Have you ever asked the students in your church how they first discovered your church? Or even church in general?
Maybe a friend invited them, perhaps they attended a marriage or baptism, they might have joined an alpha course or they could have just wondered in one day. It's worth asking this question because it helps to identify how many possible gateways or routes there are into your church. You might be surprised at the results!
If we want our churches to be found by ALL students then here are a few suggestions to improve your gateways or access points.
- Ensure your website welcoming and mentions students.
- Run some social media advertising.
- Encourage students to invite their friends.
- Run social events for any student, not just Christian ones. (gigs, trips to the beach etc!)
- Get out into the nightlife culture as a church.
- Run an alpha course.
- Run small groups for students.
- Work with the Students' Union and ask how your church can help them.
- Run a Fresher's Party, Bonfire Night, Carol Service, Graduation Ball.
There are lots of ways you can use what you have creatively in order to engage well with the university near you and make sure the students are welcomed in. The key is to ask what you have and how you can use it for God. Like the little boy with the loaves and fish, God can do the rest!