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Planning and Conducting an Outreach


You and some friends of yours have this great idea. You think it would be cool if the whole school had the opportunity to receive Christ. Wow! As you start to work through your idea, you begin to wonder, “Is it really possible to reach all the students on the campus? This seems like such a huge task. Maybe I was dreaming?” You’re right, this is major. But, be encouraged. With God and a little creativity, an entire campus can have the opportunity to hear the life-changing truth of Christ. You’re thinking, “Where do I start?” Good question. One of the best ways to begin reaching the entire campus is by doing a creative evangelistic outreach. These are fun and can be small (for a specific group of students, e.g. an athletic team or club) or very large. Creative evangelistic outreaches are simple. You just need to design the outreach around the interests and needs of the particular group of students you want to reach.


Here are some great ideas for creative outreaches. Look them over and see which ones would best meet the needs of the group you will first reach out to.

  • “Beauty Bash” (for girls)
  • Motivational talks for any group team (basketball, cheer, drama or whatever groups are represented at the school)
  • Coffee House for the student government
  • Leadership Breakfast for students in the Honor society or student government
  • Mystery Dinner for a group of students and their friends
  • International student outreach (for ethnic or foreign students, or language clubs)
  • School-wide talent show (perhaps do a 70s gong show)
  • 100-foot banana split during your school’s Spirit Week
  • Bring in a band (The Coaching Center can hook you up.)
  • “Singled Out” or “Dating Game” night during homecoming or prom

Note: Keep things simple and uncomplicated. Just having Christian students invite friends to their home to hear the gospel can be quite effective. Be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading! As you do these fun activities, remember that your purpose is to share the truth of Christ with the students. It is simple for any talk to show the students their need for a personal relationship with Christ. You’ll love doing these creative outreaches because they help you meet new people. Also, excitement builds when students reach out to new students. One of the greatest things the outreaches do is build up and motivate students already involved in your Christian group. It gives them the opportunity to help plan and lead activities.


You want to get this going as soon as possible! Let’s think through what you’ll need to do:

  1. Identify a target group and their needs.

    You’ve got the target group picked out. What are their specific felt needs? For example, girls and guys are always wondering about love, sex and dating. Or, cheerleaders may feel the need to maintain unity on their squad. Athletes need to know how to keep a winning attitude. List their needs on a piece of paper and pray this will help you know which outreach idea to use.

  2. Pray for the outreach.

    Pray specifically for the students and for God’s plan for your outreach.

  3. Plan the outreach.

    Involve other students and adults in the planning. This gives ownership among the students. After choosing the activity, plan it. Ask questions like, “What is going to happen at this outreach? What will get people there? How will the gospel be presented? How will the students be invited (fliers, invitations, word-of-mouth)? Do we need food? What kind?” After brainstorming for a while, make a list and answer these questions.

    1. What do I need to do?
    2. When do I need to do it?
    3. Who can help me?

    Find a good date that doesn’t conflict with school events. Find a good place, like a large home or classroom. Will you need to get pizza and drinks there? Will you need to prepare a talk, or bring in an “expert” to come and speak for you? Example team talks are on the Web sites. Think through how you will follow up the students who came. How will you get a record of who was there? Comment Cards (see samples) let you know who came. You can use these after the talk. Ask students to tell you what they thought about the event, and even if they made a decision for Christ. Make sure to get their names and phone numbers. You’ll want to call them back. Use the cards determine how you will you do follow-up: one-on-one or in groups? Who can help you do follow-up?”

  4. Arrange the outreach.

    There is a lot to do. Get other students or adults to help you. It is fun working with a team of people. Have a plan for involving others. Here is a checklist to help you plan.

    • Prayer

      Who will make sure people are praying?

    • Refreshments

      Who is preparing the food and getting it there? Can you get it donated? Do you need paper products? Can students serve themselves or do you need people to help set out food? Who will help clean up?

    • Publicity

      If no one knows about the event, then no one will come. Plan this part well! Make fliers or invitations ahead of time. Make a big poster to put in the hallways. Give yourself at least two weeks for publicity.

    • Games and Crowdbreaker (if needed)

      Make sure you know what you will need. Try out the game first before doing it at the outreach. Make sure your activity is fun and involves everyone. Be sure that your instructions make sense to everyone.

    • Emcee and Speaker

      Get ideas for topics and possible speakers/emcees from others. Students, adults in your community, or The Coaching Center can provide suggestions. It’s always good to make sure the speaker understands the topic. Let people who are involved in the outreach know the time and place to meet

    • Follow-up

      Make sure there are comment cards and pencils for everyone. Let others know how and when to pass out and re-collect cards and pencils.

  5. Do the outreach!

    The big day is here. You are pumped! Here is an idea of a good flow for your meeting.

    • As people arrive, play some music in the background.
    • When everyone has arrived, begin with a crowdbreaker.
    • Offer the food if it is the main attraction. Otherwise, save the food for after the speaker.
    • Introduce the speaker.
    • After the speaker shares the gospel, have someone come and explain the comment cards. It usually takes about 10 minutes to distribute the cards, get them filled out and then collected. Drawing a door prize winner from among the comment cards is a great motivator for students to turn in their cards.
  6. Follow-up the students.

    You’ve got people’s names and numbers and you know who has made decisions for Christ. Contact these people within 24-to-48 hours. Get others to help you and begin meeting with these new students one on one, or in small groups to help them begin growing in their new relationship with Christ. This may be a good time to begin a new small group Bible study.

  7. Evaluate the outreach.

    You did it! It went great, but there are some things you want to think over before you do your next creative outreach. Within 24-to-48 hours, get everyone together who helped plan and talk about the event.

    • How did it go?
    • What did you learn for next time?
    • Would you do anything differently?

    Pray and thank God for all He did, then start thinking of the next group you can reach out to with the gospel.

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What they’re saying about Cru

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!