A two-day outreach strategy that gives Residence Hall students an opportunity to get free cookies and ask their questions about God while training your Cru students in apologetics and evangelism.
How it works:
The day of the outreach (we do Monday and Tuesday), Cru students spend the afternoon passing out flyers to Residence Hall students that simply say:
- Text “COOKIE” to 85005 *
- Tell us what kind of cookies you want
- Ask us one question you have about God
Text-4-Cookie is sponsored by Cru
When students text “COOKIE” to 85005* they receive a link to a MissionHub survey that asks them for their name, phone number, cookie selection (chocolate chip, peanut butter, snickerdoodle), what residence hall they live in, their room number, what time they would like their cookies delivered this evening (6-7pm, 7-8pm, 8-9pm), and what question they have about God, life, or spirituality.
[* You'll have to come up with your own MissionHub keyword / number.]
That evening, 10-30 Cru students gather in a Res Hall lounge with 500-1,000 cookies and pull up the survey results on MissionHub. Then the apologetics training begins. The Text-4-Cookie coordinator looks at the surveys from the 6-7pm deliveries and finds a good question to discuss as a group. They read the question, (i.e. What happens after you die?) and ask the group, “How would you respond to this question?” This is a great time to think through our response to others, sharpen our answers, and think through how we will connect better to the heart of the person answering the question.
We then ask, “Who would like to talk to this person?” We then pick two people, give them the cookies they need, the contact info, and send them off.
After they leave the group then moves on to the next survey response and the night continues.
While students are out connecting with students, they get their evangelism training. They take their time, engage the question, ask good follow-up questions, bring up Gospel content, involve others (roommates, hall mates, etc.) in the conversation, and pass out flyers to others and encourage them to text in for free cookies.
Once done with the conversation, the students return to the Residence Hall lounge, rejoin the apologetics conversation, and gear up to go out again.
How to pull off a Text-4-cookie outreach on your campus:
A month out:
- -Ask a local church to bake 1,000 chocolate chip, peanut butter, and snicker doodle cookies
- -Request a MissionHub keyword for your outreach (we use COOKIE at Sacramento State but you will have to request your own)
- -Reserve the Residence Hall lounge (if needed)
Two weeks out:
- -Create the MissionHub survey
- -Design your flyers
- -Confirm that cookies are taken care of
- -Advertise the Text-4-Cookie outreach to your movement
The week before:
- -Get plastic gloves for handling cookies
- -Print up flyers
- -Make sure your students are reminded about the time and location of outreach (both the afternoon flyering and the evening distribution)
The day of:
- -Organize flyering team
- -Deliver cookies to Residence Hall lounge
- -Have a laptop connected to the internet for looking over survey answers
- -Pray with your team
- -Start the evening and have fun!
- -Pause to share brief stories and celebrate throughout the night
- -Flyer distribution alone will get limited response. Utilize students in the Residence Halls to get their friends to text in.
- -This outreach is more about quality than quantity. In a two-day outreach we’ll have about 50 conversations but more than half are Gospel conversations. Some conversations will go on for an hour or more.
- -Don’t skimp on the cookies. Give the students a bag with lots of cookies in it!
- -Most questions that students ask have a deeper question behind them. Encourage students to ask probing questions before trying to answer the question texted in.
- -Text “COOKIE” to 85005 to see Sacramento State’s survey. Feel free to copy us.