You cannot have a campus ministry without a registered student organization. The organization is there in order for students to use facilities and other resources that each university offers. Described below are some basic components of starting a registered student organization. These basics include leadership, members, filing paperwork with the university and finding a faculty advisor.
Though the basic requirements for a university usually include a president, vice president, and treasurer; we must remember there are spiritual needs of the group which the university does not take into consideration. Therefore choose people who love Jesus and who are teachable. When beginning a group a common temptation is to just put a name there to meet the university requirements. Resist this temptation as much as possible. Pray, asking God to move the hearts of the Adventists on campus to accept the call to service especially as leaders. A leader that accepts an officer’s position should see it as a calling. This principle should set precedent with regard to how future leaders are chosen. After prayer, approach candidates individually, sharing the need and purpose of the student group. Articulate clearly the position and role they need to fill. Then ask for a commitment. Below are descriptions of the officer’s responsibilities.
Each university will have a minimum requirement for membership. One of the best ways to find Adventist is to pray. Speaking with student advisors would be a good idea, since they may know other students who are Adventists on campus.
When students were first starting a campus ministry at Eastern Michigan University, they decided to flier campus inviting people to a weekly Bible study. There were only two known Adventists on campus at that time; realizing this they prayed that God would lead their group in the quest to find other students. The day they went to
God has a way of sending students to your campus. Pray specifically for students who are laborers (LK 10:3). In addition to
Another way to find Adventist is to let people know that you are Adventist in a Christ-like way. Students have sat next to fellow Adventists in their classes and not known until one Sabbath they happen to attend the same church. Depending on how your campus receives information, fliers with the name Adventist written on it with your contact information.
In addition to these things, you can visit the local churches in your area. If there are many churches in your area, work with the local churches to plan a special campus ministry focused Sabbath. The purpose would be to galvanize the students and place before them the need for missionaries to reach out to their own campuses. Then call for commitment. As with the leaders, make sure you communicate clearly what they are committing too.
Another really easy way to find Adventist is facebook. Search for Adventist who
Registering as a student organization is one of the easier steps in campus ministry. On every
Once at the office, request information for starting a student organization. Some universities may call it
Choosing a name for your organization is important. Understanding your purpose will help to choose a name. Some questions to ask are “What will this name tell the campus about God?” “What will this name tell the campus about who we are?” One principle to remember is God has given the name Adventist to us for a reason. The name is to call people to know about His soon coming. Therefore, do not be afraid of identifying yourself as an Adventist, whether in the name or in practice.
Finding a faculty or staff advisor will require lots of prayers. Sometimes there is already an Adventist who is a professor or staff. Even in this case prayerfully consider and seek God’s leading. Your first choice should be an Adventist, but know that sometimes they Identify professors or staff that you already know. Often your faithful conduct in classes will grant you favor from the professor. Pray and ask God whom He would have to be the adviser. Then approach them sharing with them what you need. This conversation will be very different then if you were talking to an Adventist. Pray for wisdom and tact. God will help you and touch the person’s heart. It may take a few tries before you find the adviser.
The role of the faculty advisor should be just that: adviser. They should be autonomous, but you should keep them informed. The faculty or staff adviser should see you more than when paperwork needs to be signed.
WORKING WITH OTHERS
The Christian groups on smaller campuses tend to be more protective and suspicious of new religious groups. If you are a smaller campus it will be helpful to contact the other Christian group leaders. The purpose would be to let them know about your group.
Ecumenical efforts on campus are becoming more common. These efforts range from joining all Christian denominations to joining all religious entities. Often these efforts seek for Christians and or religious entities to lay aside that which divide and focus on that which unites. For this reason, it is important for Adventists to understand and know how to respond to such requests to join.
There are at least three principles that will help guide your Adventist group in knowing how to answer such requests. We are without apology Seventh-day Adventist; therefore any request that would cause us to compromise this distinction must be declined. Prayer groups organized to pray for the unity of faith on campus would fall into this category.
However, there are other groups and events that do not fall under this category. There are groups or events that exist or the purpose of serving the campus community and its respective spheres. Meaning they seek for representatives from each group in order to minister to that group on campus. In the case of ARC (Association of Religious Counselors) at the University of Michigan, they have feminists in their association so they can represent the needs of the feminist on campus.
Simply, spend time where it is needed the most. These organizations can easily get you side tracked and disillusioned. Prayerfully consider your involvement. The best events are ones that we initiate and plan.
Not every campus will be able to have a massage ministry. However, there are principles to be learned from setting up such a ministry. This ministry on campus would fall under the category of friendship evangelism. The purpose of the massage is to create an avenue for the University and students to know your ministry cares about the whole person.
The principle is exemplified in how the client is treated from the moment they walk in the door. They need to know they are a priority because you care. Put yourself in their shoes: what information would you need when you come in, what are their needs, how can Jesus meet their needs. Build a friendship with them, build trust. Some students [not sure if this is the best place.
One girl came to massage faithfully every week. She was quite and never said very much. As the weeks went by she would say a little more but only on the surface. Then one week she began to share about her family. She shared how her family did not really show affection. As she shared more I realized the reason she came to massage was to be touched by another human being.
Another girl was so touched by the ministry at Christmas time she made a card for all the missionaries with a gift. The message was so touching.
Other students would schedule their week around the massage. They would ask why are you doing this, our answer was the same, this organization wants to provide something for the campus community. This is when we could share who we are: Seventh-day Adventist.
Though we do not know the end of these stories, they knew we were Adventist and they knew we cared. Prayerfully, every time they see the name Adventist they will remember the care given to them
The ministry is the massage. The massage communicates love and care. Each week builds greater trust with the student. If you begin to preach the three angles message, Sabbath, or other religious heavy subjects, this communicates that the only reason I am giving you this massage is so I can preach at you. Some outreaches on campuses need to be purely for their benefit for their good. ‘Christ mingled with men as one that desired their good.’ Let them know you care! If they ask why let them know it is because Jesus cared for you.
Written By Alma Galindo