At the end of the school year, high school seniors are recognized and their future plans are celebrated by family, friends and their local church. In the coming months, many students likely will be taking classes at junior colleges, colleges and universities within the state of Texas. Have you equipped your graduates with information on how to find a local church and get involved in a Baptist Student Ministry on their future campuses?
Of the 158 campuses in Texas, 115 campuses have a local BSM with a director ready and willing to connect with your students. Texasfreshmen.com is a great resource where students can share their information and quickly be connected with a BSM in their area. They will be contacted directly by someone on the campus.
Over half of students attending college stay in the communities where they are from, but they are transitioning out of your high school student ministry and need a new place to plug in for discipleship, mentoring, evangelism training and service opportunities. BSMs are ready to welcome them with open arms.
Ginger Bowman serves as the BSM church life specialist, helping college ministers connect with students. She recommends that youth ministers and church staff help connect their graduates with local BSMs and churches in the area where they are moving.
"Their home church has been their spiritual family, so it's important church staff hand their students off to the next place, helping them make that transition," Bowman said. "It's very rare that students take their own initiative to find a place to plug in spiritually. They usually need help from a youth minister or family member to encourage them to find a new church home."
Bowman encourages ministers to access texasfreshmen.com and register their students on the site. Providing students' information to the Texas Baptist staff ensures the graduates will quickly hear from a local BSM leader, even before school starts this fall.
While statistics vary on the number of students who transition from high school to college and walk away from their faith, the results are clear. If Christian students are not connected with a local church or campus ministry within their first few weeks on campus, they may not return.As fall approaches, be proactive in your church by helping connect your students with a BSM on their campus so they can continue to grow in their relationship with the Lord and be equipped to share the Gospel with their new classmates and friends.