On Mar, 1 2021
It’s been almost an entire year of the pandemic, and campus ministers across the country can all agree that one word to describe the year is: adapt.
You’ve adapted to the ever changing and sometimes opposing safety guidelines from the university, the diocese, the county, and the state. You’ve adapted to not being able to meet in person one week, to having gatherings of less than 20 the next. You’ve adapted your events as you attempt to serve students both on and off campus. Somehow, you have survived almost twelve months of pandemic ministry “whiplash” and you’ve done it all with so much grace.
Campus ministers have identified the challenges of ministry during the pandemic, but they’ve identified the fruits just as well.
We want to share with you 5 virtual events that have worked to foster connection and evangelize during this pandemic. Here’s the list:
- Student org specific bible studies. Host virtual bible studies where students are grouped by their organization/field of study. Athletes, theatre arts, health science, band, etc. Students within the same area of study tend to have the same schedule, so they’re more able to find a time where they are all available and can consistently meet.
- Google groups. Google groups is a great way to host a study or program because students can work at their own pace. You can organize meetings and create a Collaborative Inbox where you can assign conversations and students can participate on their own time.
- 1:1 discipleship. Adopt a sort of “Big/Little” model where you pair an upperclassman with a first year or student new to ministry. Student leaders can work together to provide meaningful discussion prompts, and the pairs can meet one-on-one over Zoom. This is a great solution for building relationships with students both on and off campus.
- Drive in movie. If you don’t have a screen, you can use the side of a building and you can get a projector that doesn’t break the budget. Serve individually packaged popcorn and soft drinks and let the students vote on the movie. This is a great, low pressure way to invite new students to your ministry!
- Try a hybrid approach. If you’re hosting your Newman Night in-person, but not all students can or feel comfortable attending, post a link, and live-stream the event as well. The students who might have a long night of studying and can’t break away to attend in-person can still Zoom in and listen while they work.
We hope this list inspires as you continue to minister to your students during this pandemic!
We are hoping and praying for a spring and fall semester in 2021 that look a little more like what we’re used to: gathering in person for events, serving family style food to our students, attending Mass together in our Newman Centers and parishes, and lots more high fives and hugs.