Each year, it seems universities become more closed off to religious groups having access to their students.
However, there is one group of students the university cannot keep you from ministering to – Greeks. While fraternities and sororities follow university rules, they have final say what happens inside their respective houses.
There are very few groups on the college campus you can approach by going straight to the house they meet, eat and live in and request to speak. Through the one bold step you open the door to 35 to 400 students with whom you can share the truths of Jesus and His Word.
Nearly every Greek organization is founded on Christian principles. Because of this they are extremely open to allowing a minister to speak with pledges and actives. If a pledge trainer likes what you have to offer then he can require his 25 to 100 pledges to hear you speak. If a president likes what you have to offer, he might require the entire chapter to hear you speak.
This fall, I spoke to 20 fraternity and sorority pledge classes with many of them hearing me speak six to eight times. I presented the Gospel to over 1,000 freshmen.
“Non-Greek students, living in the dorms/suites on campus, are becoming increasingly more difficult to get in front of due to more layers or ‘barriers’ put in place by the University leadership. Most of this is due to security and privacy concerns,” said Brandon Boyd, who has been working with Cru for years.
I have found it increasingly difficult to get into these types of areas and, yet, I can walk right into the Sigma Nu house, talk with a pledge trainer and have almost immediate access to the pledges.
Greeks tend to be some of the most socially mature students on campus. Their well-developed social skills makes it easy to meet with and talk to large numbers of people. They have great social networks that can open doors across campus.
One of the greatest aspects to their social nature is when someone trusts Christ in a chapter and begins to grow spiritually, the news can spread like wildfire. Suddenly this person can influence as many as 350 people in their chapter.
It is no secret that a majority of our countries future leaders are products of the Greek system. According to USA Today all but 2 U.S. Presidents and Vice Presidents, 75 percent of U.S. Congressmen and Senators, and 86 percent of Fortune 500 executives came out of a fraternity.
Greek men and women also have a 20 percent higher graduation rate than non-Greeks and 88 percent of the student leaders on 730 U.S. campuses are involved in the Greek community.
When you consider the low percentage of students who are Greek affiliated these numbers are pretty staggering. In ministering to college students, one of the biggest challenges we face is spending our valuable time with the right people. We must be selective with whom we invest in and groom them to invest into others.
Greeks are a wise investment. When Cru founder Bill Bright decided to reach the world for Christ, he felt college students were the sharpest and brightest and could make it happen. When he and his wife, Vonette Bright, walked onto the campus of UCLA in 1953, they started their ministry by reaching Greeks and leaders of the student government. Their idea was that if you reach the leaders, they will in turn reach the campus, which will influence the nation.
My favorite thing about working with Greeks is the fact they make themselves readily available. Fraternities and sororities pride themselves on giving back to the campus they are on as well as the community they live in.
This past year, Greeks raised more than $7 million for charity and served more than 10 million hours of volunteer service.
I am not saying that working with Greeks is a higher calling but it is extremely strategic. As I consult with students and campus ministers around the nation, I love helping them catch the vision Bill Bright had 63 years ago.
If you have questions or want to learn more, go to Greeklegacy.org.
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