Gathering Students


Have you ever been in a club that was trying to recruit new members? You may have had a party and invited other students to come check your club out, or you may have had a sign-up table at a student event. Gathering students to your ministry is like this. You want to meet students, let them know about your ministry and get them involved. This can be really fun. You can be as creative as you want to be. Gathering lets you find a group of students who want to grow in Christ, and reach others with His love and forgiveness. As long as you keep gathering new students into your ministry, it will continue to grow and reach more and more students for Christ.


  1. Pray

    Your best preparation for gathering Students is seeking God. Get some friends together and pray for direction for your gathering plans. Ask God to show you the best way to do it. Pray for students to come to Christ. Specifically, pray for students you know. Ask God to introduce you to students you wouldn’t normally have contact with and ones who He has already made hungry for truth (remember, you would like to see every student on your campus come to Christ, not just the ones you know personally).

  2. Meet Students

    Ask these questions:

    • Who do I know that might attend an event because I ask them?
    • Who do I already know that is involved in a different circle of friends?
    • Who are some of the leaders on campus, and how can we get them involved?
    • What would make these people feel comfortable (welcome) in our ministry?

    Again, the key to gathering students is relationships. Go out of your way to meet people and get to know them. People are starved for others who care about them. The more people you meet, the more will be involved in your campus ministry.

  3. Share Christ

    God has chosen you to help reach your campus. A personal relationship with Christ is the only thing that truly changes a person’s life. Anyone you meet is someone who you can share Christ with. God will empower you and wants to use you. Take the first opportunity you get to share Christ’s love with them. Find a tool that you feel comfortable using to share the gospel and become very familiar with it. You will also need to train those who work with you to use the tool.

  4. Challenge to Growth

    God’s Word tells us that He wants every Christian to grow in their faith. Since this is true, we need to put together a plan for helping students grow. Two things to remember are that growth happens quicker in groups, and growth is an ongoing process. Take advantage of the natural groups that students are part of (teams, clubs, etc.). The rate of growth is quicker in a group setting since they learn from each other. It is also more fun for them to get together when their friends are involved. Create opportunities for them to grow, and they will respond. Regularly give them chances to trust God. Let them open the group in prayer or share their testimony. Take the group out to share their faith, involve them in an outreach, involve them in leadership. Continue to challenge them to grow in their faith.

  5. Evaluate

    It is wise to evaluate your progress. If involving new students in your ministry is foundational for success, then you should measure whether you are accomplishing that goal. Ask yourself these questions:

    • Are new students becoming involved in our activities? Discipleship groups? And in leadership?
    • Am I building relationships with new students regularly? If not, why not?
    • Is the entire campus being represented in our ministry? If not, why not?
    • What changes are needed?
    • What is needed to increase the level of growth of the students involved?

Gathering and involving new students in the ministry is one of the most important parts of your campus ministry. It takes planning to make sure it is taking place. Pray, develop your plan and go for it!

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What they’re saying about Cru

How often have you felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to share the gospel with someone you know but you think, “I just don’t know how to bring it up.”  One thing that helps is having some questions ready for the situations you encounter.  Being prepared can actually help you be more relaxed and able to listen to the other person rather than worrying about what you are going to say next.

In the book of I Peter, the people were afraid for their lives because they were being persecuted for their faith. In I Peter 3:14-15, Peter challenges them to “not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence…”.  So the Lord tells us in His Word to be prepared to share His message.  Of course, the best preparation is to be prayerful for opportunities.


There are some questions you could ask students immediately after the speaker shares a message at an outreach.  Whether the speaker shares the gospel or not, you could ask these questions to gain some understanding of what the person is thinking about God and a relationship with Him.


  • What did you think of the speaker/concert/message?
  • Did it make sense to you?
  • Have you ever heard how you could know God in a personal way?
  • Would you like to hear how you can begin a relationship with Him?

Obviously, there may be other questions you ask in between each of these questions to help bring more clarity.  Memorize these questions so you have them “in your back pocket” to use easily.   After you ask these questions, use a tool like “Connecting with God ” to share the gospel with the student (s).


There will be many opportunities to share Jesus with students just simply from having a conversation with them.  As you talk to them, prayerfully look for some common ground or a need in their lives where you could bring up the importance of having a relationship with God.

Just by going on campus, I met Sarah at a Coke machine.  She and her friend were friendly as I chit chatted with them for a few minutes.  As I walked away, I prayed for Sarah and Bethany.  Over the next few weeks I would run into Sarah after school in the hallway or at athletic events.  I would say “Hi” and catch up with her.  After a few times of meeting her, I said “Hey, Sarah, you know I work with Cru High School.  I would really like to share with you more of what Student Venture is all about.  Would you be interested in meeting with me for coffee and maybe bringing Bethany or another friend with you and we could talk more?”  She agreed and we met. (see Follow up article for some guidelines on how to set up an appointment with a student).  As we sat in a coffee shop, I asked the girls these questions:

“If you have ever taken a psychology class or read a Seventeen magazine, you know that a person is made up of several dimensions.  We have the physical, emotional and the spiritual.  (I drew a triangle showing the three parts).  Many times we neglect the spiritual side. By that I mean a relationship with God.  Do you ever think about God?  What do you believe about Him? (I let them respond).  Can I share with you what the Bible says about a relationship with God and how we can begin a relationship with Him?” 

The girls said yes.  They still had a lot of questions as I read through the “Connecting with God” booklet with them because they had never heard the gospel before.  So I asked them to meet for four more weeks where we could go over the questions they had.


You can begin to share with them about the Lord by asking questions like:

  • I deal with that a lot myself. Can I tell you how I have been able to handle that situation?  I have learned to depend on God.
  • (When someone expresses insecurities) You are really valuable.  No matter what anyone thinks of you, God thinks you are so valuable.  Can I share with you what He says about you and how much He loves you from the Bible?
  • (When someone expresses hurts) Can I share with you where I have found hope (for life)?
  • Do you feel satisfied?  It may feel like these things are satisfying, but I know of something that will meet the deepest needs and longings of your heart.

From there you could transition to sharing the gospel with questions like these:

  • Would you like to know God in a real and personal way?
  • Can I share with you something that has changed my life? (Share your 3 minute testimony)
  • What do you believe about God? Can I share with you what the Bible says about God and how to know Him?
  • Do you ever think about God or spiritual things?
  • What do you think it means to be a Christian?
  • Would you mind if I shared with you what I’ve learned about knowing God personally?


We can ask them the following questions that were created by the founder of the organization “Evangelism Explosion” to help someone determine where his/her stand.

  • If you were to die tonight how certain are you that you would go to heaven?  (on a scale of 1 to 100%)?
  • If God asked you “Why should I let you into heaven? What would you say?”Or you could ask, “What makes you ___% sure?” and  “On what basis do you think you will go to heaven?”

I have used these questions many times and people are very willing to answer them.  From here I simply ask, “Can I share with you what the Bible says about how you can be 100% sure you will go to heaven?”  If they agree, then I go through the gospel with them, often using “Connecting with God.”

Finally, just ask the Lord to show you which questions to use in which environment.  Choose the questions you feel most confident using and even reword them to fit your style.  As we pray for opportunities, step out in faith taking the initiative to care about students and to share the gospel, God will open doors and we will see students know the Lord.  He promises to bear much fruit through us as we depend on Him.  (John 15).  Heaven will be so exciting as we see all those who trusted Christ as He worked through us.