Multiethnic college students walk on the sidewalk across campus to their next classes on a spring afternoon.

Mapping Your Campus


What is one thing that you will treasure when you leave high school? Here’s a hint: It will collect dust and make your own children laugh in years to come. It’s not your favorite outfit or a sports trophy, but – you guessed it: your school yearbook.


Flipping through the yearbook tells all: what is happening at your school, who is involved in what activities, the values students have, and even the amount of school spirit. So if you want to reach your campus, the yearbook is the place to start. It shows you the different groups and students who make up the puzzle of your campus.


The Lord may choose to reach the whole school through an assembly or some other event. But most likely it will be in smaller parts at a time. In Acts 1:8, Jesus gave us an example of reaching the smaller areas in order to reach the whole. So, in order to reach your school, you need to map out the different groups. Your school yearbook will help you break down the whole into parts you can target to reach. See how many groups you can list.


Gather some students and together go through your yearbook and list all the groups. Think about the characteristics and interests of the teens in the different groups you have listed. This will help you see the “natural groups” on your campus. Natural groups are those groups of students who know each other because of their common involvement in a class, activity, or social network. These would include band, sports teams, drama club, church, and groups of friends.


Now break down what the unofficial groups on campus are by drawing a sketch of the tables at each lunch period. Start by writing down who sits where until you write as many names of students as you can think of, creating a map to guide your outreach plans.


Once you know different groups on campus, you can begin to choose which group you and your friends want to reach out to first. Consider which groups you are already a part of and can influence right away. After that you can pick more groups to reach out to as you think about their spiritual interest. For example, the first table you see when you walk into the cafeteria is filled with freshman students. You know Jenny’s little sister sits there and you’ve met a guy named Joe who sits there, too. Jenny is a Christian but you’re not so sure about Joe.


To reach out to them, you could have a food fight (off campus, of course!) or play Water Wars (just make up water games using Super Soakers and balloons). After the games, you could give a talk on how life can be a mess if we aren’t guided by God, the One who knows what is best for us. Then you can tell the students that you receive that guidance as you relate to God in a relationship. Tell them how they can begin a relationship with the Lord. Write out the points from a tract like “Conecting with God” on a big piece of paper so everyone can see the writing.

Another idea: Invite a large group of students to a 15 (or 50) foot banana split. A Christian student would then explain what the Christian group on campus can offer; announce upcoming events or Bible studies where they can discuss more about how God relates to life, and then explain a personal relationship with God to them. You could even use a questionnaire to lead into the gospel. (See ‘Planning and Conducting an Outreach’).

After sharing the gospel, pass out comment cards to find out what the students thought and if they would like to know more about how to grow in a relationship with God. Call those who want to know more and set up a time to meet with them (all together or in small groups). Follow up with them by teaching the basics of how to grow in Christ. (See ‘Basic Growth Series.’) This will hopefully lead to a Bible study where you continue to help them mature spiritually. (See “How to Lead a Small Group.”)

Many types of students are on your campus and there are many ideas to reach out to them with the love of Christ. Mapping the campus is a great way to find out “who’s who” on campus and what their interests are so you can effectively reach them with the gospel.


There are teens and adults (teachers, parents, youth pastors) who want to work with you to reach your campus for Jesus. Talk to Christian teachers or administrators. Find out what they think would interest a particular group on campus or how you can become a part of what that group does.

Ask a few spiritually mature teenagers to join you in mapping the groups on campus. Plan and pray together, asking God, the One who understands everyone, to guide your steps of faith. Now go for it!

Every Student Plan Worksheet PDF

Decoding/Mapping the Campus Questionnaire

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A Vision of Fruit

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God’s love for you and the students at your school is pretty remarkable. The Scripture says in 2 Peter 3:9 that it is His desire that none of your friends would ever perish, but they would all repent of their sins and come to know Him. If this is God’s desire, how can we tell as many as possible? And when we do, will all of them respond? The answer to that question is found in an illustration Jesus used in Matthew 13:1-23. After you read this passage, discuss these questions: In this Scripture, people’s hearts are described as soil or the ground where the seed was sown.

How would you describe the four types of soil in this story?





In your opinion, what does the seed represent?

Who is the sower, and what does it mean to spread the seed?

If you were a farmer, you would plant seed across all your fields, not just some of them. Why? Because the more soil you cover with seed, the more crop you will have at harvest time. Let’s go back to the story in Matthew 13:1-23 and think about these questions:

How much of the field did the sower plant with seed?

What portion or percentage of the field bore fruit?

Why did some of the field produce, while other parts did not?

What are the four different results from the seed that was scattered?





In this story, the sower was doing a good job spreading his seed across the whole field. But he got different results. Some seed was rejected by the soil. Some sprang up but quickly faded away. Some seed was eventually choked out by weeds. However, a good portion of the soil was ready, and produced a huge crop.

Let’s talk about your school for a moment.

How does the story of the sower, the seed and the soils apply to you and your campus? Give some examples.

When we share Christ with others, can we expect that some will respond? Why?

If not everyone responds to the message of Christ, should that surprise us? Why?

The Bible tells us that our world is made up of spiritual fields, fields of people (see John 4:34-38). A campus is a field of people with clubs, teams, cliques and classes. It is in this field that God is carrying out His rescue operation, using us to spread the seed of His Word to as many parts of the field as we are able. The more Christians who are involved in a campus club or movement, the greater the amount of seed that is spread across the campus – and, the greater the number who will come to Christ. What about those who do not respond when we share Christ? Do we ignore them? In the same way that a farmer cultivates hard soil so that it will receive the seed in the future, we keep loving and relating to our friends who are not responsive. In due time, some of them will put their trust in Christ.

How can you apply this discussion on the “vision of fruit” to your campus ministry?

Has your vision for fruit increased? Explain your thoughts to your group.

What have you decided to do as a result?