One of the biggest problems with on-campus Christian clubs is that most don’t attempt to fulfill God’s purposes for the church. It seems as though each meeting is the same. Meet in a room at lunch. Eat together. Listen to someone talk. Leave.

While that meeting model is totally awesome, it shouldn’t be the only thing that the club does. We have been pushing our clubs this year to branch out and organize different activities and events to not just mix things up, but to better serve the school and students on their campus as well. Here are 3 easy and practical activities that our students have done that worked.

Trash Pick-Up: Have the students meet at the beginning of lunch to eat together. Have a student speak briefly about the purpose of serving and what it means to be servant-hearted in our everyday life. Then pass out a trash bag to every student in the room and have them spread out over the campus to pick-up any trash that they see. It is super cool to see the conversations that come out of this. I have heard awesome things about students coming to the club and even coming to church due to the conversations they had with students picking up trash. If you are looking to save a little money, tell the school what you plan on doing and they might even provide some trash bags for you! Tip: Gloves and/or hand sanitizer is always a good idea!

Letter Writing: Have the students come together to write letters of appreciation to different people groups at their school. I’ve seen students write to everyone from the custodial staff to the office administration. Don’t be afraid to get specific! It is a great way to address specific events and issues at the individual schools. If it is homecoming week, it might be a good idea for the club to write to ASB thanking them and encouraging them. If a teacher is having health issues, encourage the club to write letters of love and support. I love this because it is such a simple way for students to love their school. I think it helps them come to understand what it means to be a light at their school.

Worship Session: Have the students spend their lunch worshiping God as the body of Christ at their school. Gather together a group of students that have a passion for leading worship and help them put together a worship session. Encourage them to really think through their program. Don’t have them pick 3 random songs, have them pick a theme to run with (surrender, etc.). I’ve even seen students picking out a passage of scripture for their club to reflect on during the worship. Besides helping students connect with the Lord during the middle of their day, worship sessions really help grow the community within the club as well! Tip: Try to print out the lyrics or even project them on the wall.

What are the Christian clubs at your schools doing to mix things up?

Colton [Email||Twitter]

When our student leaders commit to our program, they are committing to a full six-month “cycle.” At the end of every cycle, we launch applications for new student leaders and we give out renewal forms for the current student leaders. Besides asking if the student intends on committing to another cycle, the form includes a handful of other questions that provide us with valuable information that allows us track the progress of our students and help our program become more effective.

Thinking about putting one together? Here are some questions that I would strongly recommend to you:

1) What is the state of your faith? Obviously, it is important to know where your students are at in their relationship with the Lord.  Some students might be afraid to answer this question thinking that they might get kicked out if they aren’t doing great at that moment. Encourage them to answer honestly, knowing that you are there to help them along no matter how good or bad their spiritual walk is.

2) Recycled Questions. One way to check progress is to reuse questions that are on your application.  It is really interesting to compare their responses with what they wrote on their original application. My favorite question that we recycle is “what does it mean to be servant-hearted?”

3) How has the Student Leadership program impacted you? A more straightforward way to check progress is to directly ask the student how the Student Leadership program has grown or challenged them. Greater insight into how they have grown as a leader and as a servant can help you keep them accountable with the lessons they have learned and it can equip you to be more helpful in finding leadership opportunities that they would excel at.

4) What have you enjoyed about the Student Leadership program? Ask them what works. Instead of tracking the progress of your students, this question helps you examine your program. When the time comes for you to switch things up and refine Student Leadership, it will be helpful to know the strengths of your student leadership model.

5) What can we be doing to improve the Student Leadership program? You can’t refine your program without knowing where it can grow! This can be a scary question to ask, but the answers can lead to some really incredible changes. I love this question because it gives you another opportunity to empower students and allow them to speak into your ministry.

Does your ministry do something similar? What would you ask your students?

Colton Harker is the Student Leadership Director at Saddleback HSM.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact him at coltonharker@gmail.com or on twitter at @ColtonHarker.