5 Tips When Getting On a School Campus

February 6, 2013 — 8 Comments

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One of the most important things in ministry, to me, is getting on campuses. I love it. It is so much fun just to walk on campus and get the looks of, “You do not go here.” Trust me, I know I don’t go here, and all the looks show it. There is something that is so fun about being on campus, and the students freak out when you are. You are in their world. Students who are shy to you on the weekends come up to you and say hi when they see you walking around at lunch.

This last Monday I got to speak at one of our local high schools Cookies & Christ (Christian Club) at lunch. It was amazing to see a ton of students give up their lunch to come listen to some chump (me) talk about Jesus. I loved it. I love being on campus and hanging out with students and meeting new ones.

Here are some of thoughts on getting on campus, what to do, why it is important:

  • Make sure you are cleared– I dont know how all schools are, but here in CA it’s really hard to get on campus right away. There are papers and back ground checks to be done. Our students asked me to sneak me on one day, but I said no. Getting caught in sneaking on could do more damage than doing it the right way and waiting to be cleared by the school.¬†
  • Be as polite and make as many faculty friends as possible– When I go on campus, I introduce myself to every staff I see. I try and¬†remember¬†names. I get to know the lady at the front desk. If I can meet the¬†principal¬† I will. If you follow the rules and just be polite, going out of the way to say hi is huge.
  • Get your students to introduce you to friends who don’t come to church– There is something about when you come to their “land”, that wall is broken down. Whether they know it or not. You have come to them, they usually are more likely to be open because you have come to them in their world and when they see you in your ministry, they might be open more to what you have to say or teach.
  • Don’t go long– Realistically, by the time all of the students get into the meeting room from lunch, you have 15 minustes. You want to be done with time to talk with anyone who wants to talk after wards. I failed this last week. I went all the way to the bell. It just makes me need to refine my message more and know exactly what I am going to talk about.
  • Enjoy and have fun!– It is fun. Once you are on the cleared list, you are on the campus, you have a message for the students, meet all the friends, meet the staff, preach the Gospel. For me, this is the most fun. I love it. Eat it up. Enjoy it.
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8 responses to 5 Tips When Getting On a School Campus

  1. 

    I totally agree! I just wish I could be more because being PT I only have one day at the office, Wednesdays, & I just feel I could more effective if I was full time & had the opportunity to be at schools Monday – Friday.
    It also makes it difficult that I have 9 different schools that are represented by my students.
    So if you only had one day a week at the office to do msg prep & visit schools, what would you do?

    • 

      When I went to visit schools, thats maybe 90 minutes. I love going to the schools. Its fun and students seem to love it. Message is huge too, but I personally do all my message prep in the AM, usually before I go into the office at Starbucks.

  2. 

    This is phenomenal advice! Going on to the campus is something I have failed at attempting just because the process of getting cleared to go. I have known several youth pastors/leaders that have gone through the process, were cleared to come in, but then all the sudden were told they were not allowed to go in anymore. That was when I was a student myself, so now that I am in the position of needing to go through the process, it doesn’t seem worth it. Especially if they only let me come one or two times, but then decide I can’t come again.

    But, when you talk about the barriers that are brought down, it makes it worth it to try. Even if it is just a couple times!

  3. 

    Justin, thanks for the advice. I too love getting on the campus. I’m super excited for next week, I’ve been invited back to a high school here in Corona.

    When I was ministering in Orange County the school districts there were super strict about getting on campus. Now that I’m in Corona it has become so much easier.

    I don’t comment often, mainly because I hate typing on my Ipad, but I really not your blog. Thanks for what you do!

  4. 

    I understand that campus ministry is huge. My students are split across 4 schools in our county, so I hit every school at least once a month. What I struggle with is the conversational and engaging aspect-whenever I show up at a table with one my students the conversation seems to just happen between myself and the student from my youth group. And this is something I have always struggled with–when I was in high school I never fit in and now that I’m not a student, I feel like I fit in even less! Anyone have any practical advice to help?

    • 

      I know one thing I do, is bring a box of pizza, go to a table where one of my students are hanging out and pass it out to all the students at the table. Breaks down the walls of “that weird adult” and allows you to include them. Thats what I do. I hope that helps!

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