RECRUITING TO CONFERENCES AND RETREATS
“I’m not going...”
I remember sitting down with a student leader in St. Louis. He told me about what God had been teaching him recently and how he was becoming more burdened for the spiritual state of the campus. He also told me that he thought our Cru group needed to be challenged more. I asked him if he was planning on going to the upcoming conference. He told me that he had other plans.
He had not made the connection between his desires for the campus and his personal decision to come to the conference. I asked him to reconsider. Right then, he decided that he would go. While we were at the conference I counted six students that were there, in part, because this student decided to go. It occurred to me that it was easy for me to have assumed that he was going to go. After all, he knew about it and was the type of person who would go. At that moment, I realized how important it is to ask students one-on-one to come with us to conferences.
Students come to conferences for many different reasons, and there are many methods that can be used to help students make the decision to come. We need to use a combination of effective strategies. However, no strategy is important as the one-on-one ask. People ultimately come because someone asks them.
When we want someone to do something important, we personally ask them. If we want someone to cover a shift for us at work, we ask him or her. If we want a friend to go with us to the movie we have been waiting to see, we ask. When I proposed to my wife, Aubrey, I asked her. Why is this the case? Asking one-on-one is personal, intentional, sincere, and relational; and, therefore, it is effective.
WHY WE ASK
Conferences and retreats are a great resource for reaching students and building movements. God uses them to impact students lives.
There are many reasons why conferences are worth asking students to join us:
As a leader, you need to take responsibility to equip others to invite as many students as possible to your next conference or retreat. Asking is not always easy; it takes effort. There are several things that we allow to prevent us from asking as much as we should.
WHY WE DON’T ASK MORE OFTEN
Unfortunately, a significant obstacle to asking is apathy. We forget all of the reasons why it is important to get students to come.
Here are some obstacles to asking one-on-one more often:
HOW TO ASK ONE-ON-ONE
What do we do when it comes to sitting down with someone in the student union? Here are some guiding principles to making a good one-on-one ask:
Have a good conversation instead of simply saying, “You should go.” A good conversation might include questions like:
Listen for what his or her decision is hinging on. Be sensitive to objections. Talk through them with students that you ask.
DEALING WITH OBJECTIONS
Use obstacles as opportunities to build a student’s faith. We need to be responsible to help students overcome objections. Here are some common objections you might hear:
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