All Fusion Connection Churches have access to a list of school leavers coming to their town to study via the Student Linkup service. This list is live and details are added to it as people Linkup.
It is vital that this list is used appropriately, with respect for the individuals who have passed on their contact information.
Student Linkup is a service to help connect school leavers with churches in their university cities. It gives churches the opportunity to make the first move in connecting with freshers.
The aim is that all Christian school leavers find churches where they can grow as disciples, be trained and supported as missionaries amongst their peers and be encouraged to engage with church as independent adults.
Be aware that there you might be the only church with these students' contact details, but there could also be another 8 churches in your city that are contacting them. Please put yourself in the shoes of the students you are contacting. If you were in their position, what would help you connect with a church?
- Contact the people on your list!
- Be encouraging and welcoming
- Invite them to key events that are happening in the first few weeks of term – student gatherings, Sunday lunches, drinks down the pub
- Offer to go for coffee or a meal with them as well as inviting them to church if you are able, or appoint a student from your church to do so, if possible
- Be sensitive if the student gives you their phone number. We suggest calling once and then group texting after that if appropriate.
- Always give them the option of being taken off your email or text list!
- Send emails more than once a week
- Offer any negative comments about other churches
- Pass on these details to any other churches or third parties as only Fusion Connection Churches have the right to access this info
- Hound the students!
- Get in touch before freshers week and let them know you're looking forward to them arriving. The first few weeks are crazy so it's best to be in touch/arrange coffees a few weeks before they arrive. They will also appreciate knowing that someone is there ahead of them, we've had people say they're looking forward to uni so much more having heard from churches before they left home.
- Individual emails definitely get more response than group emails.
- FACEBOOK: If you don’t get a response on email, you could use their email address to find them on facebook. You don’t have to add them as a friend but you can send them a message – we have found that often facebook messages get a greater response than emails. This also lets them check you out a bit, which can be good in building the relationship. If you do add them as a friend please include in your friend request who you are and don't try more than once.
- Send regular emails for the first few months even if they don’t come along, keeping them updated. You may feel like you’re giving a ‘hard sell’ for your church but just be authentic about what you feel your community is about and students will eventually find where they belong.
- Finally, many students don’t settle straight away. It’s a good idea to send an email to all the linkups in January saying, “Have you settled in a church yet? If so, fantastic - if not, do you fancy a coffee?” (see note on the lists closing below).
For help finding your list see this two step guide.
The Student Linkup lists are live until December 31st when they are wiped to prepare for the next year's intake. If you want to keep contacting students from this list after that point you will need to download it. We recommend working from the online list up until then for the sake of those who sign up late.