There are events, services and intentional efforts that we make to connect with the students in the community who are not part f our ministries. The hope would be to present the Gospel, or offer an experience that will make this community want to come back and eventually be a part of the ministry. There are also some things to remember about reaching our to the community students.
First, they may not know know how to act, so teach them don’t punish them. I am all for having rules and boundaries, but ministry is not always black and white. We often operate in the gray areas of life when it comes to holding students accountable about their actions and behaviors. This is the “picking our battles” of ministry. I wouldn’t say someone is dressed inappropriately if they are visiting for the first time (unless it is extreme), but I would tell them that beating on the little freshman is not an acceptable thing. With churches students I have no problem holding them accountable if they know the expectations and telling them that their clothes are not what we would expect or flicking boogers at the guy she has a crush on.
Secondly, be aware of the “insider” language you use or how you unpack the language. So, if teaching about the trinity don’t assume everyone knows what it is. Give them the foundation for the terms being used and make that a time of teaching and a time to demystify the church talk.
Finally, follow up. Within the first week of them being at an event or ministry program that they were a blessing to have and invite them back. I have not met a student with “too many” places that they feel comfortable. Welcome them as they enter you r ministry for the first time and welcome them back into the community.
These are just a couple of thoughts I have had, what do you do to welcome the students outside of your ministry?