Monday, May 17, 2010

The Care and Feeding of Campus Ministry Graduates

Dear Local Church,

I wanted to introduce you to some new members headed your way!

My friends have just graduated from college and are looking for a new community to be a part of. They are excited about finding a place to jump in and serve, and will be checking you out over the next few months as they transition from college life to (hopefully) gainfully employed life.

Everyone wants to be known. I know they look young, but please don't assume they're with their parents, or they're just going to be around for a short time. Ask them to tell you their story. Don't be intimidated by their age and their trendy clothes or piercings or tattoos. They really do want to talk with you.

These students are not just causal attenders. Many of them have spent 3-4 years involved in a ministry where they gave significant numbers of hours each week to not only worship and bible study, but also volunteering in the community. They've come on a quest, seeking a place to grow and give and use their gifts, and just attending on Sunday morning isn't going to be enough for them.

They are trained as leaders. Several of these young men and women have been serving 15-20 hours a week as, essentially, unpaid interns - leading small groups, mentoring other students, overseeing creative arts or publicity or the service areas of our ministry. Plugging them in to be a warm body in your children's ministry might be okay for a little while, but many of these men and women would be better used to lead small groups, head up your church's service projects, re-design your logo or website, teach a children's Sunday School class, or help update your greeting and follow-up procedures. They would be great members of your search teams or missions teams, they will be your future elders, deacons, and maybe even pastors.

My friends dream big. They rescue children in Kenya, build houses for families in Mexico, find creative ways to bring Jesus to really dark places....."We've never done it that way before" isn't really an idea they've ever encountered in ministry. Give them a place where they can share those dreams and be given the freedom to think outside of the box.

They are looking for mentors.
They need someone to take an interest in them, to advise them and walk alongside them. They want to learn what you know about God and about life. They still have growing to do.

Please take good care of my friends....God has big plans for their lives!

10 comments:

mynameisbrandon said...

Gretchen,

RIGHT ON!!

Josh said...

this is great stuff Gretchen! Thanks for the good word...how sweet would it be to see churches full of people who think and believe and act in these ways?

shana said...

Awesome post, Gretchen! It makes me really grateful to be a member of a church that is led by a former campus minister! Too bad it took a couple years of church hopping first, ha!

Gretchen Magruder said...

Shana, it seems to be a difficult transition for alot of college graduates, so I'm glad you landed at such a great place!

Josh - I'm SO excited to think about how having intentional hand-offs between campus ministries and churches can infuse the Church with mission-minded graduates, and also help mentor and disciple grads as they transition!

cscmamareed said...

Thanks so much for posting this Gretchen! Boy did you capture all the emotions I feel every semester when we say Goodbye to our leaders!!
I'm totally stealing this to pass along to our grads!
Glad to be reminded that the other CM's feel the same way about our "kids." = )

Vicky said...

This is great. I'll probably print it out and hand it to any new churches I find.

Also, my face is about 5 inches from being in that picture. I was sitting next to the girl on the bottom right. I just thought you should know...

Gretchen Magruder said...

Vicky...since you left campus last year, I forgot you were even at the ceremony. Had I remembered, I would have kept searching for a picture with you in it :)

Sticking 23 things said...

Wow - brilliant! Now, I know you have lots of readers but how can you really get this "out there"? Too good!

John said...

You guys are changing the world you know.

Hollyann Decker said...

Gretchen, this is huge. I'm so glad that the church I attended in High School is growing in this way.

I'm so thankful for CSF and how it has blessed me and prepared me for service in life.