God has called Cru to be involved in reaching every student on every campus.
The most strategic way to accomplish this each year is by concentrating on reaching the Freshman Class. That should be a large focus of our evangelism efforts every year.
Reasons for Reaching the Freshman Class
- Historically freshmen are the most open to the gospel, with up to 85% receiving Christ before the age of 19.
- The freshman class eventually touches every other class and influence group, reaching more students overall.
- The typical growth curve of new Christians takes time. By targeting upperclassmen, they will have less time to begin their own groups, assume leadership, before graduating.
- Students with four years of involvement helps give them greater depth of maturity and ministry experience when they graduate, better preparing them to be lifelong laborers.
- The Freshman Class is a measurable, definable, reachable, target audience. If they are required to live on campus they are more accessible through dorm strategies, etc.
- Freshmen are probably the most accessible and easy to share with. It is generally less of a “faith barrier” for a sophomore to share her faith with a freshman than a senior.
Implications for Planning
Consider focusing on reaching the Freshman Class. You, the local leader, can decide what strategies are the most effective to reach your campus. But here are a few ideas...
- Be present during Freshman Orientation Week with giveaways, surveys, and people from your movement to meet new students.
- Decode your campus so that you know where the freshmen live, eat, study, and relax. Encourage your students to spend time in those places.
- Plan your “win” strategies around things that will focus on new students.
- See if your campus makes the addresses of the dorm students available to campus groups and mail information about your movement to every student.
- Offer programs about relevant topics in predominantly freshman dorms.