Today, RonnieFloyd.com welcomes guest bloggers Dr. Nick Floyd and Noe Garcia. Nick is a Teaching Pastor at Cross Church, and Noe is College Pastor at Cross Church’s Fayetteville Campus.
We love the opportunity to do ministry in a college town. Our church is located 5 minutes away from the University of Arkansas, which is home to around 26,000 students. God has opened the door for us to reach hundreds of college students on a weekly basis. For almost four years, we have intentionally made an investment of sowing the gospel with this large group of people. Here are five ways that we have seen God use our church to reach college students.
- Unashamedly evangelistic. We are constantly confronting students with the reality of their sin and the grace of Jesus Christ. We have met them on their turf, having a constant presence on the campus that is led by our students. Each week at our college Bible study, we give people an opportunity to respond to Jesus. By His grace, we regularly see lives changed.
- Intentional with relationships. We wholeheartedly hold to the principle that ministry is all about people. Our college staff is rarely in the office because they are constantly out meeting one-on-one with students. Allow opportunities for college students to build relationships with one another, with church staff, and with others in the church. Small groups for students have been a priority for us and will always continue to be.
- Willing to let them own the ministry. In Scriptural terms, this is simply a call to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. We have seen that when we help students find their gifting and help them to see how that plays into the Kingdom of God, future leaders are born. It is our goal to send these students out into their future local churches as leaders from the day they arrive.
- Focused on multi-generational mentorship. Whether you believe it or not, college students crave mentorship and discipleship from older believers. It is a constant task for us to keep up with the number of students who are requesting to be mentored by someone in the church. We have made a conscious effort to place them into the life of the church and not separate them as their own congregation. We want them sitting next to a 70 year-old one service and holding a one year-old during the next service in the nursery. We want them to hear about being a parent or grandparent, not only applications to life as a college student. We feel this has been extremely valuable.
- Prayer. Honestly, you can take the other four and throw them out the window. Prayer has been the foundation of everything we have seen take place. For 28 years, Pastor Floyd has prayed that Cross Church would be able to reach the University of Arkansas and other local campuses. Prayer has been a focus within the ministry, even enlisting college students to lead our college prayer team. God can do more through prayer than we can by action.
By no means are we experts on college ministry. Most of the time, it feels like we are simply riding the wave of God’s activity rather than being good at ministry. We are amazed each week at what God has chosen to do. We hope the above principles can help you and your church reach college students in your city.