NLT)

“Everyone listened quietly as Barnabas and Paul told about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.  When they had finished, James stood and said, “Brothers, listen to me.  Peter has told you about the time God first visited the Gentiles to take from them a people for himself.” Acts 15:14 (NLT)

Here are a handful of benefits that come to mind:

  • Communication: Reports keep your supporters informed of the ongoings of the ministry they believe in.  So much of Campus Ministry is done outside the church building, so people in the church or in other churches tend to wonder how things are going.  Your reports can be sent to: supporters, church members and leaders, students, parents of students, and alumni.  It also reminds people of things they might otherwise forget.
  • Ownership: These reports give students, staff, and volunteers one more way to take ownership of the ministry.  Their contributions will also free up some of your time, as you delegate: designing, writing, taking pictures, printing, folding, inserting, posting, and emailing.
  • Efficiency: These reports serve as somewhat of a yearbook.  The material you collect can easily be reused in other ways: annual newsletters, presentations, calendars, websites, etc.
  • Potential: I’ve seen my reports given as invitations as well, introducing potential students and potential supporters to the ministry.
  • Surprise: You never know; these written reports can get forwarded to people you’ve never met.  They can inspire someone to study the Bible, write a check, say a prayer, become a Campus Minister, or even help a church catch the vision to start a new Campus Ministry.

25 Ideas For What You Might Include In Your Reports

1. Standard Template: with a title, logo, issue number, date, etc. (This will save you time)
2. Reports on Past Events: activities, service projects, mission trips, conversions, etc.
3. Articles: your typical week of ministry; choice of curriculum, lessons learned, etc.
4. Pictures: photographs of students, facilities, campus, events, baptisms, etc.
5. Upcoming Events: details on dates, times, locations, instructions, costs, directions, etc.
6. Prayer Requests: on behalf of leadership, seekers, faculty; support needed, etc.
7. Vision Statement: “Our ministry exists to…”
8. Testimonies: of new believers, participants, volunteers, etc.
9. News: Happenings around campus; student’s plays, concerts, games, ceremonies, etc.
10. Volunteer Opportunities: carpooling, cooking, tutoring international students, etc.
11. College Sports: details on upcoming games, homecoming, opponents, scores, etc.
12. Facts & Statistics: about this generation, your university, attendance, etc.
13. Scriptures & Quotes: about evangelism, discipleship, ministry, service, etc.
14. Trivia: questions about school history, mascot & colors, demographics, etc.
15. Personal Life: stories about your spouse & kids, house, hobbies, vacations, etc. (This makes it personal)
16. Wish List: furniture & decorations, sound system, computer, intern, etc.
17. Thank You Notes: acknowledge volunteers, hosts, donors, guest speakers, etc.
18. Budget & Fundraisers: goals, year-to-date; upcoming event details, outcomes, etc.
19. Introductions: new interns, student leaders, new believers; profile, questions, etc.
20. Reviews & Recommended: DVD’s, Podcasts, Websites, Books, Music, Conferences, etc.
21. Lesson Titles: heads up on the topic of your next Bible study.
22. Food Menu: let people know what will be served at your next meal.
23. Birthdays: list the birthdays of all the students, one month at a time.
24. Office Hours: if you have a schedule for when you’re in your office, let people know.
25. Contact Info: email, Facebook, Twitter, website, blog, phone number, etc.

Click here for a sample of the Campus Corner. http://bluehensforchrist.net/#/about-bhc/campus-corner

LEAVE A COMMENT:

  • What benefits or ideas would you add to the list?
  • What are some other ways we can help supporters stay invested in Campus Ministry?

About the author: B Tyler Ellis
Tyler Ellis has been in ministry to the college-age generation since 2001 and is a member of the National Campus Ministry Seminar Board (www.campuscrosswalk.org).  He resides with his wife and daughter in Newark, DE, where he serves as a Campus Minister at the University of Delaware.  Tyler blogs at www.BTylerEllis.com, and is the author of “Question Everything: A fresh way to read the best-selling book of all time.”  You can follow him at www.Facebook.com/BTylerEllis and www.Twitter.com/BTylerEllis.
  • http://www.mynameisbrandon.com/ Brandon Smith

    Great ideas, Tyler. And thanks for sharing, Guy!