Use these ideas to increase the number of students from your church who choose to attend Christian colleges. Implementing ”just one” of these will multiply servant leaders for kingdom work.
• Start encouraging young children ages 8-10 to consider ministry. The planted seeds bloom later as those students choose to become ministers. Tell those young people you are praying for them and God has a great plan for them.
• Every year have at least one lesson or sermon about the importance of every student spending one year in a Christian college. The resources page at www.justonechallenge.org will be a rich help for that lesson or sermon.
• All preachers should serve as examples for their young people; talk to each one individually about the blessings of full-time vocational ministry. Preaching the Word on a full-time basis is one of the most incredible things a person can do.
• Take a yearly road trip to Christian colleges. It is easy to make contacts at three or four colleges in a short period of time. Contact the admissions office to schedule a visit.
• Make sure your church budget contains scholarship money for Christian college students. It is amazing the difference $500 to $1,000 a semester can make on a college student’s future ministry.
Some churches decide to pay whatever grants and scholarships don’t pay. That opens wide the door of ministry. It makes Christian college affordable for many students.
• Many Christian colleges now have adult-degree completion programs. Make sure the adults in your congregation know about these programs and help them enroll in classes. Remember, adult students often need financial assistance, too.
Our Christian colleges offer online programs as well. These classes provide a valuable benefit to those whose work hours vary.
• Encourage your students to choose one of the Christian church/church of Christ colleges—these are some of the greatest colleges in the country—rather than a college loosely connected to another church group.
• Christ In Youth, church camp, the North American Christian Convention, and the National Missionary Convention play significant roles in the lives of students. Many of our colleges are represented at these gatherings. Encourage your students to participate in as many of these events as possible.
• Allow students from our colleges to preach and teach in your church. They can have a big influence on your students. These well-prepared student preachers will serve as an example to your young people.
• Emphasize the importance of a biblical foundation in jump-starting their collegiate experience.
• Honor students who choose ministry as a career. Recognize them with a special “set apart” service prior to them leaving for Christian college. Pray that God will protect them and reveal his will to them.
• Identify different times of the year when you can recognize students who are enrolled in Christian college. Send them care packages and continue to support and encourage them.
These steps will help your people understand the importance of vocational ministry. We encourage church members everywhere to take to heart the need for recruiting and equipping more kingdom workers. There is simply no more rewarding occupation in the world than preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Guthrie Veech is president of Saint Louis Christian College, Florissant, Missouri, and Bill Behrman is president of Florida Christian College in Kissimmee, Florida.