4 Reasons Churches Should Do More On College Campuses

College campuses are an often-neglected mission field. To be fair, it is a challenging mission field and many churches are unsure how to effectively minister in that context. However, it is worth the effort. Here are four reasons churches should strive to do more on college campuses.

1- College campuses are a great place to reach the nations.

According to US News and World Report the number of international students on college campuses in the US has grown 72% since the year 2000. Some estimate that there are over one million international students on our campuses.

We no longer have to send missionaries overseas to reach the nations; we can now go to our local college campuses and do the very same thing for a much smaller financial investment. For those who are passionate about reaching the nations, college campuses are a great place to focus their efforts.

2- Students are the next generation of church leaders.

If we fail to reach college age students, we are failing to reach and disciple the next generation of church leaders. Ignoring this age bracket jeopardizes the future health of our churches.

3- Christian students need to be mobilized to reach their peers.

There are Christian students on college campuses, and many times they feel as though they are all alone. Working with Christian campus ministries creates a network of believers who can then be equipped to reach their peers for Christ.

4- Students of other faiths are often searching for answers to life’s big questions.

The influx of international students to our college campuses creates a unique opportunity. The college-age years in a person’s life are where searching takes places. Many of the international students are adherents to other faiths. They, too, are searching for answers and Christians need to be ready to provide those answers.

I realize college campuses are a difficult place to minister. I realize there are challenges that will have to be strategically overcome. However, we must understand that the mission field has come to us on our college campuses, and we would be unwise to simply ignore this opportunity because it is difficult.

Churches must do more on our college campuses.

What are some ideas you have about how churches can reach out on our college campuses? Please comment below.

5 Reasons Why Our Church Does a Fall Festival

A friend of mine, Jeremy Roberts, who is the Lead Pastor of Church of the Highlands, recently posted an article entitled, “5 Reasons Why Our Church Doesn’t Do a Fall Festival.” You should check it out. He makes some valid points that are worth considering. After talking with him, we agreed that it would be beneficial for our readers to read why some churches, such as mine, do choose to have a Fall Festival.

Please note that this is not a debate of who’s right and who’s wrong. Rather, it is a way for you to see the thought processes behind two different decisions relating to the same topic. Churches are different, and what might be a good idea for one church might be an unwise idea for another. Each church must give thought and prayer to what it is that God wants them to do. It is also good for people to see that two pastors can come to different conclusions regarding a certain topic but still remain friends and be supportive of each other.

With that being said, here are 5 reasons why our church does have a fall festival.

1- It capitalizes on what most people view as their favorite time of the year.

Most people I know love this time of year. They enjoy the cooler weather and are constantly looking for reasons to get out and take advantage of the beauty of the season. A Fall Festival gives families a reason to do just that. In doing so, churches may make contact with new people in the community.

2- It sets the stage for Christmas outreach.

Our Fall Festival is a time to meet new people in the community. The timing is good because people are not yet burdened down by the stress of the holiday season. We then follow-up with these people by personally inviting them to our outreach-focused Christmas eve service. Rather than just trying to generate new contacts in December, we use the contacts that we generated in October. Since these people have already come to our Fall Festival, they are more likely to attend our Christmas Eve service.

3- It provides a great time of fellowship for those already in our church.

There are a ton of kids in our church. A Fall Festival provides a great opportunity for fellowship for those people. Certainly, we want to reach out into the community, but we also grow closer to each other by serving side-by-side.

4- It is a great way to promote our Fall programs.

Typically, our children and teen programs have been underway for only 5-6 weeks when we have our Fall Festival. Who normally comes to Fall Festivals? Families with young children. We deliberately give each family information about our Fall ministry programs, follow-up with a mailer, and then re-invite them in the Spring. Our Fall Festival helps us get this information out into the community.

5- It gives families who do not want to celebrate Halloween an enjoyable alternative.

Some families have concerns about celebrating Halloween, as do I. A Fall Festival provides a wonderful alternative for such families. The kids can have a good time in a safe environment, while also allowing their parents to meet others in the same stage of life.

Should your church have a Fall Festival? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

If you decide to have one, know why you’re doing it. Know what purpose it is serving. Have a strategy. Don’t just do it to do it.

And if you find that a Fall Festival is not the best idea for your church. That’s great, too. But determine what it is you can do that will further your ministry for the glory of God.

5 Reasons Churches Should Do More Off-Site

Anytime a church has property and buildings there is a tendency for that property and buildings to become the focus of the ministry. At times, the desire to utilize the facilities leads the church to do as much ministry on-site as possible. In doing so, the church becomes a fortress of sorts that unnecessarily removes the church from the community. This passive shift has some dangerous consequences.

First, ministry becomes only about what happens on the church’s property. Second, evangelism becomes focused on getting the lost to the church on Sundays to hear the Gospel instead of getting the churched to reach out to the lost and share the Gospel each and every day. Third, fellowship is limited to church functions at the church.

To help combat this, the church needs to intentionally do more off-site. Admittedly, our church has done a poor job of this in the past, but we are looking forward to taking more of our ministry into the community and off of church property.

There are several things that doing more ministry off-site will do.

1- It will teach the congregation that the Church is more than a building.

We know this to be true, but we often fail to live this out practically.

2- It helps the church take its eyes of itself.

By only ever meeting for church functions at the church facilities the church grows increasingly inwardly focused. Doing more off-site helps remedy that problem.

3- It gives the community a chance to see the church in action.

I love the idea of having baptisms in a public place, such as the beach or a lake. Why? It allows others in the community to see an important aspect of the Christian faith. It doesn’t have to just be baptism, but any activity the church does in a public place shows a lost world the reality of the genuine love and fellowship that is shared among believers.

4- It helps the church break out of the stronghold of tradition.

Why do churches typically only ever meet at church buildings for church functions? Well, that is how it has always been done. While that answer is not exactly accurate, it is how many people think. Sometimes we have to be intentional about breaking out of the stronghold of tradition.

5- It gets church members used to living out their faith in public instead of in private.

Too many Christians only live their faith out while at church. Some people may find meeting in a public place to be uncomfortable. Why? One reason may be that they are not used to living out their faith any place other than the church building. Doing ministry off-site helps combat this.

There are probably other reasons why churches should do more off-site, but these are a few of the reasons that have convinced me of the necessary of more off-site ministry.

What are some other reasons churches should consider doing more off-site? Comment Below!

Click to Read “Cooperation: A Missing Word In Our Churches”